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Available languages — Key:motorcar
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Public-images-osm logo.svg motorcar
Sinnbild PKW.svg
Access permission for cars Edit or translate this description.
Group: Restrictions
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto

Legal access permission for cars (automobiles). This is normally derived from traffic signs placed along the road. However, the symbol depicting a (passenger) car on traffic signs has a very different legal meaning (scope) depending on the type of traffic sign it is depicted on.


Some argue that when used as a restriction-tag in Openstreetmap, that is motorcar=no, it includes all double-tracked motorised while motorcar=yes refers to a different group: only passenger cars. Others argue that this interpretation goes against the basic properties of a key, which scope stays the same, regardless of the value that is added to it in a tag. The text below describes the legal meaning

Prohibitory signs

The most common form is a prohibitory sign (circular sign with a wide red border and depicting a car). This sign (C, 3a) has been defined in the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals as 'no entry for any power driven vehicle except two-wheeled motor cycles without side-car'.

This traffic sign implies hgv=no, motorhome=no etc. The equivalent explicit tagging is: motor_vehicle=no + motorcycle=yes (+ moped=yes/mofa=yes if one of these categories is used in the corresponding country and is not counted as motorcycle).

120px-Zeichen 251.svg.png

A separate prohibitory sign that especially for passenger cars is not included in the Vienna Convention and is also absent in the legislation of most joining countries (absent in 19 of the 20 European countries with separate information in this overview [1], with the notable exception of Germany). The Vienna convention makes no distinction between the usage of frontal or sideways silhouettes in prohibitory signs on which a different meaning -such as in the German exception- could be based.

Regulatory Signs

When used on a blue regulatory sign, the silhouette of a passenger car (sign E, 6a) in the Vienna convention refers to access for an even wider group of vehicles, since this is defined as "road for motor vehicles" motor_vehicle=designated. In some national legislations this is narrowed down a bit, to exclude slow motorised traffic such as moped=* ).


The Vienna convention does not contain explicit signs that refer only to passenger cars, but in national legislations instances other signs depicting a passenger car can occur, such as in regulatory signs for usage of parking spaces. While this generally implies hgv=no, it is not always clear what this means for light goods vehicles goods=* or light motorhomes motorhome=*