INTRODUCTION: Driving A Car In Australia

Driving In Australia

How to get learner licence in Australia
  1. You must have a valid driver licence
  2. You can drive with either a driver licence issued to you in Australia or oversees
  3. A vehicle you drive must be road worthy, registered and covered by the compulsory insurances
  4. You must follow all the laws of using a vehicle and its safety functions
  5. You must be physically and mentally healthy to drive
  6. You must learn the Australian way of driving
  7. You must follow all the road rules

You must have a valid driver licence

Driving in Australia
  • A driver licence is required in Australia before a person is permitted to drive a motor vehicle of any description on a road in Australia.
  • The Australian state and territory governments are responsibility for the regulation and enforcement of road use, including driver licensing
  • The rules for the obtaining of licences vary between states and territories, but a driver licence issued in one Australian state or territory is generally recognised and valid in the other states and territories
  • In 2017, the federal government proposed creation of a national drivers licence database that would involve state or territory governments handing over the identities of drivers in a bid to toughen national security laws

Classes of licences

Drivinf in Australia
ClassTypeDescription
CCar licenceCovers vehicles up to 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM). GVM is the maximum recommended weight a vehicle can be when loaded. The licence allows the holder to drive cars, utilities, vans, some light trucks, car-based motor tricycles, tractors and implements such as graders, vehicles that seat up to 12 adults, including the driver.
RRider licenceApplies to motorcycle riders with any registrable motorcycle.
RERestricted Rider licenceCovers motorcycles matching the LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme) list of motorcycles of each state. Generally this means abiding by a power-to-weight ratio and a total engine size limit. Riders must hold this licence for 12 months before being permitted to upgrade to a R class motorcycle licence.
LRLight Rigid licenceCovers a rigid vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes up to 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. This class also includes vehicles with a GVM up to 8 tonnes which carry more than 12 adults including the driver. A holder of a LR licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class C.
MRMedium Rigid licenceCovers a rigid vehicle with 2 axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. A holder of a MR licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class LR and lower.
HRHeavy Rigid licenceCovers a rigid vehicle with 3 or more axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. This class also includes articulated buses. A holder of an HR licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class MR and lower.
HCHeavy Combination licenceCovers heavy combination vehicles like a prime mover towing a semi-trailer, or rigid vehicles towing a trailer with a GVM of more than 9 tonnes. A holder of an HC licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class HR and lower.
MCMulti-Combination licenceCovers multi-combination vehicles like road trains and B-double vehicles. A holder of an MC licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class HC and lower.
ClassTypeDescription
MRMedium Rigid licenceCovers a rigid vehicle with 2 axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. A holder of a MR licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class LR and lower.
HRHeavy Rigid licenceCovers a rigid vehicle with 3 or more axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. This class also includes articulated buses. A holder of an HR licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class MR and lower.
HCHeavy Combination licenceCovers heavy combination vehicles like a prime mover towing a semi-trailer, or rigid vehicles towing a trailer with a GVM of more than 9 tonnes. A holder of an HC licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class HR and lower.
MCMulti-Combination licenceCovers multi-combination vehicles like road trains and B-double vehicles. A holder of an MC licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class HC and lower.

You can drive with either a driver licence issued to you in Australia or oversees

Driving in Australia
  • Foreign licences in English are considered valid for driving in Australia for visitors for three months
  • If your licence is not in English, an International driving permit which is issued in your home country before arrival in Australia is required.

You must learn the Australian way of driving

How to get learner licence in Australia

In Australia people drive on the left side of the road and the majority of vehicles have the steering wheel on their right side. Around 70% of Australian cars are automatic transmission.

The gear stick in a manual transmission is operated by the left hand. The arrangement of the pedals is standard worldwide. In most cars, the indicator (turn-signal) stalk will be on the right side of the steering wheel and the windscreen wiper stalk on the left side of the steering wheel.

All measurements of distances in Australia are in metres and kilometres, and speed in kilometres per hour. Driving conditions vary.

The roads within and between the cities and towns in Australia are sealed (paved) and well maintained, as are the main highways that join the state and territory capital cities. There are usually plenty of well marked rest areas on major highways, though these are usually very basic and do not always have toilet facilities.

Drivinf in Australia

1. Learner Driver Licence

If you have never had a licence before and you are at least 16 years old you need to get a Learner Driver Licence.

2. P1 Driver Licence

You can get this licence if you already have the Learner Licence and you pass the Driving Test on the road.

3. P2 Driver Licence

You can get this licence if you already have the P1 Licence and you pass the Driving Hazard Test on the computer.

4. Unrestricted Full Licence

You can get this licence if you already have the P2 Licence and you pass the Driving Hazard Test on the computer.

5. Forein Driver Licence

6. International Driving Permit

How many Kilometres of Roads In Australia?

There are 913,000 kilometres of Roads In Australia. 353,331 kilometres of the roads are paved and the rest, 559,669 roads are unpaved.

How Many Registered Cars In Australia?

There are more than 19.2 million registered motor vehicles in Australia as at 31 January 2018.

Freeways & Tolls

Speed cameras are used in all states and territories of Australia, with some states using hidden cameras, others preferring highly visible ones. The majority of the sates in Australia are very strict for speed limit enforcement, with mobile speed cameras hidden in unmarked vehicles such as SUV’s. These mobile cameras operate in all speed zones (suburban side streets to freeways/highways) and in some instances in both directions. Fixed overhead speed cameras are on some highways/freeways usually under overhead bridges or sign gantrys.

Car Parking

Speed cameras are used in all states and territories of Australia, with some states using hidden cameras, others preferring highly visible ones. The majority of the sates in Australia are very strict for speed limit enforcement, with mobile speed cameras hidden in unmarked vehicles such as SUV’s. These mobile cameras operate in all speed zones (suburban side streets to freeways/highways) and in some instances in both directions. Fixed overhead speed cameras are on some highways/freeways usually under overhead bridges or sign gantrys.

Enforcement

Speed cameras are used in all states and territories of Australia, with some states using hidden cameras, others preferring highly visible ones. The majority of the sates in Australia are very strict for speed limit enforcement, with mobile speed cameras hidden in unmarked vehicles such as SUV’s. These mobile cameras operate in all speed zones (suburban side streets to freeways/highways) and in some instances in both directions. Fixed overhead speed cameras are on some highways/freeways usually under overhead bridges.