Vehicle classification

  • Models of vehicles develop, become bigger and form new vehicle categories
  • The classifier is based upon the generally accepted principles for the classification of vehicles in Europe
  • The classifier contains two principal parts depending on the category of the vehicle (M1, N1)
  • Critical classification parameters – length and usage of the vehicle
  • The classifier is maintained and updated once every quarter by the Automotive Association

The non-governmental organisation of the vehicle trade and repair industry – the society Automotive Association unites more than thirty authorised dealers of vehicle producers registered in the Republic of Latvia, representing almost fifty automobile brands in Latvia. In 20 years of their operation, the Automotive Association has gained significant national and international experience in automobile manufacturer branding, model classification and positioning in the market, as well as new model development trends.

In the last 20 years, as a result of the development of technologies, competition, EU legal enactments, as well as market requirements, vehicles have become more secure, comfortable, economic and environmentally friendly. Vehicle design has developed sharply, also offering high quality exterior and interior for brands in the mass (economic) segment and, in some cases even adapting it to representatives of Premium class segment vehicles. The general trend in the automotive industry shall be considered growth in size, as well as the creation of new categories and sub-categories. We may state that within 20 years, vehicle models have grown by one category. The totality of all technical parameters, usage criteria and emotional factors cannot be included in millimetres, kw and euros, thus, it requires comprehensive knowledge to be able to classify the entire range of vehicles available in the market into a specific, logical system of vehicle categories, which is constantly supplemented with new vehicle models.


The Automobile Classifier developed by the Automotive Associations, hereinafter referred to as the “Classifier”, is based upon vehicle classification general standards adopted in Europe; however, the EU has no unified classification or regulation at the level of legal enactments, and this function is carried out by the industry associations. In each member state the classifier may differ, while preserving principal criteria, which allow the identification of the respective category in each vehicle. The classifier contains all the brands and models of new vehicles available in the Latvian market, and it serves as a landmark for all persons interested, incl. mass media, market analysts, vehicle distributors and, in particular, state and municipal institutions by arranging the procurement of vehicles.

The classifier covers passenger vehicles (M1 – no more than 8 seats apart from the driver) and commercial motor transport (N1 – weighing up to 3.5 t), and it is divided into two assumed parts by the aspect of usage: passenger motor vehicles (M1) and commercial motor vehicles (N1). Each abbreviated word denomination of the automobile category is assigned an internationally accepted vehicle category symbol. The classifier considers two principal characteristics of the vehicle: its length (mm) and usage. The main criterion is the length of the vehicle, while the width, interior dimensions (room for legs, head for back-seat passengers) is not taken into account, thus, a situation may occur when a comparatively bigger car has less interior space than expected. The length of the vehicle is achieved with respect to deformation areas, design, or volume of the engine room and/or boot.

If a vehicle model which is not included into the Classifier, is allowed to be acquired within the territory of the European Union and/or the European Economic Area, the Automotive Association shall, on the request of the seller and/or the buyer of the respective vehicle, issue a note on the belonging of the respective vehicle to a respective category, further including the vehicle in the respective category of the Classifier. The classifier is maintained considering the parameters reported by vehicle manufacturers, and the Automotive Association updates it once per each quarter.


Vehicle classification