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Government to scrap controversial EU motor insurance law

Brexit sees EU law dropped that would’ve required owners of golf buggies, mobility scooters and quad bikes to buy insurance.

UK road traffic

The government has announced plans to ditch a controversial EU insurance law which, it says, should help drivers avoid an estimated £50-a-year increase in their motor insurance.

Had it been implemented, the ‘Vnuk’ EU motor law would’ve required owners of vehicles such as golf buggies, mobility scooters and quad bikes to buy insurance.

The new rules would’ve also extended to vehicles on private land, meaning people with a ride-on lawnmower at home would’ve needed to buy insurance where it wouldn’t previously have been required.

Insurance industry to save £2 billion

Vnuk was a Slovenian case in which a farm worker was injured by a tractor trailer. In 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled in his favour, meaning he could claim damages from the insurance company that supplied the motor policy.

As a result of the ruling, the law in the UK was due to change. But now Britain has left the EU, the measures no longer need to be implemented.

The government says scrapping the rules should save the insurance industry almost £2 billion in extra overall costs. 

And, in turn, this should save money for customers too as it’s likely these costs would’ve been passed on to existing motorcar policy holders.

An ‘unnecessary hike’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We have always disagreed with this over-the-top law that would only do one thing – hit the pockets of hard-working people up and down the country with an unnecessary hike in their car insurance. I am delighted to announce that we no longer need to implement it.”

As well as the likely financial burden on British road-users, the government considered Vnuk rules to be unnecessary, as it says there are already insurance packages available to Brits that cover certain risks on private land.

Bypassing Vnuk will also protect the existence of the UK’s world-leading motorsports industry, the government says.

The EU rules would’ve meant any motorsports collision involving vehicles from go-karting to F1 would’ve been treated as regular road traffic incidents requiring insurance. It’s estimated this would’ve added extra costs of roughly £458 million per year. 

Motorists impacted by Brexit 

The UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020. 

Brexit has impacted motorists in a number of ways.

For example, drivers planning on visiting the EU this year may now need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries. 

What’s more, when taking a car or van abroad, motorists will need a Green Card and a GB sticker too if they don't have a GB logo on their registration plate.
 

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