Auckland Transport

Young drivers

Young drivers make up a large part of crash statistics and Auckland Transport wants to help reduce this number. We work with schools, the local community and regional agencies to help change young driver behaviour.

Learner driver workshops

Find out about and register for our free learner driver workshops to get ready to sit your learner licence.

Workshops are for Auckland residents only.


Crash statistics for young drivers

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for New Zealand teenagers aged 16-24. Between 2011 and 2015, 360 crashes in the Auckland region involved drivers between 16 and 24. 37 people died and 323 were injured.

Key crash facts and statistics*

  • In 2015 young drivers (aged between 15 and 24 years) were involved in 90 fatal traffic crashes and 579 serious injury crashes. These crashes resulted in 80 deaths, with 548 people being seriously injured.
  • The total social cost of the crashes in which the youth drivers had the primary responsibility, was $951 million.
  • Between 2013 and 2015, 71 percent of the passengers who died in vehicles driven by young at-fault drivers were in the 15 to 24 year old age group.

*NZTA Crash Analysis System (CAS) Data


Rules for learner, restricted and full licenses*

The NZ graduated licencing system has 3 stages: learner, restricted and full.

If you drive without a licence, you risk a fine of $400. Also, if you are driving outside your licence conditions and have crash, your insurance may not be valid.

On your restricted, you are 10 times more likely to crash when you have passengers than if you are driving alone. This risk increases when the passengers are a similar age to you.

If you’re under 20 years of age, there is a zero alcohol limit when driving. This means if you drive after consuming just one drink, you can be charged with drink-driving (this could also affect you the day after a big night out).

Learner licence

To apply for a learner licence you must be at least 16 years old.

  • You must display “L” plates on the front and rear end of your car.
  • Failure to display “L” plates could result in 35 demerit points and a fine of $100.
  • You must be supervised by someone who has had a full licence for at least 2 years.
  • 120 hours of driving experience is recommended before sitting your restricted licence test.

Restricted licence

To apply for your restricted you must have held your learner licence for at least 6 months.

  • You can drive on your own between 5am and 10pm.
  • You must not carry passengers unless you have a supervisor with you. Your supervisor must have held their full licence for at least 2 years. The only passengers you can carry without a supervisor are:
    • Your husband/wife or civil union partner (for those over 18, a de facto partner may also travel with you)
    • Children who live with you and are under the care of you or your spouse
    • Your parent or guardian
    • Someone you look after as their primary caregiver
  • Breaching any of the conditions of your licence could result in 35 demerit points and a fine of $100.

Full licence

You must have held your restricted licence for 18 months before you can apply for your full licence.

If you have completed an approved advanced driving skills course, this is reduced to 12 months.

* This information is a general guide only. It is not the source of the law.


Information for parents

You are a major influence on the driving behaviour of your young driver. Teaching them the skills they need to become a safe and competent driver will help reduce their chances of having an accident in their first years of driving alone.

If possible, also engage a professional driving instructor for at least a part of their training.

Safe Teen Driver provides some free tools to empower and support parents to help keep their teens safe on the roads.

Practice.co.nz has tools and resources to help learner drivers pass their restricted test the first time.


Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD)

SADD is a peer-education programme that has been in New Zealand for almost 20 years. The primary objective of SADD is to reduce the harm caused on our roads by drink drivers. The education programme is run in secondary schools by students, independent of the school curriculum, and is open to any student from any year.

For more information about SADD, visit www.sadd.org.nz.


For more information

Contact Auckland Transport