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Driving on private land without a licence – you can, and you should!

If you’re lucky enough to have private land, then yes you can legally drive on it without a driving licence, even if you’re a minor.

There are some important considerations, and legal implications if you crash the vehicle and injure someone, so you must use care, but other than that I highly recommend it. In this article about driving on private land without a licence I’ll tell you exactly why.

Why you should drive on private land without a licence

If you’re a learner, or a minor who cannot legally drive on Australian roads, what better way to become familiar with a car than driving on private land?

For many of us, especially those of us who live in cities, the option of driving a car in a backyard isn’t an option, and it’s a shame.

I was lucky to learn how to drive on private land at the age of 14. My Dad had access to a disused airfield, and before long I not only had the skills to drive a car, but the confidence to drive on public roads. My official driving lessons were a breeze, and I passed my driving test with flying colours.

I never had to deal with the fear of learning to drive in an environment where I could crash into other road users, or people, cyclists, or bottle-o’s.

The other benefit of learning to drive on private land is zero paperwork. Save that licence application for later, and simply enjoy the wonders of driving.

If you don’t have acres of private land, is there a farm, industrial yard, or nearby wealthy land owner who you can sweet talk into using their land on Sundays?

Important considerations for driving on private land without a licence

In Australia, the legality of driving on private land without a license largely depends on the specific circumstances and local regulations. However, when it comes to Australian road laws and driver licencing regulations these will not apply when driving on private property.

But, and there’s always a but, you should take into account the following important considerations:

Make sure you have permission from the land owner

Even if the property belongs to a family friend or parents, you must have their permission. Land owners have the authority to set their own rules and restrictions, and any damage caused by bad driving can cause anything from a simple dispute to a court hearing.


All vehicles are dangerous, and driving on private property often gives us free reign to hoon, drive recklessly, or put the safety of us and others in danger. You are also at risk of damaging the vehicle or property.

Safety should always be a priority, so use common sense. Avoid injuries and accidents, and always act with caution and responsibility.

Age restrictions

Although you may not need a driver’s license to drive on private property, age restrictions for operating motor vehicles may still apply. For instance, children under the legal driving age may need adult supervision. If you’re a parent and are happy for your child to drive a vehicle on private land, then it is strong encouraged you supervise them. If you don’t, and they get hurt, you may find yourself in court.


Growing up we’re usually aware of all the local private land which you can access with a vehicle. In Australia it is usually possible to take a 4X4 through vast sections of privately owned land rarely frequented by the owner. It can be tempting to drive without a licence on this land, for learning purposes or sh*ts and giggles, but note this is trespassing, and trespassing is illegal.

Environmental concerns

Always be mindful of any environmental impact you may have, even if the land you drive on is privately owned. This is especially the case in Australia, and more so when off-roading, which can damage the land and local ecosystems.

Local regulations

Although this article covers driving on private land without a licence in general for Australia, local council regulations and zoning laws may affect whether you can drive on private property and what you can do there. I recommend you investigate by contacting or viewing the website of local authorities, and also the landowner who should be aware of any relevant laws.

Vehicle registration on private land

Private land use usually doesn’t require vehicle registration.

So, if you don’t have a drivers licence, and the vehicle isn’t registered (or even roadworthy), then you can take pleasure in feeling rebellious without doing anything wrong.

But, take precautions if the non-roadworthiness of the vehicle is a safety concern.

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