Mobile Sales Platform?

The Question

I have been given your details from one of your colleagues in the hope that you can provide a definitive answer , or at least further guidance, on our position with regard to the need for a Vehicle Operator licence and the fitment and use of tachographs.

Our company is ********* and we provide equipment and technical solutions to counter EOD, Hazmat and CBRN threats.

We wish to purchase a single vehicle and equip it with equipment and systems such that it provides a mobile sales platform that can be taken to customer demonstrations and trials both here in the UK and to our trading partners abroad (Most likely EU states).

The vehicle will be used purely as a sales and demonstration aid and will not be used for the carriage/delivery of sold goods.

We anticipate that once equipped the vehicle will have a GVW of more than 3,500 kg, but will not exceed 7,500 kg.

We are receiving conflicting advice as to our need to have and maintain a vehicle operator licence i.e. is our use deemed as the carriage of commercial goods or could we be exempt as a specialised vehicle?

Can you please confirm if we are exempt from such a requirement and if so what are the specific terms of our exemption?

If we are not exempt can you please provide an overview as to what are actual legal obligations are as the internet based information is not clear?

i.e. do we have to have our own transport manager with recognised qualifications ?
do we have to comply with drivers hours and tachograph rules ?
other than regular scheduled maintenance and normal regular vehicle checks is there anything unusually onerous with regard to compliance ?

I look forward to your response in due course.

The DVSA's Answer

I refer to your email of 28 January (and our telephone conversation of 5 February) , concerning the above. Please accept my apologies for the delay in sending a written reply. In our conversation, the need for tachographs and a goods vehicle operator's licence were covered. however, you requested written information relating to holding companies and subsidiaries and restricted goods vehicle operator licences.

Holding companies and subsidiaries

Under section 3 paragraph (4) of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 -

"4) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), a company may use a goods vehicle on a road for the carriage of goods for hire or reward under a restricted licence instead of a standard licence if (but only if) the goods concerned are the property of a company which is—
(a) a subsidiary of the first company,
(b) a holding company for the first company, or
(c) a subsidiary of a company which is a holding company both for that subsidiary and for the first company".

Therefore, where the above is applicable, a restricted company may carry for a "sister" company.

I should point out that this is in VOSA’s view and does not constitute legal opinion.

I hope that the information given above has been of some help. If you have any further queries, do not hesitate to contact me. Once again, please accept my apologies for the delay in sending a full reply.

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