DfT consults on Vnuk motor insurance case with potential to dent e-bike trade

The Department for Transport has published a consultation document in relation to a European Court of Justice case that could potentially see electric bikes requiring compulsory insurance.

The case in question, as reported here in April, actually has nothing to electric bikes, instead bringing into question whether a tractor used on private land should have been insured in an odd case involving a farmhand and an accident with a ladder.

The Slovenian courts referred the case on to the Court of Justice of the European Union having failed to settle in its own courts. The European court was of the opinion that existing insurance regulation “applies to the use of vehicles, whether as a means of transport or as machines, in any area, both public and private, in which risks inherent in the use of vehicles may arise, whether those vehicles are moving or not.”

The knock on effect potentially means that electric bikes could require insurance in the future, something that would undoubtedly be damaging to one of the few accelerating areas of the bicycle business. Britain’s planned exit from the European Union does however muddy the waters on just how the legislation may affect the market.

The Department for Transport’s consultation document is now live here and should be replied to by March 31st, 2017.