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Horsebox owners are being urged not to fall foul of insurance legislation changes planned for the spring.

Once in place, the new rules make it an offence for any vehicle to be kept uninsured, even if it is not being used, unless the owner has notified the DVLA that it is off the road.

The new rules aim to curb the soaring numbers of uninsured vehicles on Britain’s roads.
A start date has not yet been set, but will be announced soon.

Paul Wilson of South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) explained: “Many horseboxes are used as ‘seasonal’ vehicles. Often owners let their insurance lapse with a view to reinsuring the vehicle when they use it.

“Our advice would be to inform the DVLA that the vehicle is off the road and complete the SORN [Statutory Off-Road Notification] declaration; the vehicle can then be legally left uninsured if parked off-road.”

Failure to SORN a vehicle can result in it being clamped or removed and a fine issued.

“While there is little or no risk of accidental damage while a vehicle is off the road, the fire and theft risk will still remain,” added Mr Wilson.

Neil Drane from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, set up in 1946 to compensate the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced motorists, said: “The change in law is welcome.”

Jon Phillips from the Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners said: “It’s not a massive change, but it is another burden for horse owners.”

More Information is being distributed with all V11 tax renewal forms from March.

For more details, visit www.direct.gov.uk

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (10 March, 2011)