HALF A MILLION CLASSICS FACING INSURANCE FARCE
Ruling could mean that around 528,000 cars on SORN may need insurance
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.