Las Vegas car dealers now face a city-enforced ban on customers sampling their vehicles on residential streets, a problem nearby residents said had turned their streets into a test track.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, residents asked mayor Oscar Goodman and councilwoman Janet Moncrief to sponsor the ordinance.

The paper said the ban applies to dealership customers and employees driving on streets narrower than 80 feet, unless the city grants an exception and also requires that, within six months, dealerships file test-drive plans with Las Vegas showing which streets they use for demonstrating vehicles.

The Review-Journal said the city could take action against the business licences of dealerships that violate the ordinance or have special use permits or site plans issued by the city revoked. Businesses could be fined up to $1,000.

A spokesman for the valley's Courtesy-branded car dealerships, told the paper his company would continue working with neighbours to resolve the problems, regardless of the city's action.

"Whether it passed or didn't pass, we were going to follow the same criteria of avoiding driving through neighbourhoods. It's better for us and them," the spokesman reportedly said.

City officials told the Review-Journal that a prohibition against test drives in neighbourhoods has been a zoning condition on nearly every car dealership built in recent years but a resident, who is working with county officials on a similar ordinance, said a new ordinance was needed because the dealerships largely ignored residents' pleas.

"It will bring accountability for the way they do business," she reportedly said. "All other businesses are controlled by rules and regulations, and the dealerships need to be part of that."