Rustavi car market. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Car dealers demonstrated in Rustavi on Friday against the government’s initiative to ban the registration of cars with right-hand drive from 2017.

The protest took place at Georgia’s largest car market, located in Rustavi, a town 20km south of the capital.

Some of the dealers want the government to postpone the ban for at least two years, while others are opposed to the ban entirely.

Those who want to postpone claim that they will have to stop purchasing cars from Japan in September, which means that the preparation period for them will be reduced from one year to only six months.

Dealers say they have advantageous contracts with Japan, with low interest rates. Such contract conditions are not available if they purchase from Europe or the United States.

“We need more time to transition our business,” one of the protesters told journalists.

Other dealers are against a ban on registration of cars with right hand drive, and proposed instead to find other ways to address traffic safety, including modifying the cars by moving the steering wheel.

A few days ago, the deputy interior minister said the government is considering postponing the ban until January 1, 2017.