Vnuk: how you can stop the costs of motorsport from rising further

14th February 2017

It would affect every division of motorsport, from clubman racing right up to Formula 1. That’s why we are asking our readers to sign the Fight Vnuk Petition.

Motorsport is often so self-containing that it’s easy to forgive a person for thinking that it occupies a totally separate realm from the outside world. Although racing is overtly political, it’s largely only when cases spills over and enter a more public domain that we think about how far reaching motorsport politics are- the European Parliament is currently reviewing both the unfair distribution of reward payments and the recent Liberty Media takeover of F1. However, the implementation of Vnuk would filter to every level of racing and see the cost of motorsport rise further.

So what is Vnuk? In 2014, the eponymous Mr. Vnuk was injured by a tractor manoeuvring a trailer on a farmyard in Slovenia. A resulting national court case was then taken to the European Commission who ruled that every use of a motor vehicle must now be covered by compulsory third party insurance.

The consequence of this ruling is that all vehicles formerly exempt from needing third party insurance no longer possess this privilege. So whether it’s built for rallying, autotests or circuit racing, a car or motorcycle needs to be covered. Even if the car or bike is road-legal, MOT’d and taxed, the pre-existing insurance only covers it for road use and so an additional third party policy would be needed for any on track exploits.

Motorsport is by no measure a cheap outlet, therefore every effort should be made to prevent the costs from rising further north. Signing the petition is the best chance to do so.

Entering any circuit or rally stage returns the warning ‘motorsport is dangerous’. Fans, media, competitors, they are all aware of this and still participate religiously. Event and series organisers have umbrella insurance policies to cover public liabilities. The awareness of the risks is already out there and already accepted. Allowing Vnuk does nothing other than to raise the cost of an entrant’s participation.

By signing the petition and putting pressure on the British legislators we can realistically aim for rules of exemption. The Government could still waiver the law for motorsport activities. Make no mistake, Vnuk will be enshrined in UK law, but an appeal to the Motor Insurance Directive could sweeten the blow for the racing community.
While the UK’s departure from the EU is still under negotiation, our abiding to EU law is categorical until we eventually leave. As such, these increased costs will affect everyone, professional or not, involved in motorsport.

You have until 31 March to add your name to the petition and to make a difference.