Italy is expected to pass a new law which will see new drivers waiting three years to drive a car with more than 70kW of power.

    Currently, every new driver is required to wait 12 months before they are able to drive a vehicle with more than 70kW of power.

    The proposed new law, approved by the Council of Ministers and set to be voted on in Parliament, will require drivers to wait three years from the time they get their licence to upgrade to a more powerful car.

    According to Quattroruote, new drivers won’t be allowed to drive vehicles that exceed a power-to-weight ratio of 55kW per tonne and/or exceed a maximum power of 70kW.

    The proposed rules are different for hybrids and electric vehicles, with a proposed power-to-weight ratio cap of 65kW per tonne.

    Should the laws come into effect, it’s unclear if the Italian Government will establish a grandfather clause for drivers who have held a licence for over 12 months but fall within the new restrictions.

    The legal driving age in Italy is 18. Should a driver want to obtain their licence later in life, the new three-year rule would still apply.

    Should the law be passed, this means young drivers will only be able to drive more powerful cars once they reach their early twenties.

    Drivers will be limited predominantly to variants of small hatchbacks including the Fiat 500, Hyundai i10 and i20, Kia Picanto and Toyota Yaris.

    For reference, the cheapest Kia Picanto in Australia – the 1.25-litre S manual – has a power-to-weight ratio of 62.4kW/tonne and produces 62kW. Meanwhile in Italy, the most powerful Picanto you can buy has 49.3kW.

    In Australia, most states including Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria restrict their provisional drivers to a power-to-weight ratio of 130kW per metric tonne, with no restrictions for those on open licences.

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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