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Limo Hire & the Law

LIMOUSINES AND THE LAW as of 1Oth July 2007

Taken from the NLCA website.

For the benefit of both the general public and limousine operators alike, it has become necessary to clarify the ways that operators may legally operate. The list below states categorically what is, and is not, legal and the conditions that must be complied with to ensure that your limousine remains legal at all times.

Limousines up to and including eight (8) passengers

There are several different ways that an operator may hire a limousine for hire and reward

Written contract

Until the end of 2007, it is still quite legal to offer a limousine for hire under the terms of a written contract, provided that the contract complies with the requirements of section 75 (1) (b) of the Local government miscellaneous provisions cat 1976. The NLCA has a model contract for use in these occasions.

There is no legal requirement for a limousine to be licensed until the end of 2007, after this every limousine will have to be licensed if they work for hire and reward. Limousines only carrying out weddings and funerals are exempt from the need for licensing.

Private hire

Providing that the local authority in question is willing and sensible it is possible in around half of the local authorities to license limousines as private hire. There are 404 local licensing authorities and unfortunately around 181 of them will not licence limousines.

Public Service Vehicle Operators licence.

It is possible to operate a vehicle of 8 passenger seats (or less) as a PSV under section 265 of the Transport 2000 Act, this licence is granted by the Traffic Commissioners and is totally separate to any local authority licence This route only applies through England and Wales and excludes central London.

Public Carriage Office

This applies to vehicles registered and operating within London, they must be licensed by the PCO as the rules for London are specific and different to the rest of the country. Operators from outside London may enter London, provided that the way they operate is recognised as legal in the part of the country they come from.

Vehicles from 8 up to 16 passenger seats

Public Service Vehicle Operators Licence

Provided that the vehicle has achieved a Certificate of initial fitness (COIF) it may carry up to the number stated on the plate attached to the vehicle. It must then be driven by a PSV licensed driver. There are very few of these around at present, and the status of the vehicle should be checked before booking to ensure that the client is not travelling in an illegal way.

Schedule six domestic minibus

Many of the larger limousines derived from the 4X4 sports utility vehicles have now been adapted to meet these regulations. They may be hired to the client only as self drive vehicles, the driver must come from a totally independent source, and provided that they are insured as self drive then they may legally carry up to the number of passengers displayed on the plate on the vehicle.

These vehicles must not be offered with the services of a driver, as this would then constitute hire and reward and would therefore not be legal.

For help or clarification please e mail legislation@nlca.co.uk or call Bill Bowling, Legislation Officer on 0788 656 3724

More Than half of UK Lmos fail Checks at crackdown

This Below story is taken from the chauffeur website here; http://www.thechauffeur.com/2010/10/more-than-half-of-limos-fail-checks-at-crackdown/

Rest assured all Manchester Limo Hire & the Hummer LImo's from Earl l imousines are all fully road legal are checked proffessionally, reguarlyy and all have been modified to pass and carry the COIF certificate, as per VOSA regs.

Officials from the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA) has revealed the shocking results of a recent illegal limousine crackdown in the capital.

 

VOSA along with the Metropolitan Police descended on Wembley in a two day operation to search for limousines which are unlicensed, carrying too many passengers and are unroadworthy.

In total, 11 out of the 17 limousines inspected by VOSA throughout the operation were found to be faulty or were flouting driver hour laws.

 

On Saturday 2nd October, four limos were inspected and two Delayed Roadworthiness Prohibitions were issued to the drivers, and a driver hours rest prohibition was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £120.00. Only one limousine passed all the checks throughout the evening.

 

The following day was just as shocking as a total of 13 vehicles were pulled over and inspected at the venue. There were seven Delayed Roadworthiness Prohibitions issued, one Drivers Hours 24hrs rest Prohibition Issued with a Fixed penalty notice of £200.00, and six vehicles cleared all the tests.

Head of Enforcement at VOSA, Neil Barlow speaking at Drive '09 Head of Enforcement at VOSA, Neil Barlow told thechauffeur.com; “We know there is concern within the industry about non-compliant operators. That’s why VOSA and the police has stepped-up these kind of checks across the country.”

 

He added; “Unroadworthy limousines and drivers who do not take the proper rest jeopardise the safety of their passengers as well as other road users. I would remind people that VOSA has the power to impound illegally operated limousines and have them crushed.”

A prohibition is issued to stop further use of the vehicle until the fault has been rectified and full compliance with roadworthiness and weight standards are achieved. A roadworthiness prohibition relates to a mechanical defect.

 

A ‘delayed prohibition’ for roadworthines gives the driver/owner either 3,5,7 or 10 days to repair the mechanical defect – then have it retested by VOSA to have the prohibition removed. As opposed to an ‘immediate’ prohibition where the operator must rectify it before being allowed to continue.

Graham Mitchell from Bournemouth based DCS Limos commented; “When I entered Wembley, I was stopped by VOSA officials where they took the names and contact details of all my passengers. They told them they would be contacted if there was a problem with my limousine, which I thought was a bit strange and not really great PR for me.”

 

He added; “My limousine passed all the checks and is fully legal. I am always in support of any VOSA crackdowns which may take illegal operators off the road. We spend a lot of money keeping our vehicles maintained so I hope these operations will play a part in closing down dodgy companies.”

 

An array of further VOSA crackdowns are expected around the country in the run up to Christmas.

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