Monday, 23 May 2011

Stupid new in sewer ants law

Ok, seems vehicles need to have some insurance specifically listing them from 1st June or the keeper gets fined.

1. This is a tad crazy, all you have to do is declare SORN to avoid this, and that lasts a year and is free. It does not stop you taxing, insuring or driving the vehicle and there is no "un-SORN". You can do it on a web site. I bet it could be scripted even. So new law totally undermined by a once a year free web form. Why have the new law at all then?

2. Cars are not insured, people are, and there are plenty of cases where a car may be validly driven with the driver insured and not having the car listed on a specific policy. Police already make that a nightmare stopping you for no insurance when the driver may well be insured. Indeed most comprehensive policies allow driving someone else's vehicle with permission 3rd party.

So what the hell is the point in this?

P.S. To add to the fun! and not having read in detail yet, you can avoid the new requirement by SORN, but have someone other than the owner driving on their 3rd party clause still. When stopped by police they have to show now only the drivers 3rd part insurance, but to avoid a fine on a new law, the SORN as well even though clearly not at that point "off road"... That will be very silly and blow the mind of the copper I expect.

P.P.S reading this more, the P.S is not the case. But still trying to get a clear idea of what is actually required.

P.P.P.S thanks to Brian Widdas a break down...

Seems to me you can be exempt from  new insurance requirement if the keeper keeps the vehicle off road and is complying with SORN regs (which only require a SORN when not taxed so easy to comply with if you have tax by doing nothing)

Ok, here we go...

Section 22 of the Road Safety Act 2006 amends the Road Traffic Act
1988 (sections 144A-D):

144A: Offence of keeping vehicle which does not meet insurance requirements

If a motor vehicle registered under the Vehicle Excise and
Registration Act 1994 does not meet the insurance requirements, the
person in whose name the vehicle is registered is guilty of an


144B: Exceptions to section 144A offence

(5)The fourth condition is that—

(a)the registered keeper is at the relevant time the person keeping the vehicle,

(b)at the relevant time the vehicle is not used on a road or other
public place, and

(c)the registered keeper has by the relevant time complied with any
requirements under subsection (7)(a) below that he is required to have
complied with by the relevant or any earlier time.

Subsection (7)(a) relates to the making of regulations. It is under
this subsection that the The Motor Vehicles (Insurance Requirements)
Regulations 2011 are made

3. For the purposes of section 144B(5)(c) of the 1988 Act (the fourth
condition), the registered
keeper of the vehicle must, by the relevant time and in relation to
that vehicle, have delivered the
required particulars, and made the required declaration, in accordance
with paragraph 5(3) of
Schedule 4 to the 2002 Regulations.

The 2002 Regulations are the The Road Vehicles (Registration and
Licensing) Regulations 2002. Paragraph 5(3) of Schedule 4 is all about
giving your tax SORN notice (as, indeed, is all of Schedule 4)


  1. It is my understanding that the 3rd party part of comprehensive policies is only valid when driving a car that is also covered on the owner's insurance policy. If that wasn't the case and you owned multiple cars then you'd be able to get away with only insuring one and driving the other with just 3rd party cover. I wish it was the case, it would save me a lot of money each year...

  2. Sounds to me like the Insurance industry got the Government in their pocket somehow. Maybe the enormous rises in premiums this year weren't enough the keep them in the manner to which they'd like to become accustomed, so we get yet another law along the lines of trying to stop people doing something that was already illegal, by trying to make it *more* illegal.

    Like making it illegal to own a gun, to stop people shooting other people, which was already illegal. Hasn't worked, obviously, the rate of rise in gun crime has been constant with not even a blip when they banned gun ownership. Note I said "rate of rise", not "rate of crime"!

    What we want is sensible laws (and perhaps fewer of them), but with politicians running the show, there's little chance of that.

    I think that anyone who wants to run the country should be banned from doing so!

