Changes to the requirements regarding finance.

Those holding standard operator’s licences will welcome the slight reduction in the amounts required to prove financial standing to £7200 for the 1st vehicle and £4000 for each subsequent vehicle. However, perhaps more significant is a recent ruling which has clarified the difference regarding the financial requirements for restricted and standard licences.

The case involved a restricted licence holder who had been granted a licence but who was asked to provide evidence of financial standing at the five yearly renewal of the licence. He failed to provide the information and the licence was revoked. He was advised that he no longer appeared to be of appropriate financial standing and fit to hold an operator’s licence.

At the appeal, the Upper Tribunal highlighted that on the issuing of a restricted licence, there are certain issues which the Traffic Commissioner must consider. These are mandatory. However the Traffic Commissioner may consider the provisions of s.13D, i.e. that the provisions of facilities for maintaining the vehicles in a fit and serviceable condition are not prejudiced by reason of the applicant having insufficient financial resources, if he thinks fit. This means that there is discretion on the part of the Traffic Commissioner.

The term” financial standing” and its specified amounts is a term that is used to describe one of the mandatory requirements for a standard licence. The term is defined in the 1995 Goods Vehicles Licensing of Operator’s Act by reference to the 2009 EU Regulation on the Common Rules Concerning the Occupation of Road Transport Operator. These 2009 Regulations do not apply to the circumstances in which a restricted licence can be issued. Therefore the figures of £3100 for the first vehicle and £1700 for each subsequent vehicle are figures which may be required if the Traffic Commissioner thinks fit. This clarification means that a restricted licence cannot automatically be revoked if the holder is unable to show £3100 for his first vehicle and £1700 for each subsequent vehicle. The decision may also be relevant for granting a restricted licence, where there may be particular reasons why the applicant is unable to show these amounts.

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