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Log book or test for getting a drivers’ licence in Canberra

By Hazel - 15 May 2011 14

Has anyone taken the one-off government test recently? Is it as stressful and scary as people say it is?

I heard people saying it is not uncommon to fail a few times! Are minor mistakes allowed?

I would really like to know what the criterias for general assessment are so that I know whether I should go for the log-book system instead.

Thanks a lot!

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Log book or test for getting a drivers’ licence in Canberra
modellinggirl 12:02 am 12 Jun 11

Give Mick Zvekic a call from Trek Driving!
0412425361

He’ll definitely be able to help you.
I got my licence with him in 7 lessons, my friend got it with him in 8.
He’s very understanding, good rates and an awesome guy!
He’s really good at teaching and with the 1-17, 1-21, final drive reviews, he was really good at keeping us calm!

Keijidosha 10:06 am 16 May 11

Jethro said :

There are any number of ways this system could be rorted. An instructor with a reputation for not passing people’s log books is going to lose customers pretty quick. Likewise, an instructor with a reputation for going easy on people is going to gain more customers. At the end of the day, an instructor cannot be in a position to provide an unbiased assessment of someone’s driving abilities. There is way too much of a conflict of interest there.

For the log book a driver is required to have a minimum number of lessons with a driving instructor in order to complete all competencies (from memory it is five or six). You are not required to use the same instructor for all lessons, so if you feel that you are being unfairly treated you can simply find a new instructor and carry over the completed competencies.

I fail to see a conflict of interest that would cause any more trouble than a Government driving tester that tilted towards leniency. My licence was aquired via log book when it was first introduced and I felt I learned more driving skills than I would have gained from my parents teaching me and then sitting a single test.

Innovation 9:48 am 16 May 11

I don’t think I can see anywhere in this thread whether a friend or relative would be available to teach you if you did the practical test method instead of the logbook. If you do have someone to teach you it really depends on how good a driver you think they are, how stressed they would get if they taught you and whether they are receptive to learning (from you pointing them out) from their own inevitable mistakes as they go along.

Some people are good, smooth and calm drivers and like to keep improving their driving skills. You can soon see if they are open to discussion/criticism by getting them to do the on-line road rules test and asking them random questions from the ACT Road Rules (all 400 pages of it) – nobody is perfect and you will both learn in the process. If the questiions and discussion don’t go well, get a driving instructor asap. Similarly if either of you are an emotional wreck after the first couple of lessons, get a driving instructor.

Solidarity 9:42 am 16 May 11

I did the logbook at it was a joke, the instructor would tick off anything for any reaon. I ended up passing after 5 lessons, and even though I had my P’s I was nowhere near ready to drive. Had to figure it all out teaching myself pretty much, which worked out fine, but the first few weeks were very shaky…

magiccar9 8:55 am 16 May 11

From personal experience avoid the Tuggeranong Shopfront at all costs for the one-off test. My first tester failed me because (and I quote) “You were about 3cm too close to the kerb” and “You were doing 78 in an 80 zone”. The second spent most of her time checking her makeup and hair in the passenger visor mirror, passing me easily…

I found it best to get a few lessons from an instructor to polish some things you might be having trouble with. Then go for the test. It also takes away the nerves from having a random person with you.

Jethro 6:46 am 16 May 11

spiderinsider said :

Jethro said :

wait, wait, wait, wait….. in Canberra there is a way to get your license without passing a government test? (I couldn’t quite believe this, so went to the transport authority site and it appears this is correct).

In every other jurisdiction I know of you have to complete a log book AND pass a government test.

No wonder people can’t drive here.

My mind is officially blown.

Er – no. In SA, you can get a licence based purely on a log book type record, not a practical test (http://www.mylicence.sa.gov.au/l_plater). And some other jurisdictions (eg the NT) allow you to sit a practical test without any need to use a log book.

Personally, I went the log book and thought it was useful – I had to do everything three times before it got ticked off, which meant I really had to be able to do it, rather than just fluking it once.

Hence why I said ‘I know of’…. I’m sorry, but a log book with skills being ticked off by an instructor that you are paying is not the same as a test by an outside 3rd party. Clearly the log book is seen as the easier route to a license, hence the OP and a number of comments on the thread about it being easier to pass the log book.

There are any number of ways this system could be rorted. An instructor with a reputation for not passing people’s log books is going to lose customers pretty quick. Likewise, an instructor with a reputation for going easy on people is going to gain more customers. At the end of the day, an instructor cannot be in a position to provide an unbiased assessment of someone’s driving abilities. There is way too much of a conflict of interest there.

