FBHVC UPDATES 2019
Insurance – The Effect of VNUK
While appears on the face of it to be a fairly simple protection for the consumer raised two big issues, with which the Federation is concerned.
• The potential major effect on competitive motorsport, which is what also concerns the MIA, and
• The possibility that vehicles currently held to be exempt from compulsory insurance because they are not entitled to be used on the road (in the UK that mainly means on SORN), should nevertheless be insured.
You will also recall that the Vnuk case caused the UK Government to consider urgent changes to the law. They consulted, and the Federation submitted a response putting our arguments on both aspects, but the Government never responded to the Consultation, for whatever reason.
I also raised the matter more generally in the Legislation Commission of FIVA, but at that time, as no other Member State was actively considering changes to the national laws, the question rested.
What is now happening is that the EU Commission, which was already working on a redraft of the existing Motor Insurance Directive, introduced elements into their new proposal to reflect the ECJ’s view requiring extension of compulsory insurance.
FIA has, as is their obvious duty, taken up the cudgels on the competition issue through the proper route, which is in this case engagement with the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the European Parliament.
FIVA made a short response to the Committee supporting the FIA approach on competition. The position is not so clear on the question of road vehicles not permitted to be used on the highway, many of which will of course be incapable of movement. This is very peripheral to FIA, but not to us, so FIVA has made direct responses to the Committee “Rapporteur”, Dita Charanzova of the Czech Republic, and sought reciprocal FIA support.
Both the FIVA approaches were informed by the work the Federation had already done on the UK domestic context, so I am sure our arguments were properly presented.
The proposals are, at the time of writing this, at a sensitive stage awaiting completion of consideration in the Committee.
We await the imminent publication of the report from Ms Charanzova. That report will be followed by other Members’ reports which will take account of her report. It is this stage which has caused Mr Aylett to make his most recent appeal.
When we have seen the report of Ms Charanzova and other members of the Committee we will know the extent to which our arguments have been taken into account and how next to approach this matter.
Be assured I am closely involved on your behalf in the FIVA efforts and actions in this regard. I will also be keeping a close eye on the extent, if any, which any deal on Brexit might have on the applicability of these proposals in the UK in the future. It is most unlikely however that the UK Government would choose to be less protective of consumers than the EU, so whatever is decided there is likely to be important to us.
I will keep you advised of progress in future Editions of the Magazine.