Polaris Slingshot Is Now Legal In Texas
As one of the last holdout states that have kept the Polaris Slingshot out of its borders, the state of Texas finally relented on the issue of allowing three-wheeled autocycles like the Slingshot to be registered in the state, thus officially making them legal.
The predicament surrounding the Slingshot and other vehicles classified as “autocycles” has had its fair share of debates in the past, including in Texas where the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles previously refused registering the Slingshot because it couldn’t classify it as a car or a motorcycle, leaving it stuck in some kind of automotive purgatory.
But state legislators sprang into action by introducing two separate bills, HB439 and SB449, intended to address the issue and, if necessary, put a specific classification under the term “autocycle” that would make it distinct from cars or motorcycles. SB449, in particular, contained a clear definition of the term, describing autocycles as “vehicles with seats, a steering wheel, and propelled by not more than three wheels.”
The bill eventually received unanimous support from the House, which voted 142-0 in favor of the bill, and more importantly, and more importantly, from state governor Greg Abbott, who signed the bill on May 22, 2015. With no dissenting votes on the bill, Abbott’s signature legalized the Slingshot in the Lone Star State with immediate effect.
A few sections on the bill contained clauses that effectively allow prospective owners of the Slingshot to register the autocycle as a motorcycle, making the wearing of helmets mandatory for riders under the age of 21 and those who have no additional insurance coverage and those who have yet to complete an approved safety course.
With the Slingshot now effectively legal in Texas, Polaris has already made all three trim models (the base model, the SL, and the SL LE) of the autocycle available at dealerships throughout the state.
Polaris Slingshots are now available at dealerships in Texas in all three trims, the base model, Slingshot SL and Slingshot SL LE. The company didn’t announce pricing details of any of three models in the state so expect them to go for the same MSRP price that’s posted on the company’s website.
That would mean that the base Slingshot will cost $19,999 while the SL and the SL LE will cost $23,999 and $24,999, respectively.
Continue reading to read more about the Polaris Slingshot finally breaking into the Texas market.
Why it matters
Residents of Texas who have been waiting a while to buy the Polaris Slingshot now have their chance to go to their nearest Polaris dealerships to make the purchase. Such a thought seemed improbable even as early as last year as numerous attempts to legislate the legality of autocycles languished in the legislature.
But as more and more states in the US began adopting their own laws legalizing these attocycles - part car, part motorcycle for lack of a better description - it became clear that it was only a matter of time before Texas would join the fold. Now that state governor Henry Abbott has put his John Hancock on SB449 that effectively gave a clear classification for these vehicles, Texans can now enjoy the full benefits of the Slingshot without worrying about breaking any laws.
Good times, indeed!
With Texas now in the mix, the list of states that have yet to legalize autocycles grows smaller by the day. Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, and Maryland are some of the last holdouts that have yet to classify autocycles as a separate vehicle classification from cars and motorcycles. Various bills in those states are being worked on and argued over as we speak so it’s going to be interesting what new developments arise from these states as the months pass.
What we do know is that Texas has finally consented to allowing autocycles like the Slingshot to be sold and used legally in the state. One battle won at a time for Polaris.