What is a mini-truck?
A mini-truck is a motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of small loads and has four wheels, an engine displacement of 660cc or less, an overall length of 130 inches or less, an overall height of 78 inches or less, and an overall width of 60 inches or less. Some internationally manufactured vehicles built in this general style exceed these dimensions but are still considered to be mini-trucks.
Mini-trucks were not designed to operate on North American roads. They were manufactured to standards that differ significantly from North American vehicle safety standards that would apply to comparable vehicles. They do not meet the definition for any category of vehicle for which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) has established standards.
Mini-trucks are distinct from low-speed vehicles, and should not be confused with a low-speed vehicle. “Low-speed vehicle
” is a distinct vehicle classification in North America that has its own safety standards, and must be certified to comply with those standards.
Guidelines for identifying mini-trucks
In the U.S. and Canada:
- Vehicle has a non-standard VIN:
- The VIN is comprised of fewer than 17 characters, usually ten or 14 characters, but 11 and 12 characters is not uncommon.
- The World Make Identifier (WMI) is not included.
- The VIN will often begin with the model type.
- Does not display a CMVSS or FMVSS compliance label.
- No labeling indicating the Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings or Gross Axle Weight Ratings.
- Right hand steering, if Japan is country of origin.
- Maximum vehicle weight is 1,500 lbs (700 kg).
- Maximum engine displacement is 660 cc.
- Gasoline engine, if manufactured in Japan.
- Gas or diesel engine, if manufactured in China.
- Original vehicle manufacturers are abroad with no dealer presence in the U.S. or Canada.
- Vehicle has no North American equivalent.
- Vehicle is typically imported as an off-road vehicle or as farm equipment (any age).
- Vehicle has no Manufacturer‘s Certificate of Origin or continuity of ownership.
The information regarding definitions and identifying mini-trucks uses the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) Mini-Truck Best Practice
as a resource.