Are Track Days Under Threat from EU Legislation?

You may recall some time back that the EU were considering requiring all motorised vehicles to carry 3rd party insurance even if they were never used on the road.  This followed on from a legal case involving a man injured when a ladder he was working on was struck by a tractor and trailer.  Insurers refused to cover the claim because the accident was on private property and the vehicle being used was classed as an agricultural machine.  You can read more about it by Googling “The Vnuk Judgment”.

Well, the Department for Transport has been considering a new EU Directive, driven by this judgment, that would require all “vehicles” including mobility scooters, golf buggies, ride on lawn mowers, and potentially vehicles off road under a SORN to carry full insurance.  They issued a consultation document on Tuesday and have expressed concerns about reforms and all the cost implications.  The consultation runs until March next year and the documents can be viewed by clicking on this link – Vnuk Judgment .

The DfT said it would have to abide by the new rules until the UK leaves the EU.  That would probably mean until 2019.  Apparently, some vehicles that might have to come under the new legislation would include electric pedal cycles, Segways, ride-on lawnmowers, mobility scooters, golf buggies, ride-on children’s toys, and motor sports vehicles.  The latter would of course include all track day cars.

In a letter, today to the Times, Steve Kenward (CEO of the Motor Cycle Industry Association) and Chris Aylett (CEO of the Motorsport Industry Association) have strongly criticised the “ill-considered” EU directive.  The issue is that the change in the law would mean that 3rd party insurance would be compulsory for all vehicles involved in motor sport, and that would include all our track day cars.  The insurance would be additional to any cover provided for the road, and the bottom line is that insurers have already made it clear that third party risks for motor sport activities are uninsurable.

To quote from the letter to the Times, “Implementing the ruling would, at a stroke, wipe out legal motor sport activity.”  And of course that would include track days.

David White

22 December 2016