Cars and other vehicles

Cars and other vehicles

Noise from motor vehicles

Motor vehicle noise in the local area can affect residents. Noise can come from horns, brakes, a refrigerator left running on a parked truck, engine or muffler noise, deliberately revving engines or loud sound systems.

The Police and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) handle most noise complaints about cars and motorcycles.

NSW law requires that:

  • noise levels from motor vehicle exhausts must not exceed specified maximum noise levels
  • vehicle engines must not be modified so they are louder than when originally manufactured
  • noise-control equipment on motor vehicles must not be defective and must be securely in place
  • car alarms must not sound for longer than permitted times.

Noisy engines and exhausts

Residents can report vehicles with noisy engines and exhaust systems to the EPA on 131 555.

You will need to provide the vehicle's registration number, its make, model and colour, and note when and where the incident occurred.

Police and officers of the EPA can require vehicles to be inspected and tested for compliance with noise-control regulations.

Police and the EPA also have the power to issue on-the-spot fines to motorists who have illegally modified the noise-reduction equipment on their car or motorcycle.

Dangerous driving and horns

Police can respond to complaints about deliberately noisy and dangerous driving, illegal sounding of horns and offensive noise from motor vehicle sound systems. To report these problems, contact your local police station or the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

Alarms, sound systems and vehicle refrigerators

The City can respond to complaints about offensive noise from car-intruder alarms, sound systems and vehicle refrigerators, such as those found on trucks and vans, that can be heard indoors. To report excessive noise from these sources, you can phone the City at any time on 02 9265 9333.

Major roads

Visit our major works, transport and events page for more information.


Managing noise from vehiclesReporting noise from vehicle exhaust

Car hoons

A section of Hickson Road and George Street is closed between 10pm and 3am each Friday and Saturday night and on Sunday nights when a long weekend falls.

This is to reduce anti-social behaviour by car hoons.

Authorised traffic, such as residents, legitimate visitors and taxis are permitted to drive north along Hickson Road past Pottinger Street on Friday and Saturday nights.

All northbound motorists on George Street will be diverted onto Alfred Street near Circular Quay.

Motorists can exit the restricted area via either route.

Police at The Rocks operate the road closures, which are reviewed every year.


The Rocks police station

Last updated: Thursday, 27 September 2018