Can a learner driver tow a trailer in WA? (7+ tips)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a learner driver tow a trailer in WA? We will also give you a few essential tips for towing a trailer safely. This information is imperative for new drivers, so make sure you check it out!

Can a learner driver tow a trailer in WA?

Yes, a learner driver can tow a trailer in WA (Western Australia), as long as there is an experienced driver at their side at all times. Also, a learner driver can only tow a trailer which weight doesn’t exceed 750 kg. 

Towing laws for learner drivers in Australia

StateTowing laws for Learner drivers
New South WalesNO: Learners cannot tow a trailer in NSW, neither drive a vehicle that is being towed. 
VictoriaNO:  Learners and P1 drivers cannot tow a trailer
South AustraliaYES: A learner can tow a trailer/caravan/camper and drive a vehicle that doesn’t exceed 4.5 tonnes weight. 
Western AustraliaYES: A learner can tow a trailer in WA as long as there is an experienced driver at their side at all times.
TasmaniaNO: Learners (L1 and L2) are not allowed to tow a trailer/caravan in Tasmania.
QueenslandYES: Learners can tow a trailer in the ACT, but it shouldn’t exceed 750 kg. 
Northern TerritoryYES: Learners can tow a trailer as long as the L platter is displayed on both the trailer and the car. 

Advice for learner drivers before towing a trailer

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. Besides, it must also have “L” stickers on the front and rear of the vehicle.

Below are a few tips for learner drivers that we think are of utmost importance for both your safety and the safety of others on the road.

  • Practice before you start

If you have never driven a vehicle with a trailer before, find a wide and clear area (a paved esplanade would be ideal) and, before going into the city or through complicated areas, practice. The manoeuvres are the most difficult point at the beginning, especially when it is time to reverse. Bear in mind that the trailer, when reversing, is heading away from the towing vehicle. 

Always start the reverse manoeuvre with the trailer and the vehicle aligned, never try to make a very large turn in one go, and do not hesitate to abort the manoeuvre and start over as many times as necessary.

  • Check the tire pressure

Do not forget this point, it is essential to adapt the pressures to what is recommended by the manufacturer in the vehicle’s instruction manual. Just as you have to adjust tire pressures to drive with a load, you also have to adjust to tow a trailer.

  • How to load the car … and the trailer

The basic rule for efficient driving is never to load more than necessary, although we already know that this is sometimes impossible … In any case, and especially if you are not driving a car with self-levelling suspension, try to lighten the load as much as possible, so that the rear area does not lower the height. 

On the trailer, try to get the centre of gravity (cog) just in front of the trailer wheels. With about 10 or 20 centimetres it is enough for the trailer to be transported safely in curves and in a straight line. If the cog is too far forward, the trailer will not turn properly. The trailer should be level and, if anything, lower at the front than at the rear.

  • Braking: lengthens the safety distance

Be very careful when braking with a trailer. It is essential when driving with a trailer to extend the safety distance with the vehicle in front of us, especially when driving in fog or on a wet road because in case of having to make an emergency braking you will need more meters to stop the vehicle. Try to avoid sharp slowdowns and dry braking. The key: use the “engine brake” to help you change gears, and drive early.

  • Trailer overtaking

It is essential when facing an overtaking manoeuvre to take into account not only that the vehicle with a trailer will not respond the same due to the greater weight, but also that the total length of your car is much higher. In general, overtaking will last longer, so you will need more meters. Make sure you have completely passed the vehicle you are passing before returning to the lane.

  • Effects of crosswinds on trailer driving

If it is already more difficult to drive in strong wind, we confirm that the worst enemy of driving with trailers is the wind, especially if it is lateral or crossed. Proper distribution of the weight on the trailer reduces the possible swings that the air can cause, but the best option if things get complicated and the winds are very strong is to reduce speed or even stop and wait for it to “blow” with less force.

  • Going up and down hills with a trailer

Plain and without frontal wind, with the speed of march stable, we will hardly notice that we are pulling a caravan. But when a slope arrives is when we will notice that we have hitched a trailer, especially if we do not anticipate the profile of the road. 

Do not let the engine fall by turns facing the climb in high gears, it is much more efficient and safe (and less damaging to the engine, believe it or not), reduce a gear before starting the climb and tackle it with the engine ready.

  • Regularly inspect the trailer

Even if you do not use it too often, and whenever you are going to do it, check thoroughly the attachment of the hitch, the operation of the trailer brake if you have one, and make sure all the lights work properly.

Conclusions

While a learner driver can tow a trailer in WA, we strongly advise you to do it only if you feel confident on the road and if you have an experienced driver at your side. 

Keep your eyes on the road and don’t get distracted. You should also have your other senses active, such as hearing, so leave the headphones at home. Loud music, radio shows, or podcasts can keep you from hearing another car’s horn or a pedestrian asking you to stop. 

Be careful on the road, and please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on Can a learner driver tow a trailer in WA?

Can Red P platers tow trailers?

Yes, Red P platers can tow trailers, as long as it doesn’t exceed 750 kg weight and it doesn’t have less than 250 kg unloaded. 

Can P platers listen to music?

No, P platters are not allowed to listen to music or use hands-free in QLD. The law regards even if you can change the music from the steering wheel. 

Can a learner driver tow a trailer in QLD?

Yes, a learner driver can tow a trailer in QLD (Queensland). The two main rules to keep in mind is to have the L plate visible on both the trailer and the vehicle towing and to never tow a trailer heavier than 750 kg.

References

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