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Parliamentary questions
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27 March 2019
Answer given by Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000425/2019

According to the EU Motor Insurance Directive(1) a ‘vehicle’ means any motor vehicle intended for travel on land and propelled by mechanical power, but not running on rails, and any trailer, whether or not coupled”. Tractors clearly fall within this definition.

It is established case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union that the concept of ‘use of vehicles’ covers any use of a vehicle that is consistent with the normal function of that vehicle(2) as well as ‘any use of a vehicle as a means of transport’(3).

Accordingly, if a device falls within the definition of a vehicle and its use is consistent with the normal function of that vehicle, or if it is being used primarily as a means of transport, then it is subject to the obligation of third party liability insurance as laid down under Article 3 of the directive.

Article 5 of the directive allows Member States to derogate from this insurance obligation in respect of certain types of vehicle. The list of such derogated vehicles must be communicated to the Commission, and victims of accidents caused by such derogated vehicles must be compensated from a national guarantee fund.

(1)Directive 2009/103/EC of 16 September 2009 relating to insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles, and the enforcement of the obligation to insure against such liability.
(2)See, to that effect, judgment of 4 September 2014, Vnuk, C‐162/13, EU:C:2014:2146, paragraph 59.
(3)See, to that effect, judgment of 28 November 2017, Rodrigues de Andrade, C-514/16, EU:C:2017:908, paragraph 37.

Last updated: 3 April 2019Legal notice