Every year a new set of drivers enters the road. If your son or daughter is about to get behind the wheel, you’ve probably got a lot to stress over and inevitably, you might forget something while you keep your eyes on the road.
Here’s a list of everything you need to know before you hand your keys over to the youngest driver of the family.
After they’ve passed the written test at the Department of Transport & Main Roads, and paid for a learner licence (it’s $171.90 in Queensland and valid for up to three years) – they can get straight behind the wheel, as long they’re supervised by someone who has had an open license for at least a year for the car type their driving. Make sure the car they’re driving has yellow ‘L’ plates displayed at the front and rear of the vehicle.
After you feel they are confident enough (as opposed to them feeling confident enough), you should instruct them through as many different traffic conditions as possible.
If you can’t find the time (or patience) to sit with a moody teenager for 100 hours, there are always driving schools. Thankfully, for the cost (between $50 and $70 per hour) – the first 10 hours with an accredited driver trainer count as triple in the logbook (up to 30 hours.) This can mean that learners only have to complete 70 extra hours, on top of your 10 hours with a driving school.
If you’re over 25 and a learner driver, it is suggested you take 100 hours to learn – but it’s not compulsory. After passing the practical road test, you also progress straight to a P2 license (green Ps) if you’re over 25.
After submitting their logbook and getting the letter of approval (usually a few weeks after submission), you can book an appointment with the Department of Transport & Main Roads to sit a practical driving test. Driving schools usually offer a package where you can have a driving lesson before doing your actual test.
If you fail your first time around, you can try again the next day. Failing a second time, you can resit the test on the eighth day after failing. Fail any time after this, you will have to wait four weeks before taking the test again, and you can retry on the 29th day after failing.
There’s no limit to how many times you can sit the test, but you do have to pay the fee every time – which, in Queensland, is $57.90.
Progressing to a P2 licence is a matter of paying for and passing an online Hazard Perception Test. Once you’ve held your P1 licence for a year, you can take this test to progress to the next class.
If you were 24 or older when you received your provisional licence – you will progress straight to your open licence after passing the Hazard Perception Test.
As soon as they can drive unsupervised, your insurance may require you to add your son or daughter as an additional nominated driver (if they’re using your car) – or else you could incur a higher excess, or not be covered at all, if they are involved in a crash.
From when you are a learner, all the way through your provisional licences, you must always stay absolutely sober with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.00. This also goes for anyone learning another class of vehicle (i.e. learning to drive a manual from an automatic licence) regardless of what licence they already hold.
Restrictions on passengers apply to P1 licence holders between 11pm and 5am. P1 drivers cannot carry more than 1 passenger who is under 21, and isn’t an immediate relative such as a sibling, child or spouse. That means no ferrying friends around between 11pm and 5am.
P-platers are also restricted from driving high-powered vehicles. Generally, V8s and anything more powerful then 200kW are banned because of the risk of an over-confident P-plater losing control of that much power.
You can check if your car (or a car you’re planning to buy) is approved here, and if it isn’t, you can apply for an exemption, if you think there’s a valid reason for driving a high-powered car.Teenagers may not be the most organised group – but I guarantee they’ll stay on top of their driving test requirements as long as it means a taste of freedom with the car.
Keep calm when you’re in the passenger seat – remember to teach objectively and book at least a few lessons with a driving school so they can catch any bad habits that you might be passing on!
And if you’re looking for the perfect test car (that can handle a few scrapes) or buying something safe and reliable as a reward for passing their test – Motorama has hundreds of brand new and pre-owned cars to suit every budget.
(Prices quoted correct at 1 July 2018)
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