Settling in Queensland from Abroad: Navigating Car Insurance

New to Queensland from overseas? Unpack the essentials of car insurance, local driving laws, and get ready to hit the roads with confidence .
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You’ve finally been lured by the sunshine and relaxed lifestyle of Queensland and decided to make the move. With that decision comes many to-dos. Relocating from abroad can be daunting, and a time where you need to work through many logistics. Part of your Queensland lifestyle might include driving a car to/from work, or embarking on road trips in this sunny state, so in this article, we’ll discuss some of the things you should be aware of. This isn’t meant to be a complete guide, but rather a starting point for you to begin your research.

Motoring in Queensland might be quite different to where you are originally from. It’s a big state with long stretches of road. You’ll want to make sure you have the right Australian car insurance cover when you move and understand the unique nuances of the terrain. For this reason, you might feel more comfortable being insured with a company like RACQ that has its team working from a Queensland-based call centre. Being able to speak to someone with local knowledge of Queensland coul be reassuring. Keep reading for more tips on motoring in the sunshine state.

Overview of Australian and Queensland car insurance norms

In Queensland, the only type of car insurance that is mandatory is Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance. It is paid as part of the vehicle registration process and covers the driver’s liability to people injured in a motor vehicle accident, or in some cases the CTP policy owner if the other person is at fault and uninsured.

Aside from CTP, it’s up to each individual to determine what additional car insurances they might require. Third party liability insurance to cover damage caused to other people's vehicle or property may be suitable for some. Others may want comprehensive car insurance which would cover loss or damage to their own car as well as others in at-fault accidents. Extras like hire car and excess-free windscreen replacement can often also be purchased if needed.

Securing the right car insurance in Queensland for international newcomers

If you haven’t yet had the chance to get your Queensland driver licence, you may still be eligible to get car insurance as an international driver. Most insurers will accept a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) or a recognised foreign driver licence. In either case, you must make sure that your permit or licence is current and not expired. In addition to a valid permit or licence it’s important that you accurately disclose your driving history on your insurance application. Your driving history in your previous country of residence matters. Failing to disclose relevant information may void any future claims or result in denial of insurance.

These rules apply whether you are coming to Australia to live permanently or if you are arriving from overseas to study at a university. Car insurance for international students includes the same straight-forward process as outlined above.

Driving in Queensland: laws and norms for newcomers

Do you know what the laws around driving are in Australia and Queensland? Knowing that we drive on the left side of the road is a good start, but there are many more road rules unique to this part of the world. Brushing up on the official licencing requirements and road rules from the Queensland Government will give you a better understanding of what to expect while driving.

In addition to legal requirements for the road, getting a feel for your local area, particularly in regional parts of Queensland is immensely important. This is a very large state, and conditions differ from one end to the other. Driving at night, looking out for wildlife and being mindful of changing weather conditions are all things that Queenslanders take into consideration.

You may not be able to learn everything at once, but doing a bit of homework and remembering the unique conditions of this state will help keep you safe.


In the excitement of moving to Queensland remember to take the time to learn about the road rules of your new home. No matter how similar it might seem there could be little differences. Making sure you’re following the rules will help you stay safe and potentially avoid costly fines.

And as you consider car insurance, have a look at companies like RACQ that cater to Queenslanders. You’ll find relevant products and great benefits.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.

Insurance products (excluding Travel Insurance) are issued by RACQ Insurance Limited ABN 50 009 704 152 (RACQ). Conditions, limits and exclusions apply. This is general advice only and may not be right for you. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Read the PDS and any applicable Supplementary PDS before making a purchase decision on this product. You can also access our Target Market Determinations on this website.