Young man in the drivers seat with an instructor as the passenger.

Learning to drive

Advice to help learner drivers get their Victorian driver licence and supervisors to guide them

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Advice for learner drivers and their supervisors

In the first year of driving, the risk of young drivers crashing is almost 4 times higher than an experienced driver. There are things you can do as a learner or supervisor to reduce the risk of being involved in a crash.

Read our advice on navigating Victoria’s licensing system, getting enough hours of practice, and supervising a learner driver.

Driving resources

Learn to drive with one of Victoria’s oldest driving schools, helping educate learners for more than 60 years.

Risks for young drivers

Drivers aged 18-25 make up 18% of Victorian drivers killed on the roads, according to The TAC.

Factors that contribute to this road statistic include:

  • inexperience
  • poor decision-making
  • willingness to take risks while driving
  • the influence of peer passengers
  • alcohol and drug use.

Victoria’s graduated licensing system

The graduated licensing system was introduced to help improve the road safety of younger drivers, who are over-represented in deaths and serious injuries.

The graduated licensing system involves:

  • learners logging 120 hours (minimum) of supervised driving experience, including 20 hours of night driving
  • completing an on-road driving test and a digital hazard perception test
  • two-stage probationary licence
    • if you’re under 21 when you get your probationary licence, you’ll become a P1 licence holder (red P plates) for one-year minimum.
    • if you’re over 21 when you get your probationary licence, you’ll become a P2 licence holder (green P plates) for 3 years minimum.
  • P1 & P2 driving restrictions (such as passenger restrictions and additional restrictions on mobile phone usage).

Learn more about the system at VicRoads.

Why learner drivers need 120 hours practice

Learner drivers under 21 need to log at least 120 hours of supervised driving, including 20 hours of night driving, in the MyLearners app or a logbook.

Building experience in different conditions and locations will better prepare you for driving safely on your own.

  • Think about the trips you already make each week and schedule these as practice sessions with your supervisor. Factor in a little more time for the journey.
  • Practice driving in a range of conditions to build your experience:
    • weather conditions – dry, wet, stormy, foggy
    • light conditions – daytime, night-time, dawn, dusk
    • traffic conditions – light, moderate, heavy
    • road types – residential, divided/undivided, freeways, highways, roads with trams, CBD Melbourne/regional centres, rural roads, gravel roads.
  • Schedule additional practice sessions with your supervisor that focus on improving particular aspects of your driving and not just getting from point A to B
  • Don’t try to tackle all aspects of driving at once. A staged approach to driving practice should be considered. Refer to my learners app or for more tips on following a staged approach.

How to supervise a learner driver

Learners need to be supervised by an experienced driver. To supervise a learner, you must:

  • have a current full driver licence (non-probationary) and carry it with you
  • have a licence for the type of vehicle you are supervising in
  • have a blood alcohol reading of no more that 0.05

Supervising drivers must sit next to the learner at all times.

  • Limit distractions such as music and GPS navigation when learners a first starting and slowly introduce as their skills increase
  • Plan drives to match the learner's skill level and experience.
  • Give directions for turning, going or slowing well ahead of time
  • Use simple and concise language so your learner can focus on the road
  • If situations occur or the learner needs more information, pull over to a safe location for further discussion so they can focus on the discussion whilst not having to concentrate on driving
  • Give your leaner positive feedback, praising them when they do things well
  • Start each driving session with a review of what happened on the last drive.
  • Talk about the skills and conditions you’ll be tackling on your drive to help prepare them for what they will encounter.
  • Drive in less complex conditions until their confidence and competence improves.
  • Don’t introduce too many things too quickly.
  • Don't force your learner to drive at speeds faster than they feel comfortable with.
  • Get your learner to describe what they’re doing, planning to do, what they can see ahead and so on as they drive. This is called commentary driving and it helps the learner work through what they’re thinking and doing.
  • Dealing with hazards on the road can be stressful – don’t continue if you or the learner is upset. Stop and wait until everyone is calm.
  • Avoid using your phone when supervising. Keep focused on the learner and road at all times.
  • Phrase feedback constructively by using ‘I’ phrases, such as, “In a situation like this I would...
  • Mistakes happen. Be mindful not to blame the driver and try to encourage them to learn from what happened.
  • When something goes wrong, ask your learner how they might’ve handled the situation differently.

Visit VicRoads for more supervising driver tips

More resources

VicRoads resources

Get your Road to Solo Driving learner handbook or find out about the mentor program.


Learn more about the MyLearners app where learners and supervisors can log their hours.

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