15 per cent of the 6,000 micro-cars registered each year in Italy are sold in Rome. According to figures from ANCMA, Italy's union for manufacturers of two-three wheeled vehicles and associated accessories, the micro-car phenomenon has spread from young students to their parents, and professionals. Aside from their affordability, the reason for the car's popularity in Rome is because it can be parked easily in small spaces.
However because the majority of micro-cars are driven by 14-17 year olds, who until relatively recently did not require driving licenses, there have been numerous traffic accidents, some of them fatal. Opponents of the micro-car blame the inexperience of the young drivers as well as the fragile materials used in construction and the fact that the maximum weight allowed per car is 350 kilograms.
Since 2004 there has been a continued tightening of regulations for under-age drivers, with the introduction of a license system and a 12-hour course at recognised driving schools. The course costs between