SUVs invade Copenhagen

The number of large vehicles is on the increase in the Copenhagen area

Despite the ever-rising price of petrol, the more well-to-do in Denmark are buying 4x4s like never before. Off-road models from BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen and Toyota are becoming more common on the many narrow streets of Copenhagen.

The opposition's Socialist People's Party (SF) finds the trend disturbing.

'There isn't much use for an off-road vehicle in Copenhagen,' said SF's traffic spokesperson Morten Homann. People buy them purely for pleasure's sake.'

Sales of off-road vehicles in Denmark have tripled in the last five years. And of the 16,000 sport-utility vehicles, or SUVs, sold in Denmark last year, one-third went to Copenhagen area motorists.

'Cars are a lifestyle,' said Kasper Busch Lund from Propaganda-McCann, the advertising firm that represents BMW's off-road models. 'These types of vehicles show that you're not a slave to urban life.'

Many in the automotive branch believe that a main reason for the boom in sales for SUVs is the lower registration fee for 'gold plates' for commercial vehicles. Current law allows a private person to purchase and register a vehicle as being used for work purposes, which can lower the cost up to 50 percent.

SF's Morten Hoffman bemoaned the loophole.

'The duty laws are completely out of tune with reality when it comes to the environment,' he stated.

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