How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive In Australia

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: March 3, 2022
How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive In Australia

No matter in which part of the world you are, you need to have a driver’s license to be able to drive a vehicle, and to attain this important document, you need to attain a certain age. Different countries have different age requirements to be eligible for driving. As far as Australia is concerned, here at oneHOWTO, we will tell you how old do you have to be to drive in Australia.

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Age requirements for driving in Australia

Different territories and states of Australia have differing driving age requirements. Therefore you should note the following:

  • You should be at least 18 years for driving in Victoria
  • 16 years for driving in South Australia
  • 16 and a half years for driving in Australian Northern Territory
  • 17 years for driving in other Australian states and ACT

We should highlight that, under supervision, a learner driver can drive from 16 years in the Northern Territory and other states of the country, and 15 years 9 months for driving in ACT.

Stages to pass before you get a driver’s license

Once you reach the specified age limit in your area, you will need to get a learner’s permit first, then progress to a probationary, provisional or restricted license, and then finally receive a full driver’s license. You will have to display a P-plate on your vehicle for some time, as required by Australian law.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive In Australia - Stages to pass before you get a driver’s license

How to get an Australian driver’s license

To get a learner license, you need to reach specified age limit, and complete a learner license course, called as the Road Ready Learner License course. You will be called at the license authority at a specified date, where you will have to pass an eye test, submit your certificate of the course, and give your identity proof.

· Once you attain your learner license, you will have to display an L-plate on your vehicle, and always drive with a full driver’s license holder next to you. Click here to know how to overcome fear of driving. You will have to drive with a learner license for at least 6 months in ACT, and may vary in other parts of Australia, after which you can apply for a provisional license.

· A provisional license is valid for 3 years in ACT, and may vary in other parts of Australia, after which you can apply for a full learner’s license

· A full learner’s license is also valid for a certain number of years, after which you will have to renew it

How to plan a road trip around Australia

If you are old enough to drive in Australia, maybe you wondering because you want to plan a road trip around the country. From the coast to the outback, the Australian road trip is the best way to experience the vast landscape and breathtaking scenery the country has to offer. Australia is full of vibrant cities, rich indigenous heritage sites, beautiful beaches, stunning deserts, lush rainforests and rocky mountains. With all of this on offer, it can be hard to know where to even begin planning your road trip.

How Long Will the Trip Take?

Australia is the seventh largest country on the planet and has a land mass of about 7.6 million square kilometers. This is a massive distance to cover and, if you want to see everything, you're not going to be able to fit it all in a week. Realistically, your road trip will take however long you want it to - depending your time and resources.

We suggest starting to plan your trip along Highway One. Highway One circumnavigates the continent and joins all the mainland state capitals. At around 14,500 kilometres, it is one of the longest national highways in the world. But don't let the distance intimidate you, it can be done!

To drive around the continent on Highway One with minimal stops will take you about one month, factoring in a 20 hour return ferry trip to include Tasmania (Because you haven't experienced all of Australia without visiting Tasmania!)

Making slight detours from Highway One to see more of the sights will lengthen your trip. Also, if you want to experience different climatic conditions in the north and south of the continent three months would be a more suitable timeframe.

To fit in seeing the big cities, some smaller communities and the main tourist sights will involve more detouring from Highway One and, if you want the option to spend extra days here and there without the pressure of any deadline, six months is a better timeframe.

Ultimately, to see and experience everything the country has to offer at your leisure, we recommend dedicating 12 months to complete the trip. Having more time gives you free reign on your travels and gives you the freedom of changing your plans as you go along.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive In Australia - How Long Will the Trip Take?

Deciding Where to Start

Australia's climate varies massively depending on the season and whether youre in the north or the south. We recommend spending the summer in the south and winter in the north, so as not to get stuck driving a car in the extreme summer heat.

What to Pack

Consider the season you're travelling in. For a longer trip, you will need to pack clothing for all climates. This is a guide of the average temperatures in cities on the north, central and southern coasts so you can plan what to pack accordingly.


  • Summer: 30°C
  • Winter: 17°C


  • Summer: 26°C
  • Winter: 16°C


  • Summer: 25°C
  • Winter: 14°C

Tip: The Australian sun is harsh so don't forget the sunscreen!

Australia has notoriously strict border control. Because Australia is essentially a large island, they have particular quarantine procedures to protect their biosecurity and prevent the outbreak of diseases from the introduction of any unwanted plant, animal and bacterial species. For these reasons, do not pack:

  • Animals, animal products such as drums, treated skins, hides, furs or feathers - if these items don't pass quarantine requirements they may be destroyed - so play it safe and leave it at home.
  • Food - There are limits placed on packaged snacks and meals, dairy and egg products, meat, poultry and seafood, nuts and seeds, fruit and vegetables.

A full list can be accessed on the Australian Government's Agricultural website.

You will also need to bring certain official documents on the road with you. These include:

How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive In Australia - What to Pack

How to Get a Car

For a relatively short roadtrip, you can rent a car in Australia with one of the major car rental companies such as Europcar, AVIS, Budget, Hertz, or Thrifty (to name a few). However we recommend buying a cheap, second-hand car for your trip. This will give you more freedom and will save you money. You can find second-hand cars, vans and caravans on the following websites:

  • Gumtree
  • Caravancampingsales
  • Travelwheels
  • Britz
  • Cars4backpackers

We hope you have found this oneHOWTO article on how to plan your road trip around Australia useful. Now you have the basic information on where to start you can continue planning or keep it spontaneous. Either way, you are the captain of your own ship. Happy travels!

If you want to read similar articles to How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive In Australia, we recommend you visit our Cars category.

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