Young people across regional Victoria are being given the opportunity to swap their older cars for a safer vehicle.

Drivers aged 18-25 can apply for a $5,000 subsidy towards buying a safer vehicle as part of the Unsafe2safe Program.

Under the program up to 120 young Victorians have already bought safer, modern and more reliable vehicles.

“We’re reaching more young people this year by expanding the program to 1,000 participants,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne.

“This means more safer cars for more young people in regional Victoria.

“We know costs can be a real barrier when it comes to buying your first car. The $5,000 subsidy will go a long way in helping young people buy safer cars on the market and ensure they prioritise safety over budget.”

The trial aims to replace 1,000 older vehicles that are over 16 years old for more modern vehicles that have safety features to help prevent crashes – such as lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking systems.

Young drivers are at the greatest risk of being involved in a crash in their first years of solo driving and young regional Victorians driving older cars are 15 times more likely to be killed in crashes compared with the state average.

Of the 84 drivers who have died on Victorian roads this year, 14 were between 18-25 years old.

The program is part of Victoria’s Road Safety Action Plan under the Victorian Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, which focuses on groups that are over-represented in road trauma.