HALF A MIL­LION CLAS­SICS FAC­ING IN­SUR­ANCE FARCE

Rul­ing could mean that around 528,000 cars on SORN may need in­sur­ance

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

New sta­tis­tics un­earthed by

CCW sug­gest that more than half a mil­lion clas­sics cur­rently on SORN may have to be in­sured against third party risks.

And now you can have your voice heard on this in­creas­ingly con­tentious is­sue. An on­line con­sul­ta­tion is now live, and you can now re­spond to the con­tro­ver­sial Euro­pean court rul­ing.

Around 528,000 cars that were built be­fore 1996 and are cur­rently on SORN may have to be in­sured against third party risks, de­pend­ing on what ac­tion the UK gov­ern­ment takes in re­sponse to the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the EU Mo­tor In­sur­ance Di­rec­tive 2009 in the Vnuk case (as re­ported in CCW, 4 Jan­uary, 2017).

Cars that are in long-term stor­age and are nei­ther li­censed nor on SORN may also need to be in­sured. The ex­act num­ber of ve­hi­cles that could be af­fected is not yet known, but re­search con­ducted by the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs sug­gests that around 12 per cent of all pre-1985 cars in the coun­try fall into this cat­e­gory.

FBHVC com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Ge­off Lan­caster says: ‘Se­ri­ous is­sues have arisen from the Vnuk case, and the Fed­er­a­tion will re­spond to the con­sul­ta­tion pa­per on be­half of its

‘Se­ri­ous is­sues have arisen from the Vnuk case – we will re­spond shortly’ GE­OFF LAN­CASTER, FBHVC

650 mem­ber bod­ies and 255,000 in­di­vid­ual mem­bers shortly.’

As for­mer solic­i­tor and CCW con­trib­u­tor David Mil­loy ex­plains, the Vnuk case has al­ready been dis­cussed in a UK court. He says: ‘His Hon­our Judge Waks­man QC rightly ob­served in a 2016 English High Court case that sec­tion 143 of the Road Traf­fic Act 1988 is not com­pat­i­ble with the EU Mo­tor In­sur­ance Di­rec­tive.

‘This is be­cause sec­tion 143, un­like the Di­rec­tive, re­stricts the need for com­pul­sory in­sur­ance to ve­hi­cles used on a road or other public place. In ad­di­tion, the def­i­ni­tion of “mo­tor ve­hi­cle” con­tained in sec­tion 185 of the Road Traf­fic Act is much nar­rower than the def­i­ni­tion in the EU Di­rec­tive. This means that all man­ner of mo­torised ve­hi­cles (in­clud­ing such things as Seg­ways, golf bug­gies, quad bikes, fork lift trucks and even dodgems) may be re­quired to be in­sured.’

And the UK gov­ern­ment faces hav­ing to change the law in or­der to make it com­pat­i­ble with the Di­rec­tive, oth­er­wise it could face fu­ture le­gal ac­tion on two fronts: claims from in­di­vid­u­als claim­ing to have suf­fered losses be­cause of the Gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to trans­pose the EU Di­rec­tive into na­tional law; and from the EU Com­mis­sion it­self.

Mil­loy adds: ‘How­ever, the fact re­mains that the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment has the power to ex­empt cer­tain cat­e­gories of ve­hi­cle from the need to have com­pul­sory in­sur­ance cover.’

The con­sul­ta­tion pa­per - which runs un­til Fri­day, 31 March - can be viewed and re­sponded to by log­ging on to the gov.uk web­site: www.tinyurl. com/VNUKCCW

Both of these Volvo PV544s would need in­sur­ance, de­spite be­ing off the road.

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