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Mumbai Police confiscating media cars running on temporary plates

Red plate cars are only for temporary use by the dealer, and that too primarily for transportation from the stockyard to the dealership.

The cops have started confiscating red-plate media cars used by reviewers for test-drives. Already heard of several stories where cars from multiple OEMs have been pulled over by the police. If it was a journalist behind the wheel, the car is confiscated on the spot.

The RTO's problem = Red plate cars are only for temporary use by the dealer, and that too primarily for transportation from the stockyard to the dealership. Why is the manufacturer not paying road tax? They are also checking the odometer and if it runs into the thousands of km (common with media cars), they are confiscated. In fact, manufacturers frequently keep their media cars on red plates for 2 years or so. By definition, a red plate is only for temporary use, so clearly, a system was being abused. OEMs are now so scared that an upcoming scheduled test-drive event has been moved from Bombay to Pune!

As harsh as it might be, I agree with this rule. Why are car manufacturers not properly registering cars that are used for a business purpose? I hope this becomes a nationwide drive by the police & stops the practice immediately. OEMs spend 5 - 10 crores on hosting media test-drive events and are used to capex of thousands of crores. What is a couple of lakhs to register your fleet of 10 - 20 test-drive vehicles?

Am also wondering how this affects dealer test-drive vehicles used by customers for short TDs.

As someone who drives media test-drive cars often, I sure hope they now come with proper registration & full comprehensive insurance (some of them carry just the bare minimum 3rd party coverage). Even before this confiscation drive, it was a real hassle to drive cars with red plates. The police would frequently pull us over.

 
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