You must hold a goods vehicles operator’s licence if your business uses goods vehicles over a certain weight.
You need a licence to carry goods in a lorry, van or other vehicle with either:
- a gross plated weight (the maximum weight that the vehicle can have at any one time) of over 3,500 kilograms (kg)
- an unladen weight of more than 1,525 kg (where there is no plated weight)
There are 3 types of operators licences and the one you need will depend on what type of work you do.
Types of Operator’s Licence
The three types of operator’s licences are:
- A Standard Licence (national) – required to operate on a “hire and reward” basis within Great Britain.
- A Standard Licence (National and International) – required to operate on a “hire and reward” basis within Great Britain and on international journeys.When you get a standard international licence, you can also request the issue of Community Licences. These allow:
- trips between all EU member countries
- transit traffic through EU member countries
- cabotage (journeys entirely within another EU member country)
- A Restricted Operators Licence – allows you to carry your own goods, but not other people’s goods. The advantage of this licence is that you do not legally require a transport manager/CPC holder. However professional advice is advisable to ensure that you comply with goods vehicle legislation and standards.
Obtaining your Operator’s Licence
You have to meet certain requirements to be able to apply for a operators licence:
- Advertise your application for a licence – A Statutory Notice must be advertised as detailed in the GV79 form
- Advertise your proposed operating centre(s) (where your vehicles are normally kept when not in use) – If you don’t own the operating centre, you must show that you’re allowed to use it
- Designate a Transport Manager / CPC holder – standard licences only – not required for a restricted licence
- Provide Financial Information – to ensure that you can maintain the fleet
- Maintenance Contract – must be in place with a service agent to fulfil the requirement for safety inspections and vehicle repairs if you don’t do this yourself
Operator’s Licence Fees
The current fees for a goods vehicle operators licence are:
- £254 Licence application fee
- £397 Licence issue fee
You’ll then have to pay a continuation fee every 5 years to keep your licence active – additional costs are incurred for major licence changes.
You should apply for your goods vehicle operators licence at least 9 weeks before you wish to start operating. If you need a licence urgently, you can apply for an interim licence (currently £68) until you get your full licence.
Application Forms and Guidance Documents
VOSA have published a ‘Goods Vehicle Operator Licensing – Guide for Operators’
Application forms can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hgv-operator-licensing-forms
Operator’s Licence Application Assistance Service
We recommend that you use the guidance notes found on the government website.
However, if you require assistance in your application process, for a small fee we can help.
Our experienced CPC holders will check your application to ensure that it meets the requirements.
Outsource Your Transport Manager / CPC Holder Requirement
If you require a standard goods vehicle operator’s licence and do not wish to employ a full-time Transport Manager (CPC holder) we can provide a Nominated Transport Manager (CPC holder) who will take care of this vital transport management function, audit your systems and policies and ensure compliance with transport legislation.
In addition you will receive discounted Driver CPC Training throughout the contract.
Restricted Operator’s Licence Professional Support
If you carry your own goods you do not need to employ the services of a full-time or nominated transport manager.
However, in order to ensure compliance with goods vehicle legislation including drivers hours and tachographs you may need professional assistance which we can provide.
Our service is tailored to your requirements, ensuring compliance which allows you to continue to do what you do best – operate your business.