How To Start Drifting In Australia | A Beginners Guide

Drifting is genuinely one of the most exciting activities you can experience if you’re into driving and other extreme sports. Driving a fast car and busting out a sideways drift is just exhilarating. Plus, the technique required to pull off a drift will make you feel so cool when you finally nail it. 

Many people hesitate to learn how to start drifting in Australia, but it’s really not that complicated once you know where to begin your drifting journey.

Anyone can start drifting! If you don’t have your own drift car, you can visit and sign up for one of several drifting schools in Australia. They can provide you with everything you need, including a vehicle, lessons, and a place to practice. You will learn from the pros and connect with beginners just like yourself. 

Joining a drifting school isn’t just about the technique. You also get to be a member of a community of people who all love drift driving as much as you do. You get to meet new people, make friends and kick off a new high-speed hobby all at the same time.

Read on to learn how to get into drifting in Australia!

How Do I Get Started Drifting In Australia?

Getting started is easy. If you want to learn how to start drifting in Australia, you might want to learn all about drifting first. You could start by watching actual drifting videos or, better yet, show up and watch a drifting event. 

If you want to try drifting, you’ll need a car capable of drifting, a coach, and a practice spot. An article like this is a great way to find out how to get started in drifting, but the only way to really learn how to do it is to go out and start learning for real!

1. Show Up and Watch A Drifting Event

There are lots of different drifting events in Australia. Showing up at an actual event is an excellent way to familiarise yourself with drifting and what it actually looks like. Some people like to compete when drifting, but others just want to be amongst it and enjoy the high octane thrill of drifting!

The types of events you may come across are different depending on where you go. Then, of course, you have your drift competitions, races, and sometimes—you can attend drifting demos where pros exhibit their incredible talents. Attending events will not only show you how drifting happens in person, but it will also give you some idea of what type of drifting you want to learn, especially if you are already thinking about it.

2. Learn To Drift From An Expert Coach

The safest way to learn how to drift in Australia is to find a professional coach. In life, when it comes to trying a new hobby or learning a new skill, a lot of people will say, “just go for it” or “just give it a try.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to drifting, as it can be pretty dangerous. The only real way is to go through a drift school near you and work with a trained professional. 

First of all, not every car works for drifting, and you need to find a suitable location. Your vehicle might even need a few modifications for it even to be able to drift. You’ll also need to learn how to drift properly, which is hard to learn from a video or by reading an article. That’s why it’s best to learn from an expert. By enrolling in a drift school, you will be provided with a car you can practice with and a track where you can practice legally in the safest possible way. 

Plus, you’ll receive proper drifting lessons, from the basics to the most advanced drift techniques. Drifting is quite an extreme sport, and it requires the appropriate level of procedure to make sure you aren’t learning bad habits that could cause an accident down the road.

3. Find A Drift Car

We recommend finding a coach or enrolling at a school where you can rent a drift car to get you started, which is an excellent way to start. Especially if you aren’t sure whether or not drifting is the hobby for you yet; however, if you enjoy drifting and want to turn it into a lifelong hobby, then you should definitely consider starting to build a drift car.

The ideal car for drifting is one with a manual gearbox. You will also need to make the necessary interior and exterior modifications to make your drifting machine as safe as possible. The most common cars that pros and amateurs use for drifting included the Nissan 200Xs Silvia, Nissan Skyline GTS, Lancer EVO, BMW M3, and the Toyota Supra

What do these cars have in common? First, they are all rear-wheel drive vehicles with a low centre of gravity that creates better velocity when getting into a drift and more control when going sideways coming out of faster speeds. 

Before you ask—you can’t drift effectively on an automatic car or a four-wheel drive. You might be able to lose enough traction to pull off some sideways motion, but it wouldn’t be the same as using a Rear-Wheel-Drive vehicle. 

4. Fit-out Your Drift Car

Now that you have your drift car fitted with all the additions you need, it’s time to fit it out and get comfortable. While you fit out your drift car, it’s always best to put safety first. When fitting out your new drift car, there’s a basic checklist of things you need, starting with:

✔ New, working handbrake
✔ Comfortable bucket seat
✔ Coil-over suspension
✔ Mechanical limited slip differential
✔ Gearbox for a manual car (not automatic!)

Of course it’s always best to talk to a professional if you’re unsure. Contacting any of your local motorsports tracks or drift schools is the best way to get in touch with someone who knows what’s what. Even better, you could head down to one of their open nights and meet them face to face!

Make sure you get a helmet and race gloves to maintain a firm grip on the wheel. Some people also wear racing boots for better pedal control. 

5. Join In On Drifting Practice Sessions

Now that you are entirely comfortable with your drift car, you can join drifting practice sessions at your local racetrack. But first, you might want to stock up on spare tires because drifting involves wearing out a ton of tires.

