Learning to Drive
Getting Your P Plates
To get your P’s, you need to complete at least 75 hours of supervised driving, with a minimum of 15 hours at night. Make sure you’ve practiced in all types of conditions including rain, fog, peak hour traffic, at different times of day, and on different roads. Make sure you also practice on country highways, winding roads in hilly terrain and multi-lane divided roads, such as the South Eastern Freeway and Northern Expressway etc.
Once you’ve been on your L’s for a year and have either successfully completed your driver training and assessment through either the Vehicle on Road Test (VORT) or Competency Based Training and Assessment (CBT&A), as well as the Hazard Perception Test – you’ll be able to apply for your P’s at a Service SA Centre.
Once you have your provisional licence
So you’ve got your P’s, but do you know all of the new rules you need to follow?
- You can’t accumulate four or more demerit points on your provisional licence period or you will lose your licence
- You can’t drive a vehicle with any alcohol or drugs in your system
- You can only drive the class of vehicle that’s stated on your licence
- You must carry your licence at all times while driving
- You can’t drive a high-powered vehicle if you’re 25 years or younger – unless you have an exemption
- You can’t drive over 100km/h even when the posted speed limit exceeds this
P1 provisional licence
- You must display P plates clearly from the front and back of the car (rear only for motorcycles)
- You can’t use the GPS function on your mobile phone or talk on the phone while driving, not even hands-free with Bluetooth or on loud speaker
- You can’t drive between midnight and 5am
- You can’t drive with more than one passenger aged 16-20 (exemptions apply for family members) unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria
New rules for P1 drivers
To find out more about the new P1 driver rules that were introduced on 28 July 2014, click here.
High powered vehicles
If you are under the age of 25, you must not drive a high-powered vehicle.
On 1 March 2014, the definition of high powered vehicles changed for vehicles manufactured from 1 January 2010 onwards. This allows all types of vehicles, regardless of the number of cylinders, fuel type, being turbo or super charged, to be driven by provisional licence holders, on the condition that the vehicle power to weight ratio is not greater than 130 kilowatts per tonne in tare mass, and no modification is made to alter engine performance.
For vehicles manufactured before 1 January 2010, a HPV is defined as a light vehicle (GVM 4500kg or less) that has:
- 8 cylinders or more
- A turbocharged or supercharged engine (except diesel powered vehicles with less than 8 cylinders)
- A vehicle that has been modified to increase engine performance (other than vehicles that have been so modified by the manufacturer in the course of manufacture of the vehicle)
- A HPV as listed in the South Australian Government Gazette
Please note that vehicles listed under the list of Vehicles Excluded in the High Powered Vehicles notice have turbo charged or supercharged engines for fuel efficiency improvements, and therefore are not classified as high performance vehicles.
To make sure your car or your parents' car isn't listed as a high powered vehicle, visit the EzyReg website. All you need to do is click on the check high powered vehicle status link and type in the car's registration number or the vehicle identification number to see what it's listed as.
High-powered vehicle restrictions do not apply:
- When you turn 25 years of age
- If you obtained your P1 or P2 licence before 4 September 2010
- You have an exemption certificate
Motoring & Road Safety