New EU law could require golf buggies and dodgems to be insured

12.00 | 22 December 2016 | | 3 comments

Golf buggies and fairground dodgems could require motor insurance for the first time under new European law, the Government has admitted.

Reported by the Telegraph yesterday (21 Dec), a new EU directive may see full insurance become a necessity for all ‘vehicles’, including those only used on private land.

This is at odds with the UK’s Road Traffic Act, which requires third party motor insurance to cover: ‘Only mechanically-propelled vehicles intended for use on roads, only when those vehicles are on roads, or other public places’.

However, the DfT acknowledges it is legally obliged to consult on the changes while Britain remains in the EU, admitting the new rules could have ‘potentially costly consequences’.

It says vehicles that could be impacted by the judgement include: “electrically assisted pedal cycles, construction vehicles, agricultural vehicles, Segways, ride-on lawnmowers, motor sports vehicles, mobility scooters, golf buggies, motorised ride-on children’s toys, fairground rides (eg dodgems), forklift trucks, dumper trucks, engineering plant and quad bikes”.

The Times reports that the DfT consultation will run until March and the new directive casts doubt over the statutory off-road notification (Sorn) scheme which permits uninsured cars to be kept on driveways.

While the DfT says it would have to abide by the rules until after Brexit, sources suggest a ‘sunset clause’ will be drafted into the new rules so they can be abolished when Britain leaves the EU.

A DfT spokesperson told the Telegraph: "Following a European Court of Justice judgment, we are consulting whether to extend motor insurance for private land and other vehicle types.

“We oppose any measures which impose an unreasonable burden on the public. We will use the consultation responses to get the best result for the country.”

Picture via Bilby. Licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.




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    Having recently had an accident being thrown out of a golf buggy, when my partner who was driving lost control going down a steep slope on wet grass. I was knocked out, had a dislocated shoulder and have nerve and muscle damage.

    I have hired golf buggies for over 35 years, since my accident people have said that you need to have a current driving licence to hire a buggy. I have never ever been asked to show anything. Would these new proposed rules make any difference to my predicament?

    I could have sued my golf partner being the driver but that was an option I did not want to take.

    Having an accident in a golf buggy was the last thing I would have thought of, but I now know different. I think we should at least explore insurance as I have suffered an injury and cannot take the matter further!

    Mike Hancox Warwick
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The question to be raised is whether this directive originates from the EU, or whether the EU is rubber stamping something from the United Nations Economic Commission Europe (UNECE) which has global vehicle legislation (and much else) under its control. Newspaper reports are infamously misleading, but the motoring public has had more of its choices severely attacked in the past thirty odd years.

    It will also be noted that EU directives are not of necessity binding in law in any member country – or as they prefer – region and state, but regulations are.

    Derek Reynolds, Salop.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Was going to say that we only have to comment on such changes its not as if they have taken place yet. This is just the consultation stage. Why not say no enough is enough.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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