Drivers warned of huge driving rule changes coming this weekend – what to know


The Government released detailed guidance to companies and couriers who will need to use vans and trailers over 2.5 tonnes to transport goods in Europe from May 21, 2022. Drivers planning on delivering goods to Europe will need a standard international goods vehicle operator licence to transport goods for “hire or reward” in the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said that the new rules will apply to anyone who is based in England, Scotland or Wales and uses “vans or other light goods vehicles (sometimes called ‘light commercial vehicles’), vans towing trailers, cars towing trailers”.

The DfT’s more detailed list outlines the types of vehicles affected.

These are as follows:

Vans with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) over 2,500kg (2.5 tonnes) and up to and including 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes).

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The rules will not apply to drivers who only use their vehicles in the UK or are not transporting goods for “hire or reward”.

In order to apply for a goods vehicle operator licence, companies and motorists will need to have a transport manager.

A transport manager is someone who is responsible for things such as planning routes and scheduling delivery times.

Other duties of a transport manager include: managing a team of drivers and administration staff, making sure drivers follow company and industry regulations, arranging vehicle maintenance, MOTs and tax payments, and organising vehicle replacements.

If companies already have the standard international goods vehicle operator licence, they will need to add their vans, cars, and trailers to their existing licence.

There is no fee to add vehicles to a licence if the car limit has not been reached.

However, companies will need to pay £257 to make a ‘major variation’ if they need to increase the vehicle limit on their licence.

After the law comes into effect, drivers will need to carry a certified copy of their UK Licence for the Community during international journeys.

If drivers are applying for a vehicle operator licence for the first time, they will get a UK Licence for the Community as part of their application for a standard international operator licence.

There’s no extra fee for them.


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