Question: For a couple of years my neighbour and I have helped each other out mowing our lawns, as often one or other of us is away at weekends. We want to go halves buying a big sit-on mower, but it means “driving” it down the street between our houses. Is this legal and am I taking any risks by agreeing to keep it in my double garage? If it gets stolen will his half be covered by my insurance?
© Merrily Harpur
Answer: To drive a sit-on lawn mower, the driver needs a Category B (car) driving licence which should state that it covers Category K. A vehicle falling under Category K is road tax exempt.
Regarding motor insurance, a sit-on lawn mower falls within the definition of “mechanically propelled vehicles”. Therefore, motor insurance is needed for any sit-on mower that is used in a public place. Ask your existing car insurer whether your policy covers you to drive the mower in a public place on a third party basis, ie so that you will be insured if your driving causes an accident. Your neighbour should ask his insurer too, in case he causes an accident while driving it.
You could insure the mower itself, perhaps splitting the insurance cost between you, in which case if it is stolen, depending on the policy terms, the insurance should cover theft of the vehicle. Alternatively, check if the garage contents are insured under your home contents insurance, as the mower may also be covered for theft under that policy. Do check the terms of the policy carefully to ascertain the position in relation to theft, eg if the garage is unlocked, then the policy may not cover the mower if stolen.
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Fiona is a partner in the residential real estate team at Thring LLP (www.thrings.com).
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.