I have not used the vehicle in road traffic, do I still need to insure it?
Traffic as defined in the Motor Liability Insurance Act (Liikennevakuutuslaki 279/1959) is a more extensive concept than what is meant by public traffic or what has been stated about traffic in the Road Traffic Act (Tieliikennelaki 267/1981). According to the Motor Liability Insurance Act, a motor vehicle is in traffic also when it is used or transferred (for example, a moped at the summer cottage) outside public roads; for example, in a yard, a field, a forest or on ice.
I do not use my vehicle, do I still need to insure it?
A vehicle in the vehicle register must have valid motor liability insurance. If you do not use your vehicle at all, you can apply for it to be removed from use. In this case, it is also exempt from motor liability insurance. Contact your motor liability insurance company to find out how withdrawing your vehicle from use affects your insurance premiums. More information on how to remove your vehicle from road traffic use is available at the Finnish Transport Safety Agency’s website (www.trafi.fi/en).
Unregistered vehicle: You must take out motor liability insurance even if your vehicle does not fall the registration obligation (e.g. ‘buggies’, motorised bicycles), if you use it in traffic. According to the Motor Liability Insurance Act, a motor vehicle is in traffic also when it is used or transferred (for example, a moped at the summer cottage) outside public roads; for example, in a yard, a field, a forest or on ice.
Should seasonal vehicles always be insured (mopeds, snow mobiles)?
Seasonal vehicles must also be insured immediately after purchase. Insurance companies have taken the seasonal nature of the vehicle use into account in the premiums. If you do not use your vehicle, you may remove it from traffic use. More information on how to remove your vehicle from road traffic use is available at the Finnish Transport Safety Agency’s website (www.trafi.fi/en).
If you have received a vehicle in the distribution of an estate or it has been left to you by a will, you must take out motor liability insurance for it within seven days of the distribution of the estate or when the will has become legally valid.
Q&A regarding insurance and compensation related to new electric mobility devices
What are these new electric mobility devices?
These include electric balance boards, electric scooters, self-balancing unicycles, electric mobility scooters, and pedelecs.
Why do these light electric mobility devices require no insurance?
These are not regarded as motor vehicles and, therefore, do not require motor liability insurance according to the legislation. They are considered to be parts of pedestrian traffic.
Can I take out motor liability insurance for light electric mobility devices?
No, you cannot. They are not regarded as motor vehicles as referred to in the Motor Liability Insurance Act. In case of accidents, you should, however, consider voluntary insurance cover, such as accident and third-party liability insurance.
Why are light electric vehicles not regarded as motor vehicles?
They are not classified as motor vehicles according to the EU legislation.
Why do motorised bicycles need to be insured?
They have been defined as a separate motor vehicle category in the EU legislation.
How does a motorised bicycle differ from other electric mobility devices that may have an identical maximum speed and power?
Motorised bicycles differ from pedelecs in terms of power (250 W vs. 1 kW), and they do not necessarily require pedalling, such as pedelecs. They differ from other light electric mobility devices in terms of the permitted maximum width which is higher than that of other electric mobility devices (1 m vs. 80 cm). Another difference is that motorised bicycles have been defined as a separate motor vehicle category in the EU legislation.
What insurance should be taken out for motorised bicycles?
You need to take out motor liability insurance from an insurance company. Taking out motor liability insurance is a statutory obligation.
Who pays for damage caused by a new light electric mobility device which is not covered by motor liability insurance?
Such damage is not covered by motor liability insurance. It all depends on voluntary insurance cover. Accident insurance covers personal injuries suffered by the insured person, and third-party liability insurance covers personal injuries the property damage inflicted on third parties. If there is no voluntary insurance cover, the party causing the damage will be responsible for all damage suffered by it and others.
What should I know when buying an electric mobility device?
Considering the insurance obligation, it is important to identify the top speed and maximum power of the mobility device. If the device travels at more than 25 km/h OR its power exceeds 1 kW, it requires motor liability insurance. Furthermore, a motorised bicycle requires motor liability insurance (power more than 250 W or top speed higher than 15 km/h).
If the power of the mobility device is more than 1 kW or its top speed is higher than 25 km/h, you should identify whether or not the mobility device can be used on Finnish roads.
What instructions would you give to anyone considering to buy a new mobility device?
If the device does not require motor liability insurance, ensure that you have sufficient voluntary insurance cover (accident and third-party liability insurance). In addition, such mobility devices should be used carefully, taking other road users into account. Also remember to familiarise yourself with traffic rules in advance. We also recommend that proper protective equipment, such as a helmet, be used.
I took out motor liability insurance within seven (7) days of buying the vehicle. Why did I still get a penalty fee?
If you bought your vehicle from an "interim owner" who has not registered it under his or her own name and has not taken out motor liability insurance for it, you must take out motor liability insurance immediately on the day of purchase. Since the previous owner did not have motor liability insurance, the seven day time limit cannot be counted in advance. If a road accident had been caused by the vehicle, the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre would have been responsible for the loss.
I received a penalty fee for failing to insure for one day when I already had insurance, why?
Motor liability insurance must be taken out within seven days of the purchase of the vehicle. If you have not taken out motor liability insurance until the eighth day or later, you are already uninsured that eighth day. This is because the penalty fee for failing to insure is also charged for the day you took out the insurance.
I could not register the vehicle because I did not get the vehicle documents in time. Why do I have to pay the penalty fee?
Motor liability insurance must always be taken out within seven days of the purchase of the vehicle regardless of the fact that there are deficiencies in the documentation for your vehicle.
I was not accepted for motor liability insurance because I have a credit default entry. What should I do?
Insurance companies are obligated to grant motor liability insurance, but in certain cases they have the right to charge the premium for one insurance period in advance; for example, when the customer has credit default entries.
