Yeah that whole Vnuk judgement thing – what the heck was all that about?
In a nutshell a farmer in Eastern Europe called Vnuk was on a ladder, which was hit by a tractor and trailer. This was on private farmland, not the public road, but the UE decided that every `mechanically propelled’ vehicle would need insurance, all the time, in case anyone collided with anyone else. Everyone thought that e-bikes, e-scooters, golf buggies, classic vehicles being moved around a field, or even a hipster riding a Segway around his own black granite kitchen, would therefore need third party motor insurance as a result of the EU judgement.
In fact Northern Ireland decided that e-bicycles that can do over 15.5mph are classed as electric motorcycles, so you need to register it for VED, sort insurance, plus a crash helmet to ride one. Those under 250 watts of power and unable to make 15.5mph on the throttle, are now exempt from tax, helmets and insurance – they’re just bicycles again. As you were…
So for a while all this Vnuk stuff looked like it would be the de facto position on classifying which vehicles needed insurance, by law. But then we had Brexit and all bets were off, including the Vnuk argument. After much campaigning by Project Remoan, who feel every EU rule should be automatically followed despite Brexit, the Brexit side won the definition of `road vehicles’ argument in Parliament after years of squabbling.
So, the Vnuk aspect of motor insurance law was dropped, after the Motor Vehicles Bill just made it through the House of Lords. Crucially UK law now actually diverges from EU law on the matter of compulsory cover for vehicles operating on private land. It will be a huge relief for classic car and motorcycle fans who trailer their vehicles to shows throughout every summer and don’t use them on the road.
See a little legal eagle summary here by the way.
Commenting on the successful passage of a Bill in Parliament today that will remove the so-called ‘Vnuk’ motor insurance law, RAC Insurance spokesperson Simon Williams said:
“We welcome legislative changes that will scrap the controversial Vnuk requirement. Insisting people take out compulsory insurance for all manner of vehicles such as ride-on lawn mowers, quad bikes and golf buggies used on private land would have been an expensive and complicated process for the insurance industry, as well as one which could have led to higher premiums for all drivers. For these reasons we feel common sense has won out.”