Dealers back calls for new European 'kei' class

Dealers are overwhelmingly backing calls for a new class of small Japanese-style cars that are cheaper to tax, insure and park, new research shows.

Startline Used Car Tracker said 93% of dealers it surveyed in February support the idea, which is based on Japanese “kei” cars and has been supported by the European Automobile Manufacturer Association, the ACEA.

Of those questioned, 72% say that the move would allow more people to buy and drive a car, while 62% point out that small cars are always popular with buyers and 41% that they would be ideal for city use.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “Japan has had kei cars since just after the war and they account for about a third of new car sales there. They are restricted in size, weight and engine capacity but bring lower road taxes and insurance, and also avoid certain parking restrictions.

“The ACEA idea is that a new class of small car similar to this, electrically powered, would provide a new option for European buyers and encourage uptake of smaller, zero emissions cars, especially in urban areas.

“Our research shows that dealers overwhelmingly back the idea. Car retailers are the people at the sharp end of motor retail and believe that such vehicles would find a ready market among used car buyers.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, and surveyd 301 consumers and 61 dealers.


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