When purchasing a three-wheel scooter car that, it is important to recognize that, while state laws vary, most states classify all three-wheel vehicles as motorcycles and require that drivers meet motorcycle-rider licensing and insurance requirements. A good way to learn about specific manufacturers and models of three wheel cars is through Internet discussion groups, such as those for the Corbin Sparrow or Spyder. When inspecting a car before purchase, bring along a knowledgeable person who can provide a second opinion.
Prior to purchase, check state laws to verify related regulations, as some states, such as Kentucky, Ohio and Massachusetts, have laws specifically regulating three-wheel cars. Confirm in advance that the vehicle is licensable and insurable. Some states may require an inspection of the vehicle before approving it for licensing, especially if it is a kit car. It is also important to confirm the vehicle's safety specifications since, similar to motorcycles, routine automobile safety testing is not required. If stability is a concern, consider a variety of factors, including track, wheelbase, center of gravity and front-to-rear weight distribution.
In 2016, some of the three-wheelers, such as the Spyder by Can Am, fit the classic motorcycle design. Others, such as the Elio, with a fourth-quarter 2016 release date, simply look like cars with three wheels and meet safety standards for cars.