The Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill passed its final Commons stages this morning. The speeches during just over an hour’s debate again showed broad cross-party support for its core proposal, ie to remove the effects of the Vnuk and Lewis decisions from UK motor insurance law and in so doing re-set the Road Traffic Act to the pre-Vnuk position (of requiring compulsory insurance for use of road vehicles on roads or public places and not on private land).
The Bill now goes to the House of Lords for further scrutiny. Adequate time should be available for it be fully debated there and passed before the end of this Parliamentary session. If that were to happen it would mean that Vnuk-related liabilities would come to an end towards the middle of this year.
Given what we heard last week in the NI Assembly (previous blog dated 19 January), in the next few weeks we should expect to see very similar legislation being taken forward quickly in NI as well.
Update: 24 March 2022: The Bill passed its Second Reading in the Lords last week, on 18 March. Committee Stage debate is scheduled for 29 March and we understand that remaining stages should be taken on 1 April. Assuming the Bill is passed – which is highly likely given the consensus to date – it will come into force two months later. Vnuk-related liabilities will then end in England & Wales and in Scotland (although any outstanding claims will still need to be run off).
Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy & Government Affairs