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3 States Adjust License Rules for Slingshots

  • Natalie Mattila
  • June 23, 2017
  • 0

Three more states have reclassified their licensing requirements this week — allowing Slingshot drivers to operate the three-wheeled vehicles without needing a motorcycle license, according to a Polaris Industries Inc. press release.

New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Oregon now require consumers to hold only a valid driver’s license to drive a Slingshot — bringing the total states up to 33 — which could boost sales and even lower credit losses on the vehicles, according to Donal Hummer Jr., ThunderRoad Financial’s chief executive.

ThunderRoad Financial has been taking a more “conservative” approach to financing Slingshot vehicles, due to higher losses — double — than other powersports vehicles in its portfolio, Hummer previously told Powersports Finance. The lender has not “pulled back” from financing the vehicles, but is being cautious, he added.

However, the license reclassification will “greatly increase” the population of consumers who would consider buying or financing a Slingshot, he said: “The resulting outcome being larger demand and greater sales for both new and used, which is good for both the manufacturer and the powersports finance companies.”

Determining how to classify the Polaris Slingshot “has been a challenge for state governments” due to the vehicle’s three-wheeled configuration, according to the release. Many often refer to the Slingshot as an “autocycle.”

“We are proactively educating state officials about the characteristics and unique attributes of the Slingshot,” Rachael Elia, Slingshot marketing manager, said in the release. “As we do this, they are realizing the licensing requirements for the roadster share more similarities to a car rather than a motorcycle.”

The remaining 17 states require a motorcycle endorsement, but efforts are being made to reclassify the vehicle to gain “full conformity” throughout the country, according to the release.

Separately, Polaris Industries Inc. is offering 1.99% financing for 72 months, or customer cash up to $3,000, on new 2015 and 2016 Polaris Slingshot models. Terms up to 84 months are also available for purchases, based on credit approval criteria, according to the OEM’s website. The offer is valid through June 30.

Join Powersports Finance on Wednesday, June 28, at 2 p.m. EST for our live Twitter chat. This month’s theme is dealer relations, including tips on how to build a solid dealer network and improve dealer relationships. Join the discussion and ask questions using #AskPSF.

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