Travelling in private vehicles

Advice about how to travel safely in a private vehicle.

Guidance at all Alert Levels

Do not travel if you are unwell

Help limit the spread of any virus by staying at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

If that is not possible, call Healthline for guidance first on 0800 358 5453.

Practise good hygiene habits

  • Wash your hands before and after travelling.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Where possible, use hand sanitiser before and after you enter or exit your vehicle.
  • When you get home, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and dry them thoroughly.

Private vehicles at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, you can travel but try to do it in a safe way.

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home.
  • Keep track of who you have been in contact with.
  • Practise good hygiene habits.
  • Do not travel if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Living at Alert Level 1

Private vehicles at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, you can travel, but make sure you do it in a safe way. 

  • Do not travel to events that do not meet the requirements for gatherings at Alert Level 2.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home.
  • Keep track of who you have been in contact with.
  • Practise good hygiene habits.
  • Do not travel if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Living at Alert Level 2

Travel into and out of Northland

Travelling into and out of Northland is a little more difficult while it shares a boundary with Auckland.

Find out more about travelling into and out of Northland

Regional travel at Alert Level 2

Travel between Alert Level areas is strictly limited.

Anyone wanting to travel across Alert Level boundaries needs to check whether they are permitted to do so.

Private vehicles at Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3, travel is restricted and only allowed for permitted movement in your local area, for example going to work or school if you need to, shopping or getting exercise.

You can travel in a private car only for the following reasons:

  • accessing local services and businesses
  • going to work or school, but only if you cannot work or learn at home
  • low-risk exercise in your local area
  • visiting people in your bubble
  • travelling to permitted gatherings.

Your local area means the area near your home that you regularly visit for businesses and services. What is considered local will differ depending on where you live. City dwellers may have a supermarket or dairy close by. If you live rurally, you may need to take a drive to reach these.

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home.
  • We recommend you only travel in your car with people from your bubble.
  • Practise good hygiene habits.
  • Keep track of who you have been in contact with.
  • Do not travel across an Alert Level boundary, unless your travel is permitted or you have an exemption.
    Personal and business travel permissions for crossing an Alert Level boundary
  • Do not travel if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Remember, any unnecessary travel may spread COVID-19.

Living at Alert Level 3

Regional travel at Alert Level 3

Travel between Alert Level areas is strictly limited.

Anyone wanting to travel into, through or out of an Alert Level 3 area needs to check whether they are permitted to do so.

Travelling over Alert Level boundaries

Private vehicles at Alert Level 4

Using private vehicles for transport is allowed for essential personal movement.

You should not travel if you:

  • have been requested to self-isolate
  • have symptoms of COVID-19
  • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

You should only travel in your car with people from your household bubble.

Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe. 

Remember, any unnecessary travel may spread COVID-19.

Travelling over Alert Level boundaries

Non-essential travel

Non-essential travel, like travel to a second home or holiday home, is not allowed.

If you travelled to a second home or bach, you will not be told to return home, however you must stay where you are until restrictions on travel have lifted. The safest place for whānau to be is at home.

Travelling to work

If you are an Alert Level 4 worker and you are permitted to leave home to work, you can use a private car to get there.   

You may be asked to show who you work for so you can prove you have a reason to travel. We recommend your employer provide you with a letter to confirm:

  • your name
  • that you are providing an Alert Level 4 business or service, and
  • your destination.

Recommended evidence for travel at Alert Level 4 | transport.govt.nz (external link)

Getting vaccinated

You can use any travel method to get to your COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Travelling with others

If someone in your household bubble needs help to travel for essential personal movement, you can travel with them. You can travel with them by any method, like public transport, taxis or ride-shares, or private car.

Regional travel

Regional travel at Alert Level 4

If you are unwell

If you are unwell and you need to travel, you should use private transport where possible. If private transport is not available, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.

WoFs, CoFs, vehicle and driver licensing

For information about getting a warrant of fitness (WoF), driver licence or vehicle licence (rego) at Alert Level 4, visit the Waka Kotahi — NZ Transport Agency website.

Vehicle inspection — Waka Kotahi (external link)

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