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Financial Standing in 2021

20 January

The Office of the Traffic Commissioner has announced changes to financial standing for 2021, which result in a decrease from the previously announced 2021 levels.

Thanks to powers included in the legislation relating to the withdrawal from the European Union, the level of finance required by holders of, and applicants for, Standard Operator’s Licences will no longer be determined by reference to an exchange rate conversion from EUR 9,000 for the first vehicle and EUR 5,000 for each subsequent vehicle.  Instead, from 1 January 2021, the level of financial standing required will be set in Sterling.

From 1 January 2021, the level of financial standing required for Standard Operator’s Licences will be:

  • £8,000 for the first vehicle
  • £4,500 for each subsequent vehicle

The Senior Traffic Commissioner has updated Statutory Document 2 “Finance” to reflect this change.

For holders of, or applicants for, Restricted Operator’s Licences, the financial standing requirement remains unchanged at £3,100 for the first vehicle and £1,700 for each subsequent vehicle.

Financial Standing and Periods of Grace – A Reminder

If you are unable to meet the financial standing requirements, you are required to notify the Traffic Commissioner of this ‘material change’ within 28 days and you should apply to the Traffic Commissioner for a period of grace to allow you time to re-establish financial standing.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Traffic Commissioner issued a ‘contingency and emergency planning’ statutory document in March 2020, which gave directions to the Traffic Commissioners about how they should consider applications for periods of grace during the pandemic.

Due to the exceptional and unprecedented circumstances, the Senior Traffic Commissioner directed that a Traffic Commissioner may rely on a satisfactory financial check within the last 12 months as evidence to support the granting of a period of grace; however, decisions about the grant or the length of a period of grace will always include an assessment of the risk to road safety.

The legislation sets a maximum period of grace for financial standing at 6 months.  For applications made between 01 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, the maximum period of grace was temporarily extended to 12 months; however, for applications made after 30 September 2020, the period of grace has reverted to the maximum period of 6 months.

The Senior Traffic Commissioner has suggested that the starting point for a period of grace will be 4 months, which may be extended to the maximum 6 months should this be required.

How can we help?

At Backhouse Jones, we are intimately familiar with the financial standing requirements, the sources of funds that can be relied on in support of financial standing and how financial standing calculations are performed.  If you already know you do not meet the required financial standing levels, we can assist you in making the relevant notification to the Traffic Commissioner and requesting a period of grace to provide you with the much-needed breathing space to get your HOUSE in order.  Or, if you are unsure whether you meet the financial standing requirements – or just want to check for peace of mind – we can assess this for you.

For further information, contact our Regulatory Team on 01254 828 300 or regulatory@backhouses.co.uk.

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