EU Court: every car must be insured, even when not in use
Any vehicle that is officially registered must have a civil liability insurance, even if it is no longer used by its owner and parked on private property. That is what the European Court of Justice decided on Tuesday.
In 2006 Alina Antonia Juliana was unable to drive a car due to health problems and she decided not to use her car anymore. She parked it in her garden, without sending back the number plates. As the car was no longer being used, she did not pay for the civil liability insurance.
Fate struck in November 2006. The woman’s son drove with the car without his mother’s permission and caused an accident. He himself and two passengers were killed. The Portuguese Road Traffic Victim Fund compensated the relatives of the victims, but asked the woman to refund the full indemnification of 437.000 euro because the car was not insured.
The case was finally brought to court to rule whether it is necessary to have a civil liability insurance when the owner no longer uses the car. The Portuguese court passed the case on to the European Court of Justice (Luxembourg) in order to get clarity. The answer was ‘yes’ and in addition, the victim fund may rely on the person who has not complied with the legal provisions.
Same in Belgium
In Belgium, too, motor insurance is compulsory for any vehicle registered by DIV (Vehicle Registration Authority). Only those who return their number plate, no longer need to be insured. Of course, these vehicles are no longer allowed to drive on public roads.