Can a red P plater tow a caravan?(a guide)

This article will answer the following question: Can a red P plater tow a caravan? We will discuss the rules for P plates holders and share a short guide on the driving system in Australia.

Can a red P plater tow a caravan?

As a red P plater (P1), you are not allowed to tow a caravan unless:

  • Your employer requires you to tow a caravan, in which case the maximum allowed towing weight is 250 kg; and
  • There is an experienced driver next to you.

If you hold a green P plater (P2), you can tow a vehicle with 750 kg or less weight. In short, you’re not allowed even to attempt to learn how to pull something as heavy as a caravan or camper until you are fully licensed.

Driver’s licence system in Australia explained.

In Australia, there are four types of driving licence:

  1. The full open license, 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 one 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 simultaneously.

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. Besides, 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. 

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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.

From L to P plates: rules for each state

This is where the real fun begins, not only because now is the time to find a reliable instructor around you (otherwise, driving schools exist in Australia too – count around $ 60 an hour) and learn to drive for real, but also because it is at this stage that it is crucial to have chosen your condition.

Different states operate under different rules. One of the important rules to take into consideration when choosing where to settle down to get your permit is this: a certain legal period must pass with your L permit before you have the right to claim. with the P license. And this period of time blocked with an L license can vary from 3 months to 6 months to… 1 year!

Some states also require a certain number of driving hours to be recorded in a logbook before allowing you to take the exam for the P license. In short, the time and effort required will not be sufficient. same depending on where you are! It is, therefore, useful to carry out a small review of the different states:

  • In New South Wales, after 10 months of an L license in New South Wales, you can take the Hazard Perception Test (HPT). You will need to keep the L license for 1 year and complete 120 hours of driving (including 20 hours at night) to apply for the P license. However, if you are 25 or over, you will be exempt from these obligations.
  • In Victoria, it all depends on your age. If you are under 21, you will need to keep the L license for 1 year and complete 120 hours of driving (including 20 hours at night). If you are between 21 and 25 years old, you simply have to keep your L license for 6 months (no obligation on driving hours). 

And if you’re 25 or over, you only need to keep it for 3 months before you can qualify for the P!

  • In Queensland, you will need to keep the L license for 1 year and complete 100 hours of driving (including 10 hours at night). If you are 25 or over, you are exempted in terms of driving hours, but you will still have to wait 1 year!
  • In Western Australia, you will need to keep the L license for 6 months and complete a minimum of 25 hours of driving.
  • In South Australia, if you are under 25, you will need to keep the L license for 1 year, if you are 25 or over, the duration is reduced to 6 months. Then, regardless of your age, you will have to do a minimum of 75 hours of driving (including 15 hours at night).
  • In Tasmania, you will need to keep the L license for 9 months and complete a minimum of 50 hours of driving.
  • In the Northern Territory, you will need to keep the L license for 6 months.


If you are under 21, head to the WA, SA, or NT, which only takes six months on a Learners Permit before you can take the Probationary test.  If you are over 21, you can also add VIC to this list. If you’re 25 or older, aim for Victoria or NSW so you can spend just three months (VIC) or even less (NSW) on your L!

Once these obligations have been fulfilled, you can make an appointment with your transport department for the two exams, giving access to the P license: a risk perception test and a practical driving test.).

The first test takes place on a computer, where videos will place you in different situations, checking your ability to perceive the potential risks you will encounter on the road and react in agreement. For example, by braking at the right time.

The second test is of course the hard drive test, where an inspector will assess your driving performance on the roads.

Good luck, and above all, don’t forget to take a more in-depth look at the rules of the state where you have chosen to take your exams.

FAQ on Can a red 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. 


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