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The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Commercial Vehicle division welcomes the government’s response to the operator’s license consultation, which will grant exemption from requiring an operator license for fleets using alternatively fuelled vehicles up to 4.25t gross vehicle weight (GVW).
The response highlights several points from the NFDA’s submission for the Category B driving license derogation consultation. The NFDA had previously highlighted that
without including hire and reward haulage in this exception the impact of this derogation will be insignificant. In fact, hire and reward haulage accounts for the vast majority of new light commercial vehicle purchases. NFDA pointed out that requiring operator’s licenses will make it difficult for the light commercial sector to transition to alternatively fuelled vehicles.
Following on from the government’s response, NFDA Commercial Vehicle division is pleased to see that government has listened to our criticisms that this exemption must apply to hire and reward haulier, which were excluded in the initial proposal.
Echoing the NFDA’s consultation response, government acknowledged that “the vast majority of new vans are used for hire or reward haulage” and has recognised that for alternatively fuelled vans to be commercially viable, vehicles with a GVW of up to 4.250t must be treated in exactly the same manner as a 3.5t GVW vehicle.
Government also explicitly stated that “The need to obtain an operator’s licence and the costs associated with this […] would discourage many hire or reward firms from taking up clean vans.”
NFDA welcomes this decision and believes that is a step in the right direction in encouraging alternatively fuelled vans to become part of van fleets.