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Whatever stage you are at with getting your drivers licence, it is important to realise that driving a car is very serious and is something that brings huge responsibility. It is important to listen to everything your instructor and parents are teaching you, because they are the ones with the experience on the road
In order to get your Learner's Permit you must:
- Be 16 years or older
- Pass a theory test (approx 30 mins) - The theory test is based on road rules and road safety topics, in order to answer the questions it is a good idea to study the Driver's handbook (you can get these from your local Newsagency or download it from Transport SA website. If you fail your theory test you are able to sit it again straight away, although it will cost you money each time you do this
- Pay a fee
- Have your photo taken
Try the online driving test on the RAA website for some question examples
Once you have been on your Ls for 6 months you can go for your Provisional Licence (Ps)
To get your Provisional Licence:
- You must be least 16 years and 6 months of age
- Have held a Learner's Permit for at least 6 months
- Complete a logbook demonstrating you have complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving under a range of road conditions, including a minimum of 10 hours at night
- Complete either the final driving test of the Competency Based training Course
The Vehicle On-Road Test (VORT) is to be completed at the end of your Ls when you are looking to move onto your Ps. It will test you on all the road rules and safety measures you have been learning on your Ls.
- Conducted by an Accredited Driving Instructor
- Cannot take the test with an instructor with whom you have had lessons
- Failing a practical driving test will require your next attempt to be at least 2 weeks later
The Competency Based Training course is conducted with a driving instructor and is completed over a series of lessons where you move through the book, checking tasks off as you achieve them.
- Must be completed by an Accredited Driving Instructor
- Does not involve a formal practical driving test
- Need to demonstrate good road skills in short assessments
Plan for your purchase
Decide what you want and what you can afford before you start shopping around. Talk to someone. A good start would be to check the Advertiser and the Trading Post for listings of cars. Make sure it suits your needs and that you can afford to run and insure it. Don’t rush into it, it’s an important decision and you could be left with a mountain of debt. Before buying a car, check out the following website:
Think about things like:
- Up-front costs – stamp duty, transfer fees, insurance and registration (it’s illegal to drive an unregistered vehicle).
- On-going and running costs – petrol, oil, servicing, tyres, insurance etc. You probably need to factor in about $100 per week for on-going costs.
- Loan repayments – this will depend on the cost of your car and the terms of the loan. Shop around for a loan. There are many different types, and it can take some research to find the one that suits you. Remember to account for interest charges
- Parking costs – these can add up!!
- Investing in a roadside assistance scheme eg RAA.
V8’s, 4WD’s and other large cars may cost you more to insure, register and run than smaller cars.
Older cars may need more repairs, maintenance and servicing.
Buying a Car Checklist
- Set a price limit you can afford and stick to it
- Take your time, don’t be rushed or pressured
- Shop around for the best finance deal
- Have the car checked by the RAA, MTA service centre or an independent qualified mechanic before buying – do you really want to rely on your mate’s dodgy mechanic skills? There is a fee for this service, but it is money well spent.
- Allow for stamp duty, transfer fees and insurance
- If the vehicle isn’t registered, you’re responsible for this
- Check how old the car is and how many kilometres on the clock
- Is there any rust?
- How much longer is the vehicle registered for and when was it last serviced?
- When were the brakes last checked?
- Has the vehicle been involved in a serious accident?
- How old are the tyres?
- Do you want an automatic or a manual?
Buying From a Licensed Dealer
- Shop around, go to different car yards and compare prices and models. You can also do this on the internet.
- Check what’s covered by warranty
- Don’t sign anything unless you’re sure the car is OK, and that you really want it
- Check the white display sheet on the car (usually in one of the windows). Make sure the details on that match the car you’re buying. You can ring the previous owner if you want
- Make sure everything you negotiate with the dealer is put in writing
- Know your rights and the dealer’s obligations
This is an attractive option for some people as it is possible to pay less buying privately. But remember, you have no protection from the Second-hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995 and warranty does not apply.
- Make sure the person selling the car is the owner - ask for proof
- Make sure there isn’t any money owing on the car, ring the Vehicles Securities Register on 131 084 and ask them for a certificate to be sure
- Remember you have no warranty protection
- If you have a problem with a private sale, you may have rights and need to consult a lawyer. If there is a dispute the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs cannot negotiate with a private seller on your behalf.
Next - to Car Security, Driving in the City & Public Transport
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