NSW Government pledges $5000 to help novice drivers in regional areas buy safer cars

If re-elected, the NSW government has promised a financial assistance program to help young drivers purchase safer vehicles, following a $5,000 cash incentive program already underway in Victoria.

New drivers in the NSW region may be eligible for up to $5,000 in financial assistance to purchase a safer used car, if it is less than a decade old and has a five-star safety rating.

Highway safety advocates support the proposal given that drivers ages 18 to 25, and those who live in regional areas, are overrepresented in fatal crashes.

In addition to risky behavior and inexperience, older and less safe cars are one of the leading causes of death among young drivers.

The program, if approved, would award up to $5,000 to drivers ages 18 to 25 to purchase a vehicle that is less than 10 years old and has a five-star safety rating. The buyer is obligated to pay any additional fees.

Used cars that meet the age and safety criteria typically cost between $10,000 and $15,000.

Although the NSW government has claimed the proposal is “state first”, follows a program introduced by the Victorian government over a year ago and it’s already in place.

Young drivers in the NSW region will receive a cash incentive to help them purchase a newer, safer vehicle under a state program of the NSW Liberal and National Government.

After being stunned by the NSW Opposition over road safety policies over the last month, in the run up to the NSW election, the NSW government said the Safer Cars for Country Kids program will provide a $5000 grant for up to 1000 young drivers. to help them buy a safer car.

“We will remove old and unsafe cars from our rural roads and make it easier for young drivers to get behind the wheel of a safer car,” New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said in a press release.

“This is an added incentive for the kids in the bush to get rid of their old cars and upgrade to a newer vehicle with better safety features.

“Young drivers in regional areas rack up miles, and this is one way we can reduce the risk of country kids being seriously injured or killed in car crashes.”

Deputy Premier, NSW Regional Minister and Police Minister Paul Toole said in a press release that the government recognizes that “young drivers are much more likely to inherit the old family car or buy an older vehicle cheaper or less safe than your first car. .”

“All parents want to know that their children are in the safest car possible when they are on the road, especially in regions where they drive longer distances and face additional challenges such as dust and clouds,” Toole said in a statement. press. .

“This landmark test will help young drivers purchase a safer set of wheels and give their families greater confidence in their safety every time they’re on the road.”

The NSW government says it will first test up to 50 youngsters in selected areas before rolling out the program “in phases to all regional areas across the state.”

“If we want young people to really benefit from this programme, then we have to get it right, and this trial will give us feedback on what is working and what is not,” Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway said in a statement. press. .

“If you are under the age of 25, drive a car with a one or two star used car safety rating, or have no rating and are over the age of 16, you may be eligible to participate in the program and upgrade to a larger vehicle. sure. .”

Traffic safety experts say that people who live in regional areas tend to spend more time on the road, drive longer distances and at higher speeds than drivers who live in metropolitan areas.

Joshua Dowling has been a motorsports journalist for over 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motorsports editor and an early member of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice/Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for over 10 years.

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