Operating Licence (O Licence) clarification following Tribunal decision

You’ll be aware that, other than where exemptions apply, companies using goods-carrying vehicles over 3.5 tonne gross vehicle weight (or over 2.5t gross vehicle weight if used for hire & reward in the European Union or other nominated countries) require an ‘Operating Licence’ to operate the vehicle legally.

This remains unchanged, but a recent Upper Tribunal decision (Q3 2022) has clarified an operator’s obligations regarding vehicle numbers. A company must now include all qualifying vehicles they own on their O Licence, whether those vehicles are used mainly on the road or not.

This is due to the basis that any O Licence is granted on. The Traffic Commissioner needs to take into account the financial standing of the operator and the use/size of the Operating Centre - both of which need to accommodate all the qualifying vehicles owned, even if some of those vehicles aren't used mainly on the road.

Aviva only offers cover for commercial motor risks where a client has an O Licence when required. Where there's a discrepancy in the vehicle numbers on the O Licence and the qualifying vehicles on cover, we’ll consider the tribunal decision and work with you and your clients on a way forward.

If you want to find out more, the Office of the Traffic Commissioner has issued a statement to Operators here.

If you’d like further guidance for you or your clients, please head to our dedicated Risk Management website – a free resource offering guidance and best practice on all aspects of commercial risk - explore our motor risk section or head straight for our ‘Loss Prevention Standard’ (LPS) on O Licences