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Why this road rule could cost P-platers $581

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Getting your first car is a moment that nobody forgets and it is something that remains a cherished memory for decades to come.

However, P-platers in some states ought to choose their first car carefully as there are road rules and restrictions which are applied to just what sort of car you can drive.

These restrictions are applied directly to how powerful a car is and bans P-platers from owning certain types of high-powered sports cars. So why won't you see P-plates on a Ferrari or Aston Martin?

Teenager holding a green P plate.
New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia restrict P-platers from owning high-powered vehicles. Source: Getty Image

Road rules limit car power

If you thought that you could own a sports car from the moment you get your licence, then you would be mistaken as several states in Australia have strict limits on what someone can drive.

The licensing authorities in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia all have restrictions in place on what cars a new motorist can drive. In these rules, the states share some common ground such as:

  • Vehicles cannot exceed a power-weight ratio of 130kW/tonne.

  • Car engines should not be modified in any form.

These restrictions are in place to ensure that new drivers aren’t overwhelmed by their choice of vehicle as they get behind the wheel and aren’t tempted to speed.

There are some exceptions though, as the rules are only applied to P-platers under the age of 25 in these states and some leeway is also given to vehicles built before March 2010 with the power restrictions eased to 210Kw/tonne.

With that in mind, it does put an added onus on younger drivers to pick their cars carefully and ensure they aren’t caught breaching the rules.

Provisional drivers in Victoria, ACT, Tasmania, Western Australia or the Northern Territory aren’t restricted to owning powerful cars although some states do imply their own speed restrictions on new drivers.

Young woman showing her P-plates.
Vehicles are not allowed to have any performance modifications made to their engine. Source: Getty Images

P-platers face fines for exceeding power

Should any P-plater feel brazen enough to go for a spin in a sports car that breaches power restrictions, you can bet the police will come down hard on the offending driver.

NSW Police are particularly stringent on this rule as they will dish out a staggering $581 fine and issue a huge seven demerit points to anyone they find breaching vehicle regulations by their licence type.

Meanwhile, Queensland Police will drop a fine of $413 to any P-plater they catch driving high powered vehicles as well as adding three demerit points onto their licence.

In South Australia, the local authorities take a slightly lighter stance towards younger drivers as they will avoid demerit points for driving a high powered vehicle although they’ll cop a fine of $324.

P-platers don't face these restrictions forever though, as all three states will lift the power regulation once drivers have been on their full licence for two years.

While it’s unlikely that most P-platers will have the luxury of owning a sports car, these road rules encourage them to find something that lets them gradually get used to driving.

Once they have the necessary experience behind the wheel, that's when they can set their sites on owning the cars of their childhood dreams.

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