Fast Car Drivers Down Under Will Soon Need a Super Licence

by Nik Berg
10 July 2024 2 min read
Fast Car Drivers Down Under Will Soon Need a Super Licence

Owners of high-performance vehicles in the state of South Australia will be required to take an additional test – the first of its kind in the world.

From 1 December, 2024 drivers of so-called Ultra-High Powered Vehicles (UHPVs) will need to pass an online course in order to continue to drive their cars. A UHPV is defined as having a gross weight of up to 4.5 tonnes and a power-to-weight ratio of 276 kW per tonne or more, which equates to 370 bhp/tonne. Buses, motorcycles and trikes are excluded from the new rules, but modified cars are not, and it is their owners’ responsibility to know if their cars fit the new class. The penalty for driving a UHPV without the correct license is a fine of AU$2,500 (£1,300).

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South Australian drivers whose cars exceed those limits will have to undertake an online education course which concentrates on the additional risks posed by UHPVs, the unique features of such vehicles, the dangers of risk-taking behavior, new laws, and the penalties for disabling driver assistance systems.

Drivers will face fines of up to AU$5,000 (£2,600) and up to six penalty points just for switching off driver aids including anti-lock brakes, automated emergency braking, electronic stability control and traction control systems. Causing death or serious harm by careless vehicle use could result in a jail term of up to seven years. Police also have increased powers to suspend drivers’ licences in the event of an accident.

The rules have been brought in after a 15-year-old girl was tragically killed by the driver of a Lamborghini Huracan in 2019, and it is drivers of such supercars that are the main target of the new legislation. However, there are plenty of EVs that will also fall foul of the rules such as the Porsche Taycan Turbo or Audi E-Tron GT.

There’s no practical element to the new licence, however. Rather than improving the skills of drivers the emphasis is on making drivers aware that with great power comes great responsibility. The test only costs AU$81 or £43 and takes 45 minutes to complete, so Down Under supercar owners won’t have any excuse not to take it.

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