Who Needs a Goods Vehicle Operators Licence?

You will need a goods bedliner operators licence if you use a goods vehicle of over 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight or (where there is no plated weight) an unladen weight of more than 1,525kg to transport goods for hire or reward or in connection with a trade or business. (In this instance ‘goods’ means goods or burden of any description).

For a vehicle and trailer combination, generally you will need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if the gross plated weights or unladen weights of the vehicle and trailer combined exceed the limits stated above for a single vehicle.

  • A trailer with an unladen weight of less than 1,020kg need not be taken into account in the weight calculation for a vehicle pulling a trailer. It therefore can be ignored for the purposes of adding up total gross weights or unladen weights to determine whether they are above the threshold for requiring an operator’s licence.
  • However, this exemption does not apply if you are carrying other people’s goods for hire or reward (e.g. working as a courier or freight transport business). In such circumstances, the weight calculation must include any trailer attached (irrespective of the trailer’s weight). In this case, if the vehicle and trailer combination exceeds 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight or (where there is no plated weight) an unladen weight of more than 1,525 kg), a standard licence is required.

recovery vehicles. Paragraph 3 of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995 states that a recovery vehicle has the same meaning as in Part V of Schedule 1 to the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (i.e. a vehicle which is constructed or permanently adapted for any one or more of the purposes of lifting, towing and transporting a disabled vehicle)

a vehicle with equipment permanently attached to it for the life of that vehicle. Examples of such equipment include permanently fixed machines or appliances. Additionally, the only other goods or burden that such vehicles are allowed to carry are those essential for use in connection with that fixed equipment. As a general rule, loose tools, cooking equipment, foodstuffs, furniture or display units of any kind or other articles that are not a permanent fixture on the vehicle would not constitute goods that are essential for the use of the fixed equipment.

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