This is how powerful the New Zealand licence is

A strong passport means holders can travel between countries without many restrictions. But what about a strong licence?
Recently, Compare the Market analysed the power of 22 different countries driving licences to see how easy it is for them to be used overseas. The higher a countrys score, the stronger the licence.

It found that the licence with the most freedom was that of France, where drivers face little to no restrictions when travelling on many international roads, such as those in Finland, Germany, New Zealand and Japan.

The Kiwi drivers licence isnt as powerful as our passport.

The worst-performing driving licence is the United Kingdom, which fell from the best-performing in 2016, prior to leaving the European Union. Access to driving in most European countries became considerably more difficult, where countries such as Italy and Spain fell from having no restrictions to implementing more complicated processes for UK licence holders.

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In order to gain an Italian licence for example, a theory test must be passed followed by six hours of instructed driving before a practical test can be taken.

The most powerful drivers licence is that from France, while the UKs licence slipped from the best to the worst since 2016.

New Zealand improved its ranking, moving from 11th to ninth place (although the study weirdly ranks three countries as 3rd equal and two as 4th equal, then doesnt jump straight to 8th, which would mean NZ is technically 12th) even though its overall score dropped slightly from 71 to 70. The rank improvement was more due to other countries falling further down the ranks. The New Zealand licence now sits one point behind Australia and two points above Japan.

According to Compare the Market, Switzerland showed the biggest rank increase from holding the 13th position in 2016, to a joint 3rd place in 2021 below France and Belgium (tied with Germany and Sweden).

The countries with the most powerful licences:

  • France 97
  • Belgium 93
  • Germany / Sweden / Switzerland 92
  • Italy / Spain 90
  • Finland 87
  • USA 84
  • Canada 73
  • Australia 71
  • New Zealand 70
  • Japan 68

The countries with the weakest licences:

  • United Kingdom 54
  • Mexico / Russia 60
  • Brazil 62
  • Saudi Arabia 63
  • China / India 64


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