The thought of buying a new car can be an exciting yet daunting experience for any licensed driver, old or new. There are numerous specifications to consider and safety is probably the biggest selling point when it comes to deciding which car to buy. For new drivers in Hong Kong, getting a car nowadays is pretty straight-forward as there are a number of brands and models that offer the latest technology to help drive safely.
Most cars have advanced safety features and systems like blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and collision mitigation braking.
Based on these safety features, Kwiksure has listed a few cars for new drivers to consider in 2020. But first, we will look at what the “P” plate license really entails for new drivers in Hong Kong.
Things you must know about “P” plate in Hong Kong
As a new driver, you are required by law to display a “P” Plate whilst driving on Hong Kong’s roads. It is one of the regulations probationary driving license holders have to observe. Below is a list of ‘must-know facts’ for new drivers to pay attention to, during the probationary driving period, according to the transport department:
- A probationary/provisional driving license holder is required by law to undergo a 12-month probationary driving period which is counted from the date of issue of a probationary driving license.
- Within 3 years of passing a private vehicle driving test, a person can apply for a probationary driving license for the respective vehicle class.
- During the probationary driving period, new drivers are subjected to the same restrictions applicable to ordinary drivers.
Additionally, provisional drivers must observe four additional regulations:
- To display a “P” plate at the front and rear of the vehicle.
- Not to drive at a speed in excess of 70km/h, even if the speed limit of the road is above 70km/h; and
- Not to drive on the offside lane of expressways where there are 3 or more traffic lanes.
- Being restricted from carrying any passenger whilst driving a motorcycle or tricycle
Requirements of the “P” plate
For new drivers, a “P” plate has to be made of reflex-reflecting material and in the following dimensions: 150mm x 150mm.
Best cars for “P” plate drivers in 2020
According to a review by Germain Motor Company, 2020 has some exciting new cars lined up for new drivers, young or old, that offer the best in safety features and systems:
Safe and Affordable Sedans
Sedans are one of the styles of vehicles that have been on the market for over a century.
The main characteristics of these vehicles are
- A B pillar to support the roof between the rear and front windows.
- A three-box design (engine at front and cargo at the rear).
- Two rows of seats.
- A roof that slopes less steeply, allowing for more headroom.
- At least thirty-three cubic feet of rear interior volume.
2020 Honda Civic
Honda Civic is known for its reliability, safety, and ease of use. For most parents, the Honda Civic remains a top choice for new drivers, especially teens. The car manufacturers trademark Honda Sensing™ includes a suite of features that can assist new drivers with its intelligent suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, namely:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) - applies brake pressure when an unavoidable collision is determined.
- Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM) - adjusts steering and braking if you cross detected lanes without signaling.
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) - maintains a set following interval behind detected vehicles.
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) - adjusts steering to help you keep centered in a detected lane.
2020 Toyota Yaris
The 2020 Toyota Yaris is a subcompact sedan that offers fuel efficiency, affordability, and stunning style. It is likely to be a hit for both experienced drivers and new drivers. The standard Active Safety System includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), and Brake Assist (BA) for added control, confidence and peace of mind.
2020 Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion comes with many safety features that will capture most by surprise. Ford’s Standard Co-Pilot 360™ driver-assist features can help drivers navigate increasingly distracting and crowded Hong Kong roads. These include:
- BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) - can alert drivers to moving objects detected in the rear end and blind spots.
- Lane-keeping system - helps to ensure drivers retain their driving position and not drift across the designated lane.
- Pre-collision assist feature - uses camera technology to detect a potential collision with a vehicle or pedestrian directly in front during the day or night.
5 tips for keeping safe on Hong Kong’s roads
Here are a few tips to help new drivers stay safe on the road:
1. Stay buckled up
Wearing a seat belt doubles the chance of someone surviving a serious crash.
2. Stay focused
Know when to take a rest and ensure regular breaks during long journeys.
According to one law that relates to the usage of mobile phones by drivers in Hong Kong. In order to reduce instances of distracted driving, Regulation 42(1)(g) of the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations (Cap.374G of the Laws of Hong Kong) state that a driver:
- Shall not use a mobile telephone while holding it in his hand or between his head and shoulder; nor
- Use, while holding it in his hand, any accessory to a mobile telephone.
4. Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol
Driving is a complex skill that requires attention and composure to navigate the roads of Hong Kong. Alcohol can slow reflexes, and decrease the ability to react swiftly to changing situations. Vision is also affected as alcohol can slow eye muscle function.
5. Maintain the car over time
With a new car, little is needed to be done initially until the next MOT. However, new drivers should be aware of the different functions and settings of the car. Maintenance according to the manufacturers manual should be followed word for word to ensure parts like the coolant, tires, and engine are at their optimal performance.
Speak to Kwiksure
Be aware of what car insurance plans like third-party plans and comprehensive plans will cover in the event of an accident. It is advisable to speak to a car insurance brokerage such as Kwiksure to help source the best plans that offer the best protection in Hong Kong.