Before you can master the art of drifting—you’ll make a lot of mistakes. Even pros make mistakes, and it’s perfectly normal, so do not get discouraged if you can’t master doing doughnuts at first. Everyone starts as a newbie, and local drift communities are about as encouraging as they get. With schools having drifters of all skill levels, there’s always someone around to give you some advice or just some encouragement.

The best way to practice is being behind the wheel. Yes, learning the theory of drifting can help, but being behind the wheel and actually trying to drift is the best way to learn. Once you build up the confidence, you can work on different drift techniques and building up speed.

6. Improve Your Technique With Advanced Drift Coaching

At this point, you already know the basics of drifting and are honing your strengths. At this point, you should be looking into more advanced drifting techniques by spending one on one time with a personal drifting coach. 

When you enrol in drifting coaching sessions, a pro can help you improve your weaknesses or expand your skills to more advanced techniques. Even if you are somewhat good at drifting, enrolling at a drift school is still a good idea to further enhance what you know and further build relationships with other drifters. It’s only going to be more and more helpful as you progress in your journey as a drift driver. 

7. Attend Casual Drifting Events And Festivals

To get to know more people in the world of drifting, attending casual events is a fun activity to do, especially if you are into drifting. Attending these events will also let you in on the things you need to know if you ever want to build a drift car and conquer drift competitions yourself.

Taking the step from practice sessions to attending a casual event can feel like a big step. If you have doubts about your technical skill, keep working with coaches until you feel confident enough to attend. 

On the other hand, don’t stress about casual events too much. Everyone is there for the same reason, to spend time doing something you all love, drifting! 

8. Find A Competitive Drifting Event To Enter

Why did you get into drifting? It probably wasn’t about winning competitions and holding trophies. Instead, most people get into drifting for the personal fulfilment you feel after executing the perfect drift. 

However, winning matches, getting sponsored, and getting free stuff because of your skill is just as exciting! But before you can get into proper competitions, your vehicle will need the necessary upgrades to meet the standard regulations.

Drift Schools In Australia

If you want proper drifting lessons and want to learn the correct way, getting training from drift schools in Australia is always best. Here are some of the leading drift schools where you can get drifting lessons if you ever want your shot at becoming a pro drifter.

Drift School WA

Drift School WA is one of the best options on the list. It caters to both beginner and intermediate drifters. So even if you have no idea where to start, Drift School WA can guide you from start to finish— pun intended! 

If you live in the Perth area, you can enrol yourself into this school and join the drift club to meet a community of professional and amateur drifters. They believe that drifting isn’t just a sport but an art form and use authentic skills to bring out the best in your drifting. 

At Drift School, there are different courses, including the Drift Masterclass course that consists of 40 hands-on laps in one of their cars and will teach you all the correct drifting techniques. The Drift Xcelerate course is for people who already own a drift car. Finally, if you are looking to improve further with a full day of coaching, the Drift Xpert course is the option for you. 

With so many different courses that cater to beginners and seasoned drivers, Drift School WA might be the best way to get into drifting in WA. If you want to be involved in the growing community of drifters in Perth, then you should definitely hit Drift School up for your first lessons.

Drift Cadet

Learning to drift in Melbourne has never been easier thanks to drift cadet. Drift Cadet is a drift school that hosts and runs a variety of events, ranging from practice sessions to state championship events. 

The friendly team at Drift Cadet are the perfect drift school to get you into drifting. They have heaps of talented drifters and instructors that are happy to share all the tricks of the trade with you. With fun and affordable drift packages, Drift Cadet is the place to be for both veteran and inexperienced drifters. 

Whether you are looking for private driving events for a corporate event, or you’re just looking to get involved in the drifting community, you’ll find what you are looking for at Drift Cadet. 

On Track Drift

On Track Drift is exactly what you are looking for if you are in Queensland and want to learn to drift. This drifting school is quick and straight to the point. They have half day and full day learn to drift sessions with professional drifters who will teach you exactly what you want to know. 

On Track Drift is one of the few places in Queensland where you can learn drifting and stunt driving in the same place, from a crew of professionals. You’ll learn the basics, all the fancy drifting moves you’ve seen in the movies like doughnuts and figure 8’s, and some new ones too. 

Of course, any drift school worth their salt runs battle laps, and On Track Drift is no different. The benefit of riding in battle laps at On Track Drift is convenience. Located at the incredible Queensland Raceway, you can take your pick from morning, lunch and afternoon sessions. 

Drift Clubs In Australia

Joining a drift club near you is a great way to meet awesome people who are into drifting just like you. By joining drift clubs in Australia, you can learn, share knowledge, be part of exclusive events, and be the first in line to enter competitions, and more. 

However, some clubs will require you to have your own drift car, and it should also pass the standards of safety. Each club is slightly different so when signing up to your local drift club, ask for the guidelines for joining. 

