Operator Licencing – Small Trailer Exemption

Small TrailerOn 4 December 2011, the operator licensing exemption for small trailers with an unladen weight not exceeding 1020kgs for hire or reward operations was removed.

If you operate a goods vehicle and tow a trailer for hire or reward, where the maximum train weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes, you are likely to be within scope of goods vehicle operator licensing and should seek further advice from VOSA. Some dual purpose vehicles and any trailers drawn by them are still exempt but again, if you are unsure whether or not this means you, you should seek further advice from VOSA.

Hire or reward

In this context, hire or reward operations are those which primarily carry other peoples’ goods. This would bring into scope transport and general haulage companies, courier companies, parcel delivery companies etc.

Still exempt?

An operation may be classified as hire or reward by virtue of the fact that other peoples’ goods are being transported. However, if delivery of those goods are not the primary activity, then the operation is still exempt.

So landscape gardeners, for example – who transport plants that are not the property of the landscape gardening business – are still exempt because their primary activity is landscape gardening, not transport.

Companies new to operator licensing

This change to the legislation will bring in to scope many companies that do not currently need an operator licence.

Some operators may therefore be unaware of the changes being introduced. If however, it is apparent that an operator has been advised of the changes and has not subsequently made an application for a licence, enforcement action will be taken.

If you’re not sure if you’re exempt from O-licensing requirements, email
enquiries@vosa.gov.uk for further advice.