Fleet News

Limousine law tightened

The first part of a new package of measures to improve the safety of stretched limousines and keep unlawful vehicles off the road has been launched by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The guidelines will sit alongside new pre-registration checks, which are due to come into force on June 1.

These checks should ensure that vehicles with more than eight passenger seats without a Certificate of Initial Fitness cannot be registered without meeting the required safety and environmental standards.

At the same time the DfT will tighten the Single Vehicle Approval scheme to withdraw the option to self-declare that a vehicle will not be used to carry more than eight seated passengers.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "The popularity of stretched limousines has soared in Britain and we are determined to ensure that they are used safely.

"We all know that limousines are great for parties, but it is important that these vehicles meet the required construction standards and are properly licensed and registered.”

The new guides - developed after seeking the views of the limousine industry - explain the safety, registration and licensing requirements needed to be met before passengers can lawfully be carried.

The news follows a change in the law last week, which meant that owners of vehicles with up to eight passenger seats - including limousines - which were previously considered exempt from Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) licensing under the "contract exemption" must be licensed as a PHV.

The new measures mean that the limousine driver, vehicle and operator will all have been through the proper checks.

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