Goods vehicles & van fleets

Operators of small or ‘light' goods vehicles no greater than 3.5 tonnes may be exempt from certain legal requirements, such as the need to install and use tachographs or to posses an operator’s licence to carry goods as part of their business.

But they must still be compliant with other very important rules.

Sadly, goods vehicles such as vans operating under the 3.5 tonnes weight threshold have a very poor compliance record: roadside stops by police and Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) continue to identify an appallingly high occurrence of dangerous overloading and vehicle defects, mainly relating to safety-critical items, frequently brakes and tyres. 

In part this may because there is no legal requirement to be specially licensed for commercial work, unlike operators of vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, leading to lax management and a mindset that because the operation vehicles are small then risk is diminished. 

This is not the case and poor fleet management can lead to devastating consequences for operators, drivers, work colleagues and the public.

Fleets of vans and other small commercial vehicles must be roadworthy, operate within permitted weights and speeds as well as be driven by properly licensed drivers complying with drivers hours and working time rules.

In our view, operators of van fleets should manage their drivers and vehicles no differently to businesses operating under an operator’s licence, ensuring the following are in place:

  • a proper daily driver defect reporting system 
  • periodic vehicle inspection regime 
  • tyre and wheel security policy 
  • driver licence checks and health reviews 
  • speed checks and monitoring 
  • systems to ensure no overloading 
  • compliance with drivers hours / working time rules 
  • driver training and monitoring 
  • monitoring of vehicle usage e.g. through telematics / tracking 
  • health & safety training 
  • an audit system for all the above.

If you need further assistance to audit your existing arrangements, introduce new systems or for advice regarding a specific problem please contact us.

How can we help?

If you have an enquiry or you would like to find out more about our services, why not contact us?

0333 220 9071

Alternatively, make an enquiry or request a call back by filling out a form.

Our ongoing driver shortage crisis: where to now?

15/04/2019

Within a shifting and increasingly challenging global framework, the European road transport sector is facing its most acute professional driver short......

What is the ULEZ?

08/04/2019

From 8 April 2019 there is a charge to drive within an area of central London known as the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). Its purpose is to improve a......

Drivers’ Hours Penalties: 465% up!

21/03/2019

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has confirmed there has been a massive increase in the number of drivers’ hours fixed penalties issued from Ma......

International Road Transport: IMPORTANT BREXIT UPDATE

07/03/2019

It is almost certain that rules will be in place to allow UK operators to conduct international road haulage operations in EU Member States from 29 Ma......

Road Transport Services

01/08/2018

Read an overview of the Road Transport law services we offer.

Truck Cartel

01/08/2018

Read our guide to claiming compensation.

Public Inquiry

01/08/2018

Read how we can help you if you've been called to a Public Inquiry.

RT @MPSRTPC: MPS Commercial Vehicle Unit are using HGV's to identity motorists using their mobile phones whilst driving. This Driver repo…
See last tweet “People don’t realise how important justice is until it affects them personally. Anyone can need jus… https://t.co/VzeYBD4V0j
About 50% of Mags Courts Closed since 2010 Magistrates' Courts https://t.co/c4VXcO6fBu