Read more from our website: Registration and insurance
COMBINING INSURANCE AND REGISTRATION PROCESSES
Combining insurance and registration processes – What does it mean?
Combining insurance and registration processes means that you can complete both processes at the same time using a single electronic system. Taking out statutory motor insurance is a prerequisite for vehicle registration. As insurance and registration processes require nearly identical information, they will be offered in a single electronic system to make vehicle registration quicker, easier and less expensive.
You can also register your vehicle in electronic Trafi services but, in this case, you need to have taken out motor insurance in advance.
After the combination, the process is now wholly electronic and paper-free. No paper registration certificate is needed. Instead, the registration process uses a secure electronic certificate which can be generated in Trafi's electronic services. Read more about the use of the certificate here.
However, regardless of the transition to an electronic registration process, you can still register your vehicle by visiting an insurance company, car dealership or inspection station which offers registration services.
Can I complete the insurance and registration process in any insurance company?
Yes, you can.
Why was this change made and what does it cost?
Taking out motor insurance is a prerequisite for vehicle registration. As insurance and registration processes require nearly identical information, combining them into a single process makes it easier to fulfil all obligations related to the change of vehicle ownership.
The price of the self-service registration is lower than that of a personal visit. In addition, this change reduces the costs incurred by society.
As no paper registration certificate is required, the process produces savings and is friendly to the environment.
SELLING AND BUYING A VEHICLE
What do I do if I buy a car from a dealership and trade in my old car to the dealership?
Generate a certificate for your old car in Trafi's electronic service. Sign a deed of sale on the vehicles with the dealership. Then, you can hand over the certificate you created to the dealership. After this, you should complete a notification of transfer at Trafi.fi.
I always buy my car from a dealership which takes care of insurance and registration processes for me. What do I do from now on?
You can do as you have done before. Dealerships continue to complete the required insurance and registration processes. For consumers, combining insurance and registration processes mostly affects trading between private individuals, and has no significant impact on transactions with dealerships.
When I sell my car, how can I make sure that my obligations towards the vehicle cease to be in effect?
Once you have sold your car, complete a notification of transfer using your insurance company's electronic service or the electronic services offered at Trafi.fi. To complete the notification, you need the buyer's personal identity number or business ID. If you do not know what the buyer's personal identity number or business ID is but you do not the buyer's name and address, you can prepare the notification of transfer at your insurance company's branch office or at an inspection station. Your obligations will automatically cease to be in effect after the new owner registers the change of ownership.
By preparing a notification of transfer, you can also make sure that the correct transfer date is entered in the vehicle register.
USING ELECTRONIC SERVICES
Can I insure and register my vehicle on my own using electronic services? Where can I do this?
Yes, you can. You can both insure and register your vehicle using electronic services of insurance companies. At Trafi.fi, you can complete the electronic registration process if you have taken out motor insurance in advance.
I do not have any online banking IDs. Can I complete the electronic process without them?
Yes, you can. The Trafi website and most insurance companies also use other identification methods. In addition to online banking identifiers, mobile identification is a strong identification method.
To create a certificate on the Trafi website, you need online banking or mobile identifiers.
To register the change of ownership, you can identify which identification methods your insurance company uses. You can complete the registration process through electronic services in most insurance companies.
How can I take out motor insurance if my insurance company's electronic services are unavailable?
You can still take out motor insurance by visiting your insurance company or an inspection station.
What is a certificate and why do I need it?
A certificate is a six-digit code which can be generated using the electronic services offered at Trafi.fi. The certificate remains valid for 14 days after it has been generated. If this time elapses, you can generate a new certificate.
The certificate is needed when the registered owner of a vehicle is selling or transferring the vehicle to a new owner. The seller hands over the certificate to the buyer who presents it during registration. Be aware that the buyer has to take out the new motor liability insurance policy within seven days even though the electronic certificate for registering is valid for 14 days from its creation.
You can use the certificate to complete the registration process at all registration outlets and in your insurance company's electronic service.
Read more about the properties and use of the certificate on the Trafi website.
I do not have a certificate. How can I insure and register my vehicle?
Request a new certificate or part II of the registration certificate from the seller of the vehicle. Without one of these two, you cannot register the change of ownership. The seller of a vehicle is obligated to transfer a certificate or part II to the buyer of the vehicle.
You can take out insurance without the certificate. If a certificate is missing, you can only register your vehicle at a registration outlet with part II of the registration certificate.
Will I receive a registration certificate if I register my vehicle using my insurance company's electronic service?
Registration certificates will no longer be provided or mailed automatically after registration, and part I of the certificate no longer needs to be kept in the car. If you want a registration certificate, you can get one from the electronic services at Trafi.fi or from inspection stations.
Can I register my vehicle using paper registration documents?
Yes, you can. However, you cannot register the change of ownership in the electronic service using the registration certificate. Instead, you need to visit an inspection station or your insurance company. You can take out motor insurance without any certificate. For further information, contact your insurance company.
VEHICLE DECOMMISSIONING AND COMMISSIONING
Where and how can I decommission or commission my vehicle?
All vehicles can be decommissioned or commissioned using the electronic services offered by Trafi and most insurance companies. Inspection stations also accept decommissioning and commissioning registrations. You can decommission all vehicles without any obligation to return their registration plates.
What is the impact of temporary decommissioning on insurance premiums?
The impact of decommissioning on the insurance premium depends on your insurance agreement with your insurance company. For further information, contact your insurance company.
Will I need a certificate to decommission or commission my vehicle?
No, you will not. However, you need to be the registered owner or holder of the vehicle. Only the registered owner or holder is able to register the decommissioning or commissioning of a vehicle. The registering party is always identified during the process and it is verified from the register that the specific party is the registered owner or holder of the vehicle.