How the VicRoads joint venture will impact Victorian drivers

Melbourne roads

Tom Hounslow

Posted July 04, 2022

A consortium has agreed to pay $7.9 billion to enter a joint venture with the Victorian government to partly operate VicRoads for the next 40 years. Here’s how it may impact you.

Novice drivers will soon be able to complete their online Probationary and Learner tests for free, with safe drivers also getting a 25 per cent discount off the cost of their license renewal as part of a $7.9 billion deal with the State government.

As outlined in the deal announced on June 30, a consortium will operate the Registration and Licensing (R&L) and Custom Plates (CP) arms of VicRoads for the next 40 years. However, the State government will retain control of drivers’ data and privacy, pricing regulation of fees and services, and all regulation and policy changes.

“RACV is supportive of measures announced today that will see reduced licensing and online testing costs and reward safe driver behaviour,” said RACV Head of Policy, James Williams.

“The reintroduction of a 25 per cent licence renewal discount for safe drivers in Victoria is welcomed by the RACV. Road safety improves when all drivers travel safely and an incentive such as this helps reduce road trauma and keeps Victorians safe.”

VicRoads’ R&L division is responsible for licensing more than five million drivers across Victoria, along with maintaining the registration of more than six million cars, motorbikes, commercial vehicles and trailers.

woman driving car in traffic

Safe drivers will be rewarded with a 25 per cent discount on the license renewal fee. Image: Getty.

The fine print

The consortium - comprised of superannuation funds Aware Super and Australian Retirement Trust, along with global asset manager Macquarie Asset Management – will bolster VicRoads’ IT infrastructure and operations as part of a joint venture.

“The Consortium has the experience and capability to support VicRoads on its next stage of development by driving high standards of service delivery and customer experience,” said Frank Kwok, Head of Macquarie Asset Management’s Real Assets business in Asia-Pacific. “We are excited by the opportunity to invest in Victoria and to work with the Victorian Government to deliver new and innovative services to the community.”

The deal will see the consortium manage the R&L and CP arms of VicRoads for the next 40 years which will then revert back to the control of the state government unless a further agreement is made.

While the consortium has agreed to pay $7.9 billion up front, it is not clear at this point exactly how they will recoup their investment, but it is understood they will charge the Victorian government a percentage of transactions made.

No existing jobs will be lost as part of the new deal, with the Victorian Ombudsman and Victorian Information Commissioner to provide oversight of the joint venture.

The proceeds of the $7.9 billion deal will see the State government ease some of the financial pressure and mounting debt caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be invested into the new Victorian Future Fund to help manage climbing debt and invest in future projects.

“It’s a terrific start for the Victorian Future Fund, which will deliver major benefits for Victorians as we continue to recover strongly from the shocks of the pandemic,” said Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas.


Learner driver entering car

Learner and Probationary drivers will save $51.40 and $133.40 respectively. Image: Getty.

Safe Driver Discount program

As part of the agreement for the new joint venture, new incentives and discounts will be rolled out to existing and aspiring motorists to both make access to getting a license easier, and staying safe once getting it.

Safe driving incentive

The Safe Driver Discount program will reward good behaviour behind the wheel to those who avoid breaking road laws.

License holders of all car, motorcycle, and heavy vehicles who are able to maintain a clean driving record and not lose any demerit points (or break road safety offences) for three years prior to the time of their licence renewal will receive a 25 per cent discount on their next renewal.

This latest incentive will be introduced in late October of 2022 and will be in place until 2026.

Learner permits

In order to acquire a Learners Drivers permit, applicants need to complete the Learner Permit Test, which can be completed online or in person.

To date, aspiring drivers or rides would need to pay a Learner Permit Test Online fee of $25.40 and a Learner Permit Issues fee of $26 upon successful completion. Both fees will be waived, saving Victorians a total of $51.40.

Aspiring Learner drivers who attend their Learner Permit Test in person will still be required to pay a $19.60 Appointment fee, $25.40 Learner Permit Test In-person test fee, or a Motorcycle Learner Test fee which is completed through individual training providers.

Car Learner Permit Renewal fees as well as Licence Replacement fees will also remain.

Probationary license

To graduate from a Learner to Probationary driver, people must complete three requirements – an eyesight test, the Hazard Perception Test, and the Drive Test. 

As part of the new Safe Driver Discount program, the $19.40 Hazard Perception Test fee and the $113.90 Probationary Licence Issue fee will both be made free of charge.

Though drivers will be able to save $133.30, they will still need to fork out $105.70 to pay for an Appointment fee, In-person test fee, Drive Test fee, and a Drive Test appointment fee.

Additionally, Probationary car drivers who under 25 years of age can receive a free three-year full driver licence, if they are able to maintain a good driving record throughout their entire probationary period.

Safe drivers who have not incurred demerit points or committed road safety offences in the three years prior to their licence expiring, will be rewarded with the reintroduction of a 25 per cent discount on their licence renewal.


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