A passenger car (abbreviated to Pkw or PKW ), in Switzerland passenger car ( PW ), is a multi-lane vehicle that is licensed for use on public roads and has its own drive for the main purpose of transporting people . In everyday life, passenger cars are also called cars (short for automobile ) or technically motor vehicles . Most cars are used in private transport. Buses and trucks (trucks) are not considered to be passenger cars.
Passenger cars are vehicles for passenger transport with at least four wheels in accordance with Directive 2007/46 / EC . In Germany, for example, according to the legal definition in Section 4 (4) PBefG , they are motor vehicles which, according to their design and equipment, are suitable and intended for the transport of no more than nine people (including the driver). This corresponds to class M1 of Directive 2007/46 / EC. Furthermore, they are among the multi-lane vehicles that may only be driven on designated traffic areas.
The legal prerequisite for driving a passenger car is a driving license and a class B driving license (which generally entitles the driver to drive vehicles under 3.5 t and a maximum of eight seats in addition to the driver's seat) , which is now the same across the EU . There are exceptions for three- or four-wheeled light vehicles , provided they are understood as passenger cars. A legal requirement for using the passenger car in road traffic is also approval for road traffic (registration certificates and vehicle registration numbers).
The maximum number of people that can be carried in a car has been regulated by law since 2009. After that, only as many people can be transported as there are seat belts in the car. For vehicles without seat belts (for example oldtimers ), a maximum of as many passengers are allowed as there are seats according to the vehicle documents ( Section 21 (1) StVO ).
Car models are divided into different vehicle classes and types .
Nota bene on the usage of the word:
- According to Duden , the genitive of the abbreviation can be formed without or with s : des Pkw or Pkw . The same applies to the plural : the cars or the cars .
According to Art. 11 Para. 2a VTS , a passenger car (PW) is a light automobile, officially a motor vehicle, of class M 1 according to Directive 2007/46 / EC for passenger transport with a maximum of nine seats including driver up to 3,500 kg. The corresponding term in Swiss law is voiture de tourisme in French and automobil in Italian . Since reference is made to EC class M 1 , the definition is based on the EU definition, supplemented by some special features, for example American-style lights such as red flashing lights (Appendix 10 VTS) are permitted.
- Number of cars in German households Statistics from IfD Allensbach, prepared by statista.org