Voiturette has several meanings, depending largely on date.

The term was first used by Léon Bolée in 1895 to describe his new motor tricycle and in the early years of the motor industry was used by many makers to describe their small cars.

Between World Wars One and Two the term was also applied to light-weight racing cars with engines limited to 1500 cc such as the Bugatti Type 13 and the original ERAs.

In France, in the years after World War Two it came to refer to a type of small three-wheeled vehicle.

In the 1990s the word was revived for a French vehicle weighing less than 350 kilograms (770 lb) empty and carrying a load (i.e., passengers) of not more than 200 kilograms (~440 lb). The top speed is limited to 45 km/h (~30 mph) and engine size to 50 cc or 4 kilowatts for an engine of "another type" for example an electric car. Such vehicles are sometimes also called "motor quadricycles" or "motor tricycles". The driver's license for them are available to people over 16 years and are in category "B1" and are valid, subject to restrictions, in all European Union countries.

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