Government intends to scrap ‘Vnuk’ law
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced plans to scrap the controversial ‘Vnuk’ motor insurance law. The Vnuk law was introduced across the EU following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2014. The case involved a Slovenian farm worker (Mr. Vnuk) who was injured when he fell from a ladder that was struck by a farm tractor. As the tractor was used entirely off-road, it was not required to have insurance. The case was referred to the ECJ, which extended the requirements for vehicular insurance to cover a vehicle's ‘normal function’, and not just use on a public road. The implications of the ruling were huge.
For a start it meant that all vehicles, even those not registered for road use such as track bikes or motocross bikes (or even forklift trucks and golf buggies), would have to be insured at all times. It also meant that any collision involving two vehicles, even if the collision didn’t take place on a public road, would have to have been treated as a regular road traffic accident for insurance purposes. So a bump in BSB between two riders would have gone through insurance. Calculations by the DfT suggested the insurance industry would have been on the hook for roughly £458 million per year, which would likely have been passed straight onto the general public with estimates of £50 per person per year.
Although the ruling was already passed into British law when we were a member of the EU, it has yet to be implemented. Now that Britain has left the EU, the government are able to remove it from British law.
Speaking about plans to repeal the law, 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 insurance. I am delighted to announce that we no longer need to implement it.
"Scrapping this rule would save the country billions of pounds and is part of a new and prosperous future for the UK outside the EU – a future in which we set our own rules and regulations."
MCN asked the DfT for the expected timeline of the action with a spokesperson saying: “This is a top priority for the Government, and we are working with urgency on the necessary steps to legislate. This is subject to the usual Parliamentary processes, so it is not possible to put a precise timeframe on this. Given the importance of the legislation it is our intention is to bring this into law at the earliest opportunity.”