Driving in Europe has many different rules around it, from obtaining a license to the rules of the road and costs associated with driving. The EU as a body imposes certain regulations on driving and other aspects each of the individual states in the EU can create their own rules.
Some common rules shared among all the countries is that no one under age 18 can drive a car, the more years driving experience you have the cheaper it is to hire a car and the different engine sizes of the cars also have different costs associated with them. Europe has strict rules on who they allow driving, if you’re not sure if you’ll be allowed to drive then find your vehicle identification number and use a car VIN check europe to look at the history of your car and see if it meets the requirements of EU laws. With the development of smart cars, Europe has had to develop new regulations to deal with these being on the road which is slightly different from their usual rules and regulations.
What is a smart car?
The development of the smart car started a long time ago. Swatch watches inventor moved his interest from watches to cars and succeeded in this just as much as he did making watches. He hated driving as he thought it was damaging the environment and he struggles to park in small spaces.
He realized if he thought this was then many other people would think just like him, this made him realize that there was a gap in the market and he took the opportunity to develop a smart car. The development started back in 1994 and the first smart car was revealed in Frankfurt 3 years later. The purpose of a smart car was to be a more environmentally friendly car as it would be much more fuel-efficient than the average car on the roads and due to its small size, it would make parking much easier. He partnered with Daimler-Benz to make this possible, after a while, he pulled out as it wasn’t as environmentally friendly so now smart cars are fully owned by Daimler-Benz. There have been continuous developments on the smart car to make it more environmentally friendly and recently there have been signs there are plans to move to an electric engine.
Why are separate regulations needed?
Whilst the development of the smart car is great for the environment, it’s a much more dangerous vehicle than the standard car on the road. The size and weight of the car mean they’re unsafe in collisions, if a smart car was to crash in a standard size car they wouldn’t have enough protection and the driver would have increased chances of being seriously injured.
What regulations are being imposed?
Europe has introduced new rules and regulations around CO2 emissions from cars after the Paris Agreement where 195 nations agreed to lower their emissions. There are now penalties that have been put in place for diesel cars and cars that have higher than average CO2 emissions.
On the flip side, there are incentives in place to help encourage people to purchase smart cars as they’re much better for the environment, and having more people drive them will help Europe to meet their CO2 targets. Another regulation is new parking laws that apply specifically to smart cars. In two major European cities: Paris and London, parking on the pavement is not allowed, but if you drive a smart car due to the small size you’re allowed to do this as pedestrians can still easily pass, this is another incentive to drive a smart car as both of these cities are extremely busy so this will make finding a parking space much easier.
Again, the size of the car is a benefit as if you’re parking in a parking space in the UK for example, you can park 2 smart cars in the 1 space and only have to pay for 1 ticket. Europe has pretty lax parking laws around smart cars, all of these rules are in place as a step in the right direction for Europe to become carbon neutral on the roads by 2039.