Remunerator News

Jul 12 2018

What came before a novated lease?

From classic Ford and Holden to BMW and Chrysler, the Australian police car has evolved drastically. Long before novated leasing and company cars, our authority figures would be in hot pursuit on horseback and cycling the streets to ‘protect and serve’.

The Police Car

The first Australian patrol car was introduced in the early 1900s. Over the next 30 years Ford and Holden established their reputation as a typical Aussie cop car. Just as you include accessories to your novated lease, police cars developed an obvious need for modifications and extras.

The first Australian patrol car, 1915

The first Australian patrol car, 1915

By the 1970s, “the list of modifications for these purpose built vehicles was long but included such things as: upgraded suspension; a revamped electrical system so as not to cause interference to police radios; increased alternator output and a heavy duty battery with couplings to connect to and cope with police specialty items; a specially calibrated speedo to detect speeding offences; a long range fuel tank to allow driving distances of 450 kilometres and an additional automatic transmission oil cooler, just to name a few.”

Time for a Change

After almost a century of Ford and Holden, the Australian police have begun phasing out the beloved classics. The NSW police have taken the lead by introducing BMWs and Chryslers as pursuit and highway patrol vehicles to their fleet.  “BMW’s machine is powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel engine which uses a claimed 4.7L/100km to produce 195kW and 620Nm – enough to reach 100km/h in 5.7 seconds.” Imagine the savings you could make if it were a novated lease!

“The Hemi-powered Chrysler features a 6.2-litre V8 with massive 350kW and 637Nm outputs. Chrysler says the machine can dispatch the 0-100km/h dash “in the mid four second range”, making it one of the fastest cars to serve on Australian highways.”

New South Wales partners with BMW and Chrysler for new patrol cars, 2018

Police Car Livery Design

Do you ever get short of breath every time you catch a glimpse of the blue and white checkered banner in your rear view mirror of your novated lease car?

Beyond the functional development, the iconic livery design of the police car is known as Sillitoe Tartan. The first instance of the checkered print in law enforcement was adopted by British Police Chief, Sir Percy Sillitoe in early 1930s. The design later spread as an internationally recognised visual representation of the police, law enforcement and emergency services.

The design reached Australian police vehicles by the 1960s when it was introduced by the South Australian police commissioner. By the 1970s the design was recognised nationally as the Australian police with varying colour combinations to represent different levels of authority.

Today’s use of Sillitoe Tartan spreads across several industries such as Taxi services so police cars need to stand out. The current livery maintains the integrity of checkers in combination with brighter spot colour and additional banners.

A Visual Timeline of Australian Police Cars

Written and compiled by Tamara Bouzo