Saturday 2 September 2023



For any teenager, getting a licence can be an exciting experience not to mention enjoying the freedom that comes with driving.  And for many, it’s seen as a rite of passage.  This can be somewhat challenging for parents who want their teen to get their licence, but also drive with confidence and stay safe on the road.  Statistically worldwide, road crashes represent the greatest cause of death for young people between 15 to 29 years old.   Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for new drivers to understand the road rules and how to control and drive a car responsibly.

So, are you ready to get started? It’s helpful to plan toward learning to drive and getting a licence.  Here are some steps to toward passing the driving test and driving safely on the road with confidence and reducing your risk of collision.

1. Learn the theory first.  You can download a copy of  ‘Your Keys to Driving in Queensland’ to get up to date information about road rules and licencing requirements. There is also a free on-line practice test containing 10 give way questions, and 20 road rule questions, which you could be asked.  This page includes a refresher of everyday driving rules.  Other resources are available through RACQ and Zutobi.

2. Pass a road rules test.  There are two ways to do this, either the PrepL on-line course or the written road rules test, a paper test that you can do in the TMR office. PrepL consists of interactive activities, videos and traffic scenarios covering driver attitude, signs, signals, road rules and sharing the road with others.  You can start PrepL as early as age 15yrs 11mths and proceed at your own pace. To be eligible to sit a written road rules test you must be at least 16 and attend a licence issuing centre.
3. Apply for a learner licence.  Once you turn 16, you can apply for a learner licence. Remember you are eligible for a learner licence provided you’ve passed the PrepL or written road rules test.  Whenever making an application for a licence, make sure you have evidence of identification. The cost of a 3-year learner licence as at 1 July 2023 is $75. You will receive a licence, a paper learner logbook unless you’d prefer the logbook app.  It’s possible to start with a paper logbook and transfer the recorded driving hours to the app.

4. Supervised logbook driving.  Once you have a learner licence, whether temporary paper one, or the real deal hard plastic one, you’re ready to start driving.  It might be reassuring to know that as a learner driver, you’re statistically in the lowest crash risk category.  That changes significantly once you’ve got your P’s however.  So, it’s kind of important to get the right practice and experience before you get your P’s. See notes below listing important things to know.  Booking with a reputable driver trainer would be very helpful at the beginning.

5. Hazard perception test.  The Hazard Perception Test or HPT  is an on-line test that measures your ability to predict and respond to dangerous driving situations and can be completed after you have held a learner licence for 6 months.  You’ll need to pass the HPT before you can do a driving test.  It’s actually OK to book a practical driving test before doing the HPT, but you must pass the HPT before your practical driving test. This a practice HPT test from the South Australian DIT, at least it gives you an idea of what to expect.

6. Book a practical driving test.  Booking a driving test is a fairly simple procedure.  You can either book your test on-line, or call QLD TMR on 132380.  It’s best to book well in advance to get the best appointment time and day that’s most suitable for you.  It’s OK to book a driving test before you complete your logbook and pass the HPT test, but you must pass the HPT test and have your logbook approved before the day of your driving test.

This video explains how to prepare for your driving test.  You might notice one or two driver errors in the video.


1. UNDERSTAND THE LAW.  There are serious penalties for driving under the influence of any substance, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt correctly.  TMR has an extensive list of offences with fines and demerit points.

2. GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR VEHICLE.  Make sure you know how to adjust things in your car, for example adjust the seat and steering wheel and adjust the mirrors to the optimum position.  Get familiar with all switches in the car. (headlight, indicator, wiper, washer, hazard light etc.)  Also, learn what the warning lights mean.  The car owner manual can be a very helpful resource.  For flat tyres, dead batteries etc, roadside assistance such as RACQ can also be helpful.

3. START WITH SOMETHING EASY.  If you’ve never driven before, learn how to get in the car and adjust everything including the seat, steering wheel and mirrors.  Learn how to start and switch off the engine as well as how to secure the vehicle.  Practice moving off from the side of the road and then also stopping safely on the side of the road before progressing onto left turns and then right turns.  Many people begin their driving experience with a reputable driver trainer.

4. DON’T FEEL PRESSURED.  You’ll encounter various situations in traffic where you may feel you’re holding up traffic.  For example, don’t feel pressured by the driver behind you to go faster unnecessarily.  Similarly, try to avoid hasty decisions at intersections because you’re being followed.  A calm attitude will be helpful later when encountering peer pressure.

5. DRIVE WITH PURPOSE.  Plan your driving trip to include a new or existing skill.  This could include take-offs & stopping smoothly, approaches & turns at intersections, roundabouts, turning at traffic lights, manoeuvres.  Start simple but try to broaden your skills with different locations and remember to reinforce existing skills.

6. REVIEW ROAD RULES.  Quiz yourself with road rules, it’s a brilliant way to be prepared for your next drive.  Also, check the meaning of the road signs you encounter when driving.  Some signs may appear similar but the meaning can be quite different.

7. LOG ALL YOUR DRIVES.  Remember to log every drive and make sure to fill in all details correctly – it can be difficult to correct later.  The more hours you drive, the more experience you will get.  Lessons with a reputable driver trainer will boost your skill level - each of the first 10 hours of driver training is calculated at 3 hours for each hour of training.




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