Federation responds to the government's Vnuk consultation

Published: 03/05/2017

FBHVC responded to a Government Consultation on the possible effects of the Vnuk Judgement on legal requirements for compulsory motor insurance oin the UK.

There follows a précis of the response. If you wish any further detail please contact                                           

Department for Transport

Technical Consultation on Motor Insurance;

Consideration of the ECJ Ruling in the case of Damijan Vnuk v Zavarovalnika Triglav d.d.  

Precis of FBHVC Response:

FBHVC Letter of 12th April 2017

In its formal letter of response to DfT, FBHVC noted that

  • The text of the 6th Motor Insurance Directive shows all Governments clearly thought it was concerned with road traffic.
  • The suggested consequences of the Vnuk judgement would appear clearly to be inadvertent on the part of the ECJ
  • Other EU Member States governments appeared not to believe their existing processes required major reforms of the kind being considered by the UK.

FBHVC suggested the reaction of the UK Government might be excessive.

FBHVC identified three major areas of concern and enlarged upon their consequence for the owners of historic vehicles.

  1. Motor sport including historic motor sport
  2. Increase in affected categories, such as horticultural and agricultural historic vehicles
  3. Potential effects on vehicles not in use, both those in use and those which exist but are “pre-SORN"

FBHVC argued that the policies proposed in the Consultation could have a significant adverse effect on the heritage of the United Kingdom.

FBHVC also pointed out that the interests of owners of the vehicles concerned ought not to be lost in discussions between Government and the insurance industry and asked that future discussion include a proper and open debate with these stakeholders.

FBHVC Answers to the questions posed by DfT in Annex C to the Technical Consultation.

Subjects covered and opinions expressed by FBHVC were as follows. Each opinion was supported by argument.

  • If regulations were introduced to meet the perceived Vnuk requirements they should be subject of a sunset clause which meant they would not automatically continue following Brexit.
  • The UK principle should be that no citizen should only be required to take out insurance for risks which the citizen might incur.
  • The proposals would make the position of substantially worse:
  1. For the historic vehicle movement generally both in respect of categories of vehicles and in respect of vehicles which are wholly or mainly immobile. FBHVC expressed concern about both the fairness and availability of relevant insurance for the additional risks (In support of this we offered a general listing of additional categories of vehicle we envisaged being at risk of inclusion)
  2. For participants in historic motor sport.(In support of this argument we provided a listing of significant historic motor sport events in 20i6). FBHVC pointed out that a major concern was that at the moment the insurance industry had expressed unwillingness to cover certain of the risks. Compulsion of insurance where cover could not be maintained would amount to prohibition of motor sport activity. FBHVC reiterated its failure to understand why other Member States were not reacting in a similar way to the issue.
  • FBHVC considers that some vehicles should simply be taken out of scope of any changes. If this was not deemed possible then in the view of FBHVC following departure from the EU the Directive should no longer apply  in the UK.
  • FBHVC would not favour the insurance of all vehicles in case they are used in traffic as acceptable.
  • FBHVC favours derogation from the applicability of the Directive of immobile vehicles and vehicles such as horticultural and agricultural historic vehicles as no “traffic” risk is incurred by them.
  • FBHVC recognises that the insurance industry considers that derogation is not sufficient for vehicles involved motor sport activities as the Motor Insurers Bureau would retain an overall liability. FBHVC considers that it is the duty of Government to find a solution that does not result in the banning of motor sport.
  • FBHVC warned of significant administrative burden in identifying increased categories of vehicle, the cost of which ought not to fall on the newly-affected owners. FBHVC also warned of the dangers of treating recording of these vehicles as a simple extension of the current vehicle licensing system.
  • FBHVC stated its opposition to all vehicles on SORN being compulsorily insured because so many historic vehicles on SORN were immobile particularly as vehicles being taken off the road would currently have to be destroyed if not SORNed.
  • FBHVC considers that penalties for infringement ought not to be of the same level as current infringement of the compulsory licensing system as the risks crested to third parties are so different in scope.

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