EU parliament votes to save motorsport

Motorsport has escaped its insurance jeopardy, just. The EU Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee (IMCO) recently voted though amendments to a directive that was to require all vehicles to be fully insured, regardless of their status. The amendments include an exemption for motorsport, providing the relief that various organisations had been campaigning for.

The EU Motor Insurance Directive, borne out of the Vnuk ECJ judgement in 2014, where a Slovakian was injured by a reversing tractor on private land, still has distance to travel through EU Parliament. Subsequent campaigns by the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC), and a consultation by the UK government in 2017, have promoted change.

This, as well as various voiced opinions from around the EU, has resulted in the amendments that have been now approved by IMCO. Refining the scope of the directive, vehicles classed as ‘dual-use’ only require insurance for their ‘in-traffic’, not their ‘out-of-traffic’ use (i.e. racing). But by far the most reassuring line in the amendment reads: “vehicles intended exclusively for motorsport, and vehicles used exclusively in a non-traffic situation, would be excluded from the scope of the MID.” This is supported further by the line that “only vehicles used in traffic as a means of transport would need to be covered by Third Party Liability (TPL) insurance”.

As the directive moves forward, this provides a clearer idea for underwriters and enthusiasts alike for what shape the legislation could take. Of course, it’s far from the end and there is still much for motorists of all types to keep apprised of. Noting the amendment, MIA’s CEO Chris Aylett said: “This great news is welcome but just the first stage of our long battle to get motorsport out the clutches of the EU’s VNUK-related insurance issue.”

The process moves ahead on February 13, where the amendments will be voted on by the full EU Parliament. Following that, approval by the Council of EU Ministers is required and yet to be scheduled. Naturally this may be a moot point for us post-Brexit, but the value of international motorsport and culture certainly crosses borders so we at CM will remain sharply focussed on the issue.

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