Finding practice time

The single best protective measure for safe P-plate driving is meaningful driving experience on Ls, which requires lots and lots of driving. This page suggests ways you can handle this part of your challenge and includes tips for finding practice time.

The more driving your learner driver does on Ls the more protected they will be on Ps.

You probably agree there is a benefit, but it may also seem to come at a cost when you consider the time and effort involved.

The table below is designed to help you reflect on the costs and benefits of helping your son, daughter, friend, or student get lots of experience.

Consider what you think and feel about the costs and benefits that people talk about:


Thoughts about Possible costs Possible benefits Helping learner drivers gain much experience Giving up precious time I feel I don’t have. It’s effort and energy I may not have. It will cost me money, e.g. fuel. It could be inconvenient. It sounds very stressful for lots of reasons. Any other thoughts…? They’ll be much safer when they get their P’s. It will show them how much I care and how important I believe it is. It’s a great opportunity to build our relationship. I can make it high-quality time. I’ll know I’ve done my best. I’ll learn lots, too, about myself, my learner, and driving. Any other thoughts…? Not helping learner drivers gain much experience I could find myself living every parent’s worst nightmare. My kids or someone else’s could be hurt for life. I could have to look after them for life. I couldn’t handle the repair bills and extra expense. I get time to do what I want to do. It's easier to send them to someone else to get their hours up. It’s less stressful. It’s less expensive. Any other thoughts…?

Here are some tips that may help you find more practice time:

  • Consider having trustworthy friends provide practice opportunities.
  • To make practice more efficient, plan the practice drives over breakfast and debrief over dinner.
  • Test the time it takes your learner driver to drive somewhere and compare it to the time it takes you. It’s likely that the difference will be smaller than you think.
  • If you have to drive, your learner driver can still practise most driving skills from the passenger seat. Encourage them to direct you and take some responsibility for making decisions.
  • If you have to drive or feel it’s safer that you drive, perhaps you don’t have to drive all the way. Build in time to swap seats and let your learner drive when and where appropriate.

Next: a 'before you drive' checklist

Keys2drive is an Australian Government-funded program providing learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with a Keys2drive accredited professional driving instructor