EU motor regulations are changing

April 1st 2016

When a farm worker in Slovenia was knocked off his ladder by a trailer, no one could possibly have imagined the enormous repercussions the accident would have on EU motor regulations.

This Supreme Court judgement, known as the Vnuk Case, redefines the compulsory insurance requirements as set out in the EU Motor Directive (2009), and establishes the principle that all self propelled vehicles fall within the scope of these rules. As a result EU motor regulations mean that the UK Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA) will need to be amended as currently certain vehicles, only used on private land, are not covered.

Although no draft legislation has been put forward, it is likely that any item which can be defined as a motor vehicle will be subject to this change, whether it is used on private land or not. It is certain that many vehicles which were previously insured under a general estate policy will have to be covered on a policy which complies with RTA. This applies to quad bikes, garden tractors, golf buggies and possibly even motorised wheelchairs….. the list goes on.

The change in EU motor regulations is likely to come into effect in the first half of 2016 and will result in considerable variation to the motor cover arranged on your behalf.

However, legislative changes are not always bad news. In Spring 2015 the permissible combined weight of a tractor and trailer combination was increased by the Government.

Because of the improved capabilities of modern machinery, the combined weight limit was increased from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes, while the speed limit has risen from 20mph to 25mph. The trailer weight limit is unaltered at 18.29 tonnes.

John Murphy

Account Executive

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