Fleet owners and motor traders must upload their vehicle details to the National Fleet Database (NFD) by the 30th November 2023 under newly enacted legislation, according to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
This legal responsibility was set out in the recently enacted Road Traffic and Roads Act (2023) and the deadline confirmed by the Department of Transport.
Private vehicles with dedicated insurance policies make up the vast majority of vehicles on Irish roads (approximately 92%) and they will be unaffected by this requirement.
However an estimated 8% of the total road vehicle population use flexible, fleet style insurance policies which can be transferred within a specific fleet from one vehicle to another. These are the vehicles whose registration numbers must be uploaded to the NFD.
Often these flexible, motor insurance policies are used by garages and motor traders who sell vehicles, as well as fleets of trucks, buses, coaches, taxis, construction vehicles, hire cars, delivery vans, utility vehicles, transport and logistic providers, service vehicles as well as the vehicles operated by retailers, service providers, semi state operations and more.
Adding the vehicle registration details to the National Fleet Database is a simple and straightforward process. Once motor traders or the fleet owners are registered then all they have to do is download a spreadsheet template from the database to their computers. Most fleet owners or motor traders would already have their vehicle registration details to hand. So they can simply copy and paste them into the spreadsheet and then upload the completed version to the National Fleet Database.
A dedicated online database, the National Fleet Database (NFD) was launched last year to enable the collection of this information. Currently details for over 62,000 fleet vehicles have been uploaded to the NFD – in the region of 25% of the estimated 250,000 vehicles covered by fleet and motor trade insurance policies operating in Ireland.
The vehicle data on the NFD will be combined with the same information for private vehicles and used by An Garda Síochána to identify vehicles which are being driven illegally without insurance. Figures from the MIBI show that Ireland had the second highest level of uninsured driving in the EU in 2021 and the number rose further in 2022 growing to represent 1 in every 12 vehicles using Irish roads.
Fleet owners and motor traders who do not fulfil their legal obligation to upload their vehicle registrations to the NFD by 30th November may face legal sanctions. This includes having their vehicles identified as being uninsured by the Gardaí, as well as additional penalties for non-compliance such as potentially facing prosecution in the District Court and being subjected to fines.
“We would encourage all fleet owners, motor traders or anyone with fleet style, flexible, motor insurance policies to upload their vehicle registration details to the NFD as soon as possible,” said David Fitzgerald, CEO of the MIBI. “While most of the public will not be impacted, there are an estimated 250,000 vehicles in this country covered by fleet style flexible insurance policies. This measure specifically applies to them and legally must be completed by the 30th November 2023.
“The use of the fleet vehicle details from the NFD is essential in the battle against uninsured driving. Uninsured driving is a problem in this country, with Ireland’s level being possibly the worst in the EU. Approximately 1 in every 12 vehicles on our roads didn’t have insurance last year. This is not only against the law, it also makes our roads more dangerous.
“The vehicle information on the NFD will be combined with the same information for private vehicles, completing the entire picture of which vehicles have valid motor insurance in Ireland. This will create a comprehensive and sophisticated law enforcement tool for the Gardaí to easily identify any vehicle being driven illegally without insurance simply by scanning its licence plate.
“By uploading their vehicle registration information to the NFD by 30th November not only will fleet managers and motor traders be fulfilling their legal obligations, but they will also be helping to make Irish roads safer,” Mr. Fitzgerald concluded.
To help build awareness of this legal requirement the MIBI will be partnering with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to run national radio and print advertisements over the coming weeks.