P Plate Legal Cars in Australia
- Car Advice,
- Jun 26, 2020
We all experienced the time when we were novice drivers, just getting to learn the feel of the steering under the hands. The accelerator and the brake would confuse us (it confused me, at least) and even a bicycle would make us conscious of our next move. Well, that is exactly why there are specific rules and provisional licenses in place to make that time easier on yourself and others.
After you have endured the learner’s stage of driving supervised with a senior driver or a driving instructor, it is now time for you to go drive independently. That is when you are given the P driving license and told to fix P plates on your vehicle.
In Australia, there are varying rules depending on which state you are residing in. However, some things are common no matter where you live. For instance, you are supposed to keep your learner license for almost 9 months, after which you undertake a driving test. Once you pass the test, you are given ‘P’ plates that you need to display on your vehicle. These plates come with some restrictions that you must abide by strictly, for the time period that is ascertained. The conditions that come attached to the provisional license are discussed in the section.
‘P’ Plates Conditions
The following are the conditions that should be abided if you are issued a provisional license. Failing to comply can result in the expulsion of your license and other penalties:
✓ You must display your ‘P’ plates at all times which should be clearly visible from the rear and front of the vehicle
✓ Your provisional license should be with you at all times while driving
✓ Your blood should be clean of any alcohol or intoxicant
✓ You can only drive ‘P’ plates approved cars
✓ Use of mobile phone is strictly prohibited and should be avoided at all costs
✓ You should not drive after midnight and should not carry more than one passenger
✓ You should strictly follow the given speed limit, and never exceed speed greater than 90km/h
‘P’ Plates Car Restrictions
These conditions are again put into place keeping safety in view, for both the novice driver and other people on the road. Before, there were only a handful of vehicles that you could drive with your provisional license, but things considerably changed (for the good) in 2014 with a new set of conditions. The following high-performance vehicles are prohibited for a provisional license holder:
✓ All vehicles which have a PMR or power to mass ratio which exceeds 130 kilowatts per ton
✓ All vehicles which have engines that are modified or altered
✓ All vehicles which are mentioned in the Roads and Maritime documents regarding High-Performance Vehicle Restrictions
There are some exceptions to these restrictions which are mentioned below:
✓ You are a holder of a provisional license before 2014 when the new restrictions were introduced
✓ You are driving a vehicle which has been prohibited after the above-mentioned definition and was not prohibited before 2014 law
‘P’ Plate Approved Cars
Vehicles that are manufactured before January 2010 have some restrictions that would exceed the scope of this article, but there are still exemptions of vehicles that have the Power to Mass Ratio identifier on their built date plates. These are proof that these vehicles have a PMR less than the 130 kW per ton restriction.
These include P Plate legal turbo cars, like Holden Turbo and Nissan Turbo, and some particular models of the Ford Ecoboost. Other vehicles that have been exempted include the Daihatsu Copen L880 2D Convertible Turbo, Smart Roadster Turbo, Toyota Landcruiser 2000, or later models, Suzuki Cappuccino Turbo 3 and more.
A complete and comprehensive list of all approved and restricted vehicles can be found here: https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/drivers/youngdrivers/vehicle-restrictions.html
Best cars for ‘P’ Platers
It is a known fact that ‘P’ Plate drivers get to drive the cheapest and oldest cars in the family, due to the fact that they are more prone to scratch the car or involve in anything unfortunate. Well, we asked an ANCAP officer and he strongly advised against it.
Often, these old cars have little or no safety features and a poor driving experience, which makes it more difficult for novice drivers to drive it and can thus even be more of a problem. Therefore, we looked at some of the vehicles with the highest ANCAP safety ratings and listed them down as being the best cars for you if you recently got your ‘P’ Plates license.
Possibly the best choice for ‘P’ Platers, this is a car with one of the best safety features including seven airbags, including an airbag located on the driver’s knee. It also has some of the state-of-the-art technology like the Traction control system, Electronic Stability Control, and Anti-lock braking system.
This is a compact hatchback which is both fun and easy to drive and also cheap in price. It includes six airbags for the driver and passengers, autonomous emergency braking, electronic stability control, emergency brake assist and anti-lock braking system.
This is one of the most fun-loving and compact SUVs, with great handling and maneuvering within the city. Like the first two cars on our list, the Mazda CX-3 also received a five-star safety rating from ANCAP. Safety features include six standard airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, electronic brake force distribution, anti-lock braking system and Anti-lock braking system.
Toyota Corolla Hybrid
The Toyota Corolla uses both a mechanical engine and electric motor which makes the ignition silent and also means that it is really very fuel-efficient for the early young drivers. Safety features include a Lane keep assist, electronic stability control, lane departure warning, active cruise control, and an automatic high beam.