Drift School WA

Drift School WA isn’t just a school. It’s also a racing club for people who love drifting! It’s a community filled with people just like you. If you become a part of this club, you will be up to date on the events and practice sessions in Perth, especially in the infamous Barbagallo Raceway. 

Drift West

Drift West is another drift club in Western Australia. Aside from planning events like the drift battles, they also host drift practice sessions. You can attend some of their practice sessions at affordable prices, which is an excellent way to hone your drifting skills or just get a few more hours in each week.

Victorian Drift Club 

For close to twenty years, the Victorian Drift Club has been one of the most popular places in Melbourne to get amongst all things drifting. From spectator events to passenger experiences to entering your own car into an event, no matter how you like to enjoy drifting, there’s something for you! 

Australian Drift Club  

Australian Drift Club is the perfect hot spot for drifting for all the fans of the sport living in Sydney. With heaps of events going on all the time at the Sydney Motorsport Park, Australian Drift Club has made drifting events fun, affordable and easy to get to no matter where you are in Sydney. 

Drifting SA

South Australia has a huge drifting community, and Drifting SA is at the heart of it. This drifting club has lots of events around the year that they are constantly adding to. It’s not just competition events though, Drifting SA also has freestyle and tutorial events, so you can get involved no matter your skill level. 

Drift Practice Sessions In Australia

Joining clubs like Drift School WA is the best way to stay up to date on all the practice sessions and events going on each month. A Drift School drifting practice session is a great way to meet like-minded people and practice while still being social.

Of course, you will need to pay to enter, but some practice sessions are pretty affordable—and you get to practice for the entire day. Each practice session has their own rules, prices and time allowances, so be sure to phone ahead if you plan to make it down to one.

Queensland Raceway also holds frequent Friday night drifting practice sessions. These sessions run all night and are open to spectators. Kids under 12 enter free! 

Of course if you’re down south, there’s no better place in South Australia to practice drifting than the Mallala Motorsports Park drift practice sessions. Open to the public, these events are broken up into the mornings and afternoons, giving drifters with different commitments to find a time convenient to them to get down and practice burning rubber. 

Read more about the best drifting tracks in Australia to find a safe place to practice near you. 

Drift Events In Australia

Australia is a drift-friendly country, and because of that, the country hosts heaps of drifting events—whether you are in Western Australia or anywhere else around Australia.

Drift School WA has a fantastic event called NISHI-D. It’s a fun, casual drift event dedicated not only to drifting but also to the community and the culture of drifting in Western Australia.

Because Drift School takes a lot of inspiration from the origins of drifting in Japan, this event is one of those events that have a very authentic Japanese approach to a drifting event. It recreates popular Japanese tracks so that the drifters from Perth can experience the exciting circuits that the Japanese drifters experience. 

Drifting SA puts on their yearly Locktoberfest event, one of the biggest drifting events in the state. The three-day-long event has over twenty hours of extreme drifting held at the Bent Motorsport Park. 

Up at the Queensland Raceway, you can check out the Japanese Nationals, a two-day event full of non-stop cruising and drifting. There are things to do, events to watch and prizes to be won. Perfect for any Queenslander who has the need for speed! 

FAQs About Getting Into Drifting 

Australia has strict laws regarding underground drifting, doing doughnuts, and burnouts in standard traffic areas. But because the drifting scene is pretty big down under, you can sign up for practice sessions in one of many drifting friendly areas to experience drifting legally and safely. 

How Difficult Is Drifting?

Drifting isn’t easy. But given that you have the right gear, the right practice spot and have the time and resources to learn—anyone who can drive can learn drifting.

The benefit of working with professional coaches and attending practice sessions is that you have a wider range of people to learn from. In addition, someone else might have a unique way of helping you through something you are finding hard.

Although you are often alone in your drift car, it’s a collaborative sport. Don’t dismiss the community aspect of drifting, or you’ll be missing out big time!

At What Age Can You Start Drifting?

The minimum age you can start drifting in Australia is 16. However, anyone under 18 will require an adult’s consent to be able to attend drift sessions practice and complete drifting lessons. However, the exact ruling depends on the provider, so it’s always best to check with them if you have any concerns about age. 

Is Drifting An Expensive Hobby?

Drifting requires car repairs, tire replacements, track fees, lessons, gas, and more. It can be pretty expensive, and the more you go out and drift, the more money you will need to spend. However, if it’s a hobby that you enjoy and make friends drifting that you look forward to seeing each week, the investment is less of a concern as drifting becomes more a part of your life.

Ken Leong

Ken Leong is one of the most experienced drivers on the Perth drifting scene. In 2016, Ken founded Drift School WA in to share his skills and his passion here in Western Australia. Catering for beginners through to seasoned drift drivers looking to hone their craft, Ken delivers unforgettable adrenaline-packed experiences at each and every Drift School WA event.

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