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Passenger Vehicles


Passenger Vehicles

Application for Operator’s licence

If you are thinking of applying for an operator’s licence, here is a pre-application checklist aimed to assist:

Operating Centre:

  • Do you own your premises?
  • Do you rent or is the site used with permission?
  • Is it of a suitable size?
  • Does it have suitable access?

Transport manager:

  • Do you employ a transport manager?
  • Are they CPC qualified? (Do they hold a Certificate of Professional Competence?)
  • Are they of repute? (Exceptions may apply)

If you have a restricted operator’s licence, you may not be legally required to employ a transport manager but this will restrict the number and size of vehicles you operate.

Financial Standing:

As from 1 January 2015, standard national and international licence applicants will be required to demonstrate £7000 (previously £7400) for the first vehicle and £3900 (previously £4100) for each additional vehicle they request to be authorised. Operators making variation applications will be required to demonstrate financial standing for their existing fleet and any additional authorisation against the new levels.

Any applicant or licence holder appearing at Public Inquiry before a Traffic Commissioner after 1 January 2015, where additional evidence of financial standing is requested, will be required to satisfy the new levels.

There is no change to the rates of finance which must be available to support a restricted licence or application: £3100 for the first vehicle and £1700 for each additional authorised vehicle.

The Senior Traffic Commissioner’s statutory guidance document on finance has been also amended to reflect the new rates.

The guidance indicates that where a standard licence holder cannot demonstrate financial standing, Regulation (EC) 1071/2009 allows (but does not require) the Traffic Commissioner to provide a period of time to rectify the situation. The operator may be given a limited time to make written representations before the Traffic Commissioner decides whether to allow time for rectification and for what period by way of a notice served under the legislation.


  • Are you, your servants or agents of repute/fit to hold a licence?
  • Are there any notifiable convictions?
  • Has your business been formed from the result on another business ceasing to trade?
  • Is your application as a result of changes to your operator services?
  • You must inform your local Traffic Commissioner of any changes to your licence or application – failure to do so could result in prosecution or refusal of the application.

There are 8 geographical areas covering the whole of the UK. If you are unsure of how to contact your local Traffic Commissioner’s office, Please click here.

Some exceptions may apply so if you’re unsure, please use our free CallBack facility and speak to one of our experts.

Prosecutions in the UK

We deal with a wide variety of prosecutions ranging from general motoring offences (e.g. speeding, using a mobile telephone whilst driving etc) to drivers’ hours’ offences and falsification of records

  • Are you being investigated?
  • Is there a possibility you might face prosecution for an offence?
  • You MUST seek legal advice as soon as possible – Ideally before giving an interview under caution!
  • Have you received a summons or have you been formally charged with an offence?
  • If so, you may need to seek good legal advice NOW.

If you are in any of these situations – ACT QUICKLY – Use our CallBack service for a FREE initial consultation with one of our experts.

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International Prosecutions

We have a range of reliable contacts in Europe and frequently assist clients whose vehicles have been stopped (and sometimes seized) in e.g. France, Spain etc. If you have been forced to pay a roadside deposit before the foreign authorities would release your vehicle but you consider there was no justification for such monies to be paid, please use our free Callback facility and speak to one of our experts.

Similarly, if you have paid a roadside deposit and received subsequent prosecution papers from the foreign authorities , do not delay in contacting us to seek legal advice. Failure to respond to foreign prosecution papers could result in your vehicle being targeted and/or seized by the foreign authorities next time your vehicles/drivers are in their country.

In some jurisdictions, it is important to make it clear that although you will pay the roadside deposit, you do not accept the allegation e.g. in Belgium.

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The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) provides a range of licensing, testing and enforcement services with the aim of improving the roadworthiness standards of vehicles ensuring the compliance of operators and drivers while supporting the independent Traffic Commissioners.


Click the image above to be taken to their website

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Public Inquiry

Have you recently received a letter from your local Traffic Commissioner’s office notifying you of a Public Inquiry? If so, you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure a satisfactory outcome. At Backhouse Jones, there are seven lawyers who specialise in representing operators appearing before the Traffic Commissioner. The key to a satisfactory outcome is to obtain sound legal advice from fully qualified professionals with a proven track record.

Concerned you may soon face a public Inquiry?

Reasons for concern include:

  • Recent unsatisfactory Maintenance or Tachograph investigation – were problems found?
  • Have you had an outstanding application lodged for a long time?
  • Have you recently been prosecuted?
  • Have you had a recent Health & Safety complaint?
  • Have you any unresolved issues with HM Revenue & Customs?
  • Have you recently declared yourself insolvent?
  • Have you recently entered into administration?

These are all very legitimate reasons for concern and are common causes for Traffic Commissioner enquiries. If you feel that you may be affected by any of the above, we strongly recommend that you seek professional legal advice at the earliest available opportunity – Please use our CallBack service for a FREE initial consultation with one of our experts.

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Driver Conduct Hearing

Have you recently received a letter from the Traffic Commissioner’s office asking you to attend a hearing? If so, you must seek legal advice as soon as possible as your vocational licence may be in jeopardy.

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Facing an insolvency, you may be able to transfer your licence to a new company or business. If you need confidential advice use our CallBack service to speak with one of our experts.

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