Under UK law, it is compulsory for all vehicles that are used on public roads to be insured, and third-party liability insurance, which covers accidental injury to others, is the legal minimum. There is even a compensation scheme, funded by UK insurance companies, for when the person who caused the accident was driving without valid insurance.
However, in a recent case involving injury caused by a tractor being used on private land in Slovenia, the European Court of Justice ruled that the risk of injury should have been covered by insurance. This could mean that all vehicles – including those not intended to be used on public roads – will need insurance, at least until the UK leaves the European Union.
Insurance industry sources are highly critical of the judgment, pointing out that as well as the extra cost of the insurance, any effective enforcement regime would be extremely expensive, as it would involve policing activities happening on private land and there is no database of the vehicles concerned.
Vehicles which may be affected include ride-on lawnmowers, golf buggies, mobility scooters, go-karts and quad bikes.