Golf buggies and dodgems could require motor insurance under new EU law
Children's toy cars and fairground dodgems could require motor vehicle insurance under a new EU directive.
All 'vehicles', including those that never leave private land, could be forced to have insurance cover. This includes mobility scooters, golf buggies and even Segways.
The government has also admitted that the current statutory off-road notice (SORN) system that allows owners to keep uninsured cars on their property could also be affected.
The Department for Transport (DfT) says it is legally obliged to undertake a consultation on the changes, which will run until March.
Due to the complexity of insurance laws, the DfT says there's a chance the laws would not be introduced before Britain leaves the EU. If implemented, a 'sunset clause' would likely be put in place that would allow the law to be abolished after the split.
The EU directive came after a Slovenian man called Damijan Vnuk was hurt after falling from a ladder that had been hit by a reversing tractor. Because the incident happened on private property and the vehicle was being used as an agricultural machine, motor insurers refused to pay out.
However, the European Court of Justice ruled that the accident should have been covered by compulsory motor insurance, which means that all vehicles must now be insured for all situations and not just driving on the road.
Following the news, the DfT said it would have to broaden its definition of a motor vehicle, meaning "users of motor vehicles would be required to have third-party insurance on private land."
The list of vehicles that the DfT believes could be affected 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."
A DfT spokesman said: "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."