Q I own a Mercedes-Benz L4060 van which I use for
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film and photographic location transport; it is at present taxed as a private work-o bus and the unladen weight is 2 tons 4cwt, and the gvw is 4 tons lOcwt. The vehicle is fated with side windows and has 12 seats (including driver's) and also has fittings such as make-up mirrors, and blinds on windows, for use on location as a mobile changing room.
On any particular job, I may carry models, artists, film crew and photographers plus their equipment, such as cameras, lights, sun reflectors, cables as well as props, costumes, etc. All this may weigh well over one ton.
In these circumstances does the vehicle need to be taxed as a private work-o-bus, a goods vehicle or a psv?
Does it need to be plated or have a psv certificate of fitness and do 1 need an operator's licence and/or a psv driving licence?
Is it possible for just one vehicle to have all or any combination of the above and are there any other rules and regulations that may apply, which I have not considered?
A Presuming you are hiring your vehicle to an organization which requires to transport its personnel and equipment, the position seems to be this: —
Section 117 of the Road Traffic Act 1960, defines a public service vehicle as "a motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire or reward which either is carrying passengers at separate fares, or is not carrying passengers at separate fares, but is adapted to carry eight or more passengers".
Your vehicle, and the use to which you are putting it, seems to put it quite clearly in the second category, so it is a public service vehicle.
How it should be taxed will depend on its construction; from what you say it seems it could be licensed either as a Hackney Carriage at £12 a year or Private at £25 a year. If it was licensed as a Hackney Carriage it would be illegal to use it for private purposes. If, however, it is constructed or adapted to carry goods the higher rate of £78 per year must be paid. Provided you make no alterations to the construction of the vehicle, we would think the cameras, etc, which you carry would be considered as the personal effects of the passengers much as applies on a coach.
As your vehicle is a public service vehicle. it will be necessary for you to obtain a public service vehicle licence, a certificate of fitness and a public service vehicle driving licence.