  3. Look at your policy - is that what it says?

  4. Reading the existing law on this it is slightly odd. Here is an example.

    You have a car, taxed, and want to take it off road.

    You go to DVLA SORN site and it says you don't have to SORN it yet (interesting if that will change when new law comes in as the "don't have to" is totally based on tax disk expiry).

    It says if you do SORN you could cancel your tax and get a refund. And even links to the site to do that.

    What it does not say is that when you do surrender the tax disk you have to SORN again - yes, again, you have to SORN when surrendering a tax disk or it expires, or 12 months untaxed since last SORN.

    So 1st June it better allow SORN before tax disk expiry on basis of insurance expiry or they will have a lot of fun linking these two laws.

  5. I need someone that understand this to confirm but reading the act this sounds even more daft.

    It looks like if it is off road and you are keeping it as the keeper off road and you have complied with necessary SORN notices then you do not need insurance.

    i.e. if you have it taxted or SORNed it is not a problem to be uninsured if off road. Sounds like as long as taxed no need to SORN it, and if not taxed already a need to SORN it.

    So in effect this is just changing the fine/penalty for untaxed and not SORN but not making any extra requirement to have insured when off road...

    Indeed I cannot see a requirement to SORN or insure when off road if taxed at all.

    Maybe I have missed something.

  6. OK, looks to me like the SORN aspect is a red herring. The key change here is that before an uninsured vehicle could be "on road" as long as nobody was using it. Now, to not have insurance it has to be off road.

    The SORN aspect just means that it does not count as off road, and hence is an extra fine, if you have no tax and did not SORN.

  7. I'm with Andy Norman on this one; I too believe that a car has to be 'named' on a policy; and only then can anyone who has the ability to drive 3rd party on other vehicles, drive the vehicle.

    The exception to this is when the car is covered by a 'dealer' policy, in which case any vehicle that the dealer owns is covered, and doesn't need to be 'named' individually (but it's useful to, to stop ANPR type devices triggering for no insurance)

  8. It is a moot point with the new law coming in, but I am pretty sure that has not been a requirement whenever I have read the 3rd party other owners car bit of policies before now. Perhaps it depends on the specific policy and what T&Cs they put on it, which may explain the difference of opinion on that one.

    Anyway from next month it pretty much has to be named on a policy if on the road.

    It is what happens when off road that needs clarifying.

  9. Andy,
    I'm afraid your understanding is wrong - there is no requirement for a car to be otherwise insured if you're driving it on your own insurance, in fact double-insuring something isn't allowed, only one policy will be active (usually the most comprehensive, so if the car is insured by the owner as comprehensive, for "any driver", and your insurance for driving other cars is 3rd party, the owner's policy will apply.

    The restriction on your driving a car not named on your policy is that it can't be owned by you! So your owning 20 cars but driving only 1 on your policy doesn't work.

    There is a catch to driving an otherwise uninsured car on the "other peoples' cars" part of your policy is that it has to be insured all the time it is on the road, including parked. You may find you can drive it from someone's drive to the shops, but unless you can park it off-road when you get there, you can't leave it (because then you aren't driving it so the insurance doesn't apply). You may be able to argue in court that as you parked it and were going to drive it away, you're still "driving" it, but wouldn't bet on succeeding (and the car will have been seized).

  10. That is slightly odd as I thought one of the key (and possibly only) point of this new law was to make a parked car need insurance. I was under the impression that there was no previous need as cars did not need insurance, drivers do. If parked cars previously needed insurance then this new law really is clutching at straws in terms of adding anything to the existing laws.

  11. HDRW, Andy is right in that some policies already require a car to be covered on another policy. My direct line policy had this condition added a few years ago.

  12. cars should be insured not people, if i want you to drive my car as long as you have a license and the car is insured job done it avoids all this nonsense. Its sensible to say that for it to be on a road it needs tax, for it not to have tax it it must be off road and hold a sorn.

    Personally I think we should just put insurance costs in fuel based on value of vehicle