Judge holds that the MIB is liable for accidents by uninsured drivers on private land

A driver of an uninsured caused serious injuries to the claimant whilst he was walking on private land. Two issues arose:

(1) Was the Motor Insurers' Bureau ("the MIB") required to meet any judgment in the claimant's favour under the Road Traffic Act 1988? Soole J held not. Under the Uninsured Drivers Agreement 1999, once the victim of a driver has obtained a judgment against the driver in respect of a liability to which compulsory insurance attaches under the Road Traffic Act 1988, and that judgment has not been satisfied within seven days, then the MIB is under a duty itself to satisfy the judgment. However, section 145 of the 1988 Act only requires a policy to cover liability which may be incurred in respect of the death of or bodily injury to any person or damage to property caused by, or arising out of, "the use of the vehicle on a road or other public place".

(2) Was the MIB otherwise required to satisfy any judgment in the claimant's favour? The judge held that it was (at least to the extent of the minimum requisite cover of EUR 1 million per victim), because of the 2009 EU Motor Directive, which had a direct effect on the MIB (because it was held to be an "emanation of the state"). The Directive imposes an obligation on all member states to take appropriate measures to ensure compulsory insurance "in respect of the use of vehicles normally based in its territory". The judge found that, since the ECJ decision in Vnuk (which implicitly held that the obligation of compulsory insurance extends to the use of vehicles on private land – and later cases have held that explicitly), the UK has not completely implemented the obligation imposed by the Directive.