Government plans to cut car insurance red tape

Axing insurance certificates is at the top of a wish-list for scrapping unnecessary road transport laws following the government’s call for motorists to challenge red tape wastefulness.

 Motoring organisations and charities are queuing up with suggestions for binning rules and regulations that tie motorists and businesses in bureaucracy without any good reason.

 Around 400 laws face scrutiny, like a 1994 order allowing road closures for that year’s Tour de France cycle race and another from 2007 letting milk tanker drivers work longer because of farming restrictions relating to a foot and mouth disease outbreak.

The law that requires a motorist to have an insurance certificate faces abolition to cut administration costs while making life easier for drivers and businesses. 

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance says: “An insurance certificate is simply paper evidence that a vehicle is insured and, in practice, it’s rarely needed.  Proof of cover is held by the national Motor Insurance Database (MID) which car owners, the police and other authorities can readily access.”

A certificate does not prove a vehicle is insured, while police ignore the certificate and check with the MID to confirm cover. 

Green cards – the International Motor Insurance Card – may be ditched as well.

“This is an area that confuses many drivers who plan to drive their car outside the UK.  The green card is no longer needed in Europe as every insured car in the EC can legally be driven in most European countries and is covered by at least third party insurance,” said Douglas.

Drivers have no legal requirement to carry a green card.

Launching the red tape challenge, Transport Minister Mike Penning said: “We are calling on everyone: consumers, businesses and volunteer groups to get involved and help reduce the number of badly thought out and obsolete regulations in our country.

“Is it right that we tell car owners they must have a bit of paper to prove they have insured their car? Or that a bus company has to keep the box of eggs you left on the bus for a full 2 days before they can throw them away? And what about us telling your local authority how high and long a speed bump should be?”

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