A high pressure test is much, much different to a process of acquiring a license through a log book.

random 9:45 pm 15 May 11

Jethro said :

In every other jurisdiction I know of you have to complete a log book AND pass a government test.

The ACT “log book” is nothing like in other jurisdictions. It’s a competency-based assessment system; the instructor checks off individual competencies, then you have a final review which is fairly similar to the government driving test — leeway on minor issues, but miss an important one, like a give way rule or a stop sign, and you instantly fail. Instructors are accredited and auditors ride along on the final review fairly often.

But my driving instructor complained bitterly about the fact that learners aren’t required to log 100 hours of practice (or whatever) like they do elsewhere.

I know several people who passed the government test first time.

spiderinsider 6:00 pm 15 May 11

Jethro said :

wait, wait, wait, wait….. in Canberra there is a way to get your license without passing a government test? (I couldn’t quite believe this, so went to the transport authority site and it appears this is correct).

In every other jurisdiction I know of you have to complete a log book AND pass a government test.

No wonder people can’t drive here.

My mind is officially blown.

Er – no. In SA, you can get a licence based purely on a log book type record, not a practical test (http://www.mylicence.sa.gov.au/l_plater). And some other jurisdictions (eg the NT) allow you to sit a practical test without any need to use a log book.

Personally, I went the log book and thought it was useful – I had to do everything three times before it got ticked off, which meant I really had to be able to do it, rather than just fluking it once.

Mr Waffle 4:20 pm 15 May 11

I’d say go log book, because as above, the more instruction you get before you go out on your own the better… and learning from your parents sets a terrible example (after I got my licence it drove me crazy being a passenger in my dad’s car, I couldn’t help but correct the constant mistakes and bad habits he has).

Jethro 4:02 pm 15 May 11

wait, wait, wait, wait….. in Canberra there is a way to get your license without passing a government test? (I couldn’t quite believe this, so went to the transport authority site and it appears this is correct).

In every other jurisdiction I know of you have to complete a log book AND pass a government test.

No wonder people can’t drive here.

My mind is officially blown.

Disinformation 2:00 pm 15 May 11

I would say that about 99 percent of people I know who are legally old enough to drive, have their driving license.
Would you consider that it was a difficult thing to achieve?
Why stress about any tests for it?
Actually, I think that I’ve only met 3 people who don’t have their licence but could have them. One just only bothered to learn to drive when he went to live in the USA. One chick had psychological issues from a pushbike accident as a child. The other lives with a guy who she thinks is happy to drive her everywhere.

The chances that you’ll be able to gain a drivers license are pretty overwhelmingly in favour of you achieving it.

Very Busy 11:04 am 15 May 11

My daughter got her “P”s last year through doing the Government test. She failed on her first attempt but passed on her second attempt. On her first attempt she slightly mucked up her reverse park. On her hill start she left the car in neutral when she attempted to move off. These were things that she had perfected long before doing the test but she was just so incredibly nervous on the day that she made mistakes. The examiner told me at the end that he knew how nervous she was and he was sure she was good enough but he was obligated to fail her on that occasion. There is a big build up to doing the test after many months of learning so you may struggle a bit if you’re the nervous type.

I specifically wanted to teach her myself because I believe that there are some drawbacks to the logbook system. Firstly, I have seen some pretty terrible examples of driving by some driving school instructors (not indicating, cutting off other drivers, speeding etc). Also, what is to stop them from not passing learners on competencies so that they get more income from forcing extra lessons.

It is hard to advise because we don’t know how well your parents drive and what their attitude is like but I hope the above info helps.

LegalNut 10:22 am 15 May 11

Those I know that did the test passed on either their first or second go. The examiners have some leeway to pass you with minor mistakes and the test isn’t that expensive. While it is easier to pass the logbook, it takes longer and costs more.

I think that the value for money approach is to use parents as the primary instructor, pay for three or so lessons with a professional to polish your driving skills and then do the government test. If you get a good instructor, they will even take you to drive one of the common test routes you you get a feel for exactly what you have to do.

cegee 10:06 am 15 May 11

i would suggest log book, simply because of the fact that you gain experience with an expert and you’ll be up to date with current road rules. if you’re learning from parents/friends etc they usually have outdated knowledge and bad habits. log book can be a bit pricey but if definitely worth it. you should look up Pinnacle Driving school – i learned with them, as did my siblings and a fair amount of my friends – really great bunch of drivers.

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