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Scrapping EU insurance law ‘will save drivers £50 a year’

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Written by: Emma Lunn
22/02/2021
An EU law which would have forced owners of mobility scooters, lawnmowers, quad bikes and golf buggies to buy insurance will not be adopted in the UK.

The government has announced plans to scrap the little-known EU law that it says would have added £50 a year to insurance premiums.

The ‘Vnuk’ law requires a wider range of vehicles than those such as cars and motorbikes to be insured, including ones previously not requiring insurance, such as golf buggies, mobility scooters and quad bikes.

The law also extends to vehicles on private land, meaning people with a ride-on lawnmower at home would require insurance where it would have previously not been needed.

The law is named after Slovenian Damijan Vnuk who was knocked off a ladder by a reversing tractor that was being driven on private farmland in 2007. In 2014 the European Court of Justice ruled that insurance must apply to off-road vehicles.

Had the EU law been implemented in the UK, it would have meant the insurance industry would have been liable for almost £2bn in extra overall costs. These costs would likely have been passed onto their customers – all British road-users.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the move will ensure every British driver is spared an estimated £50 annual increase in insurance premiums.

Bypassing the Vnuk rule will also protect the existence of the UK’s motorsports industry. The EU rules would have meant any motorsports collision involving vehicles from go-karting to F1 would have been treated as regular road traffic incidents, potentially involving the police, and requiring insurance.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We have always disagreed with this over-the-top law that would only do one thing – hit the pockets of hard-working people up and down the country with an unnecessary hike in their car insurance. I am delighted to announce that we no longer need to implement it.

“Scrapping this rule would save the country billions of pounds and is part of a new and prosperous future for the UK outside the EU – a future in which we set our own rules and regulations.

“As well as the likely financial burden on British road-users, the Vnuk rules are considered unnecessary as there are already insurance packages available to Brits that cover certain risks on private land.”

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