The limits of compulsory motor insurance

The scope of the Motor Insurance Directive (MID) is important: it needs to balance the protection of victims of motor accidents, ease of compliance, the risk of being uninsured, enforceability, and enabling the availability of appropriate compulsory motor insurance.

BIBA welcomes the EU Council’s position on the revision of the MID published in December 2019 which has proposed excluding from the Directive the use of vehicles in a series of situations (for example, motorsports) as well as wheelchair vehicles. BIBA also supports the Council’s clearer definition of a vehicle which excludes vehicles with design speeds less than 25 km/h or weighing less than 25kg from the scope of the Directive. So, for example, most ride-on mowers would be out of scope.

BIBA contends that it is still essential to redefine the use of a vehicle to avoid unintended broadening of the scope of the Directive and to overcome the challenges of recent legal cases such as Vnuk*. We believe that the aim should be to have a framework for a minimum level of harmonisation as to the requirement for vehicle registration and compulsory insurance that individual Member States could expand should they choose. 

Because of Section 4 of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Directive and Vnuk position will still be retained in UK law when the UK leaves the EU. It is therefore still important to reach a suitable way forward until the UK Government removes the effects in UK law.


  • For the co-legislators (the Council and European Parliament) to leave the finer detail of scope to each member state and instead ensure a high-level minimum harmonisation style where the obligation of compulsory motor insurance is only linked with the registration of a vehicle that is used in traffic.
  • For the European Parliament to agree the Council’s proposal of minimum design speeds and weights as well as the motor sports exclusion.

“We hope the EU legislators can take this opportunity to achieve the right balance between the protection of the public and achievable motor insurance requirements.” 


Director BIPAR

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