Here’s the Weird Way Teens in Sweden Can Drive With No License
In many countries, obtaining a driver’s license to drive cars is a rite of passage for teenagers, representing newfound independence and freedom. However, in Sweden, there is a peculiar way that teenagers can legally drive without a license. This unique system allows teens as young as 15 to get behind the wheel of a car without taking a traditional driving test. In this article, we will delve into the details of this strange system and explore its effectiveness in promoting safe driving habits among Swedish teens.
What is A-Traktor in Sweden?
In Sweden, a unique class of vehicles known as “A-Traktor” is popular among teenagers. These vehicles are modified to limit the speed of farm vehicles. The limit allows teens to drive cars like Porsche and BMW before getting a driver’s license. The top speed of an A-Traktor vehicle is 30 kilometers per hour (18 miles per hour).
According to a report by Euractiv, the surge in new registrations of A-traktors in Sweden since 2020 has led to a significant increase in accidents involving these vehicles. According to insurers and police, injuries have exceeded 200 annually, with four deaths in 2022 alone. In response to the increase in accidents, Sweden’s transport authority has proposed making wearing seatbelts and using winter tires mandatory for A-traktors, as with regular cars.
How much does it cost to have an A-Traktor?
The cost of an A-Traktor in Sweden can vary widely, ranging from 30,000 kronor ($2,900) to 200,000 kronor ($19,260). The conversions have presented a business opportunity for some entrepreneurs, such as Oskar Flyman and his younger brother, who started a business in 2021 converting cars into A-traktors.
According to Flyman, typical conversion costs around 25,000 kronor ($2,400). Their garage in a suburb north of Stockholm sees about five to six conversions per month. If teens want to get around without a license, the only other option is a moped. With the surge in popularity of A-traktors in recent years, the cost and availability of these vehicles will likely continue to fluctuate in the Swedish market.
What are the requirements for A-Traktor?
The A-Traktor is subject to specific regulations in Sweden. These rules include:
- a maximal wheelbase of 225 cm (old regulation for Epa)
- an unsprung rear axle, and a 10:1 gear ratio. (old regulation for Epa)
- maximum truck bed not larger than 1.25 square meters
- top speed was regulated to 30 km/h (18 mph)
- a triangular slow vehicle sign in the back
- second row of passengers not allowed
- the dead space behind the driver and passenger could not be usable in any sort of way, not for people or goods
- tow hitch is mandatory since its a farm vehicle
The specific requirements for A-Traktor have become more lenient in recent years. These leniencies are how some teens have worked out how to drive Porsche and BMW vehicles without a license. The essential requirement is the speed limiter which has become more accessible with new cars.
Would you let your teen drive an A-Traktor?
In conclusion, the A-Traktor system in Sweden allows teenagers as young as 15 years old to drive legally without a traditional driving test. While the system has provided newfound freedom for Swedish teens, it has also raised safety concerns. The surge in A-Traktor registrations since 2020 has led to a significant increase in accidents, prompting proposals for mandatory safety measures. The specific requirements for A-Traktor have become more lenient in recent years, making it easier for teens to drive high-end vehicles such as Porsche and BMW with no license. While the A-Traktor system may seem peculiar to outsiders, it remains an integral part of teenage culture in Sweden.