Can a green P plater tow a caravan? (3 essential rules)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a green P plater tow a caravan? We will explain the driving system in Australia, and help you remember the three essential rules for towing with a P plater.

Can a green P plater tow a caravan?

Yes, a green P plater can tow a caravan, as long as one does not exceed the limit of 750kg in the first year of holding the driver’s licence. Otherwise, there are no restrictions when it comes to towing a caravan on a P2 (green) licence. 

Here are the three rules to keep in mind:

  1. Always display the P plate in the rear of the caravan/trailer that you are towing.
  2. The maximum speed allowed is 100kph, otherwise, you could get a penalty of 4 demerit points.
  3. All the passengers in the vehicle have to have seat belts or child restraints on. 

Driver’s licence system in Australia explained

In Australia, there are four types of driving licence:

  1. The open license that is, full, allows you to drive any vehicle without restrictions if you have 3+ driving experience);
  2. The learner license (for those who started studying at 16);
  3. The Provisional license (P1) (for those who have less than 1 year of driving experience);
  4. The Provisional license (P2) (for those who have 1 to 3 years of driving experience).

The last two categories have their nuances and restrictions (a zero blood alcohol limit is required, the use of a mobile phone is not allowed even hands-free, etc.).

So you have to get a learner’s license first (pay $24 for it), and only then can you get your P1, P2, and finally open license.

In addition to categories, there are also classes: motor vehicles, (cars), buses, trucks, etc. If a driver has a great driving experience, he can get an open license and car class at the same time.

The learner’s license in Australia

A learner’s license allows you to drive with an instructor or anyone else who agrees to teach you to drive and has an open driver’s license. Therefore, you can drive a car only under the control of a person with an open license. In addition, it must also have “L” stickers on the front and rear of the vehicle.

You can get a learning license only after passing a theory test. It contains 45 multiple-choice questions with a single answer.

If you answered at least 27 of the questions correctly, you have passed the test. 

How to obtain provisional licenses P1 and P2

As soon as you have passed the theory test, you must find an instructor and get 120 hours (including 20 hours at night) of driving experience. Driving with an instructor is not cheap. Therefore, a one-hour driving lesson costs $ 50. You can distribute your lessons with an instructor for a year and then pass a practical test (it costs $ 50).

To pass a practical test, you must drive your own car that has “L” stickers (Learner’s initial for student). Please note that the type of driving license issued depends on the transmission of the car (manual/automatic) that you drove during the test. If you fail a practical test, you will not be allowed to drive with your driver’s license, in fact, you will be prohibited from driving until you finally pass this test.

In a year you must pass a theory test one more time, however this time it will be a risk perception test. Then you can get your P2 license (no practical test required).

You must drive with green stickers for another two years, and only after that can you get a full license. With a P2 license, you are allowed to drive at no more than 100 km / h, a zero blood alcohol limit is required. For each violation, your driver’s license will be suspended for 3 months.

This complex multi-tiered system for obtaining a driver’s license in Australia has a particular goal: people must understand that only adult and responsible citizens can drive a car, and traffic regulations must not be broken.

Therefore, it can be assumed that Australia has the best licensing system in the world. However, if you are not travelling to Australia, you may need an International Driving Permit. You can apply for one here.

Tips for towing a caravan and be safe on the road

Travelling by car with a caravan is very different from doing it staying in a hotel. Contact with nature, freedom, decision-making capacity at every moment, adventure… These are just some of the things that we like the most about this form of tourism. But if you are taking a caravan with you, there are a few things you cannot ignore. Take note of these tips to know how to drive a caravan.

Before starting the car engine and towing the caravan, there are some aspects that we must know.

With the type B driving license, you can only carry trailers weighing less than 750 kilos, and you can also drive the caravan if the weight of the car and the trailer does not exceed 3,500 kilos.

If the weight is greater, but it does not reach 4,250 kilos, you would need the B96 permit. 

On the other hand, if both add between 4,250 and 7,000 kilos, the B + E permit will be required.

Finally, if the weight of the two is greater than 7,000 kilos, the required license is the C + E truck license.

Some  other considerations to take into account:

  1. Check the load capacity of your vehicle. The instructions can be found in the vehicle manual, but if you do not have it at hand, contact the manufacturer to obtain the information. Make sure the vehicle has the necessary capacity to tow the weight you require.
  1. If you are thinking of buying a towing vehicle, it is a good idea to get a vehicle designed with the appropriate capabilities and equipment for the weight you plan to pull. 

For example, for heavy loads, many vehicles already include engines with more torque, superior cooling systems, heavy-duty battery, and reinforced suspension, among others. These equipment are sometimes marketed together as a towing package.

  1. It is essential to know the standard terms of the maximum weights that the vehicle can support. For example, the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the vehicle’s weight with all its occupants and cargo included. 

The gross combination weight rating (GCWR) is the gross weight of the car, its occupants and the load, in addition to the weight of everything that is being towed. The tongue weight (TW) is the weight that the trailer puts on the hitch.

  1. Calculate the weight of the load, including the weight of the trailer itself.
  1. Include in that weight the additional content that you are towing may have, such as gasoline or water in tanks, luggage, or additional equipment. It is a good idea to add 10% to the calculated weight to decrease the margin of error. The common term for the total load weight is called Gross Trailer Weight (GTW).
  1. The right hitch. There are many types of hitches that span different types of weight classes. A hitch must be selected that will support the gross weight of the trailer. Hitches are rated according to weight; for example, a Class I hitch holds up to 2,000 pounds.

Final tips

When towing a fully-loaded caravan, don’t forget the tires. Just as important as checking the tires’ pressure and condition on the vehicle is checking the tires on the trailer. Flat, worn, and unbalanced tires can present a road hazard.

Pay attention to the speed rating of the trailer tires. It is common for these tires to have a low-speed rating, which is essential to respect even when the trailer is empty.

Drive slowly and cautiously. As you begin to drive with a trailer, become familiar with the overall dynamics of the vehicle and the trailer as a whole. Test the brakes and learn how to calculate stopping distances. Pay close attention to traffic signs, take curves at low speeds, and generally change direction with subtlety.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can a green P plater tow a caravan?

Can you tow a caravan on your green PS?

If you hold a green P licence you can tow a caravan that weighs 750 kgs or less. Red P licence holders cannot legally tow a caravan or trailer. 

Can P2 drivers tow a trailer?

Yes, P2 drivers can tow a trailer, as long as they don’t go above the limit and display the P licence clearly at the rear of the trailer. 

What speed can green P platers go?

The speed limit for green P platers is 100km/h and they have to display the P signs on the front and the back of the vehicle. 

References

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