Fleet News

Nightmare for UK fleets over EU Directive

LAST minute changes by the Government to legislation for the Fourth EU Motor Insurance Directive threaten to swamp fleet operators in red tape by demanding they immediately register changes to their fleets on a new database.

The Directive came into force this week, yet the full legislation explaining how it would affect UK fleets was only available to view days before.

Until the legislation was published, it was suggested that fleet operators would have 14 days to notify the Motor Insurance Database of changes of details, but when Government finally published its interpretation, this had been changed to 'immediately'.

Motor Insurers' Information Centre programme manager Donald Martin told Fleet NewsNet the late change in wording on the final legislation had caught them by surprise, and that they would be asking for clarification from the Government this week on how quickly fleet managers will have to act.

Martin warned against panic, however, suggesting that it was likely to mean 'as soon as practically possible'.

The Directive requires fleets to keep an up-to-date list of all insured vehicles on a central database, or face the risk of a fine of up to £5,000.

Yet in the run-up to the deadline, a number of fleets encountered trouble logging on to the Motor Insurance Database website (www.midupdate.com) as it was swamped by users trying to register their vehicles.

The confusion caused by this change has angered fleets. Stewart Whyte, director of the Association of Car Fleet Operators, said: 'The reason for this is because the Government produced legislation so late. Fleets have had to rush to register their vehicles.'

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