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New laws give P-platers greater choice of cars

P-plate drivers will have a bigger choice of vehicles under changed by the Victorian Government.

MONIQUE FREER June 27, 2014 3:37am

Phil Ogden Electrics manager Brayden Joyce (pictured with his VE SS 6L V8 Holden Commodore) has welcomed changes to the P-plate vehicle restrictions.


P-plate drivers will have a greater choice of vehicles for their first car under sweeping changes made by the Victorian Government.

Roads Minister Terry Mulder announced last week that P-platers would next month be allowed to drive more modern and fuel-efficient cars as part of changes to the prohibited vehicle guidelines.

‘‘In the past, all ... eight-cylinder cars and any petrol-powered cars with a turbo or supercharger were banned. These days, many manufacturers are using small or medium-sized turbocharged or supercharged engines to deliver improved fuel consumption,’’ Mr Mulder said.

‘‘We’re changing to a simpler system where P-platers are banned from driving vehicles that have a power to weight ratio of more than 130kW of power per tonne.’’

Phil Odgen Electrics manager Brayden Joyce said the decision was welcome news for young car enthusiasts.

‘‘It helps younger people getting experience driving a V8 before they get their full licence,’’ he said.

The 19-year-old said because of the restrictions he was unable to purchase his car of choice last year — a V8 Commodore — and had to instead buy a four-wheel drive as his first car.

He said the changes would increase his productivity at work, as the restrictions impacted which company vehicles he could drive.

‘‘Most of the bosses nowadays have high powered cars or V8 Landcruisers,’’ Mr Joyce said.

‘‘It was a bit of a pain because all of the tools were in the back of the work ute and then we’d have to pull it all out and put it into our (vehicle).

‘‘It was time-consuming and made things a lot harder.’’

Benalla Police Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Rachelle Maher said the changes would allow young drivers to access more fuel-efficient cars.

‘‘It’s not to give them free rein car-wise, it’s to give them more options for their money,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s not giving them permission to start hooning, they’ve still got to drive their vehicle in accordance with the rules.

‘‘Just because they’ve got a car that has eight cylinders or a turbocharger, doesn’t mean they can exceed the speed limit.’’

Mr Mulder said the changes recognised that some smaller cars now had turbo as standard, and would benefit young people in the rural and agricultural sector where restrictions also impacted employment.

Thousands of vehicles were previously banned for P-platers, including 2014 Toyota Landcruiser (GX eight-cylinder, 4.5litre), 2014 Ford Kuga Trend TF (four-cylinder, 1.6litre turbocharged) and the 2014 Volkswagen Polo (four-cylinder, 2litre turbo-charged).

Under the changes, vehicles manufactured after January 1, 2010 will only be prohibited for P-platers if they have a power to weight ratio of more than 130kW of power per tonne.

Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 2010 will continue to be prohibited under the current criteria, as there is no national power to weight ratio data for these vehicles.

The changes will be effective from July 1.

A searchable database will be updated at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

In the interim drivers are encouraged to consult with a dealer or phone VicRoads on 131171.

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