Getting Around By Car

Driving around Melbourne is relatively easy, though inner suburbs can be rather crowded in peak hours, and often slow, particularly on roads serviced by trams. When a tram stops for passengers, vehicles must stop also until the tram begins to move. Major roads between cities and country towns are well signposted and of a high standard.

In Melbourne, one of the few unique driver idiosyncrasies is the hook turn where, on roads serviced by tram, cars turning right are required to do so from the left lane when a traffic light turns red. For comprehensive information about driving safely in Melbourne and Victoria, visit the VicRoads website. Alternatively, you can pick up a copy of the Victorian Road Traffic Handbook from bookshops and VicRoads offices. Fortunately, hook turns occur onto in the central business district, which is best avoided anyway unless you know your way around.

A driver's licence from your home state or country will usually suffice for up to three months in Australia, as long as it has photo identification and it is for the same class of vehicle you intend to drive. If you're staying more than three months, you'll need to get a Victorian drivers licence.

Melbourne has many parking metres and car parks, but parking in city centre is deliberately expensive to deter inner city driving and encourage the use of public transport, which is cheaper and often more convenient. Coin-operated meters are used for street parking. In the city, expect to pay at least $5 an hour, or from $15 upwards daily in a car parking station, although some offer discounts to moviegoers and shoppers.


Melbourne has a number of roads that afford fast travel by vehicle through our around Melbourne but a toll must be paid. These tollways are cashless, meaning that drivers must purchase a City Link pass before using these roads. Every time you enter a tollway, you are charged.

You can purchase a CityLink pass with cash at the CityLink Customer Centre, at participating Australia Post outlets, and selected newsagents. Special passes for visitors allow for unlimited travel on tollways over a set period of time, usually 24 hours or a weekend.

For further information on passes and costs, visit the City Link website. As buying and using passes is quite a hassle for many visitors to the city, you may find it easier to put up with the inconvenience of slower driving and avoid toll roads, than the hassle of using tollways.

This website is part of the Australia For Everyone network of travel and information websites.
Email Ph: 0412 879 698. Content © 2017, Australia For Everyone