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know the law

2nd January 1970, Page 46
2nd January 1970
Page 46
Page 46, 2nd January 1970 — know the law
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

by Les Oldridge AIRTE, AMIMI

The new trade licence

THE LAW concerning trade licences has been drastically altered by the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 1969, which came into operation on January 1 1970.

In the past trade plates have been a great convenience to the operator of a fleet of vehicles as in certain circumstances it was possible for him to use his vehicles on the road without an excise licence providing the trade plates were attached, but the new law has greatly curtailed this use, particularly for the fleet operator. There used to be two types of plates, "limited" and "general", but now there is only a single type of licence and this is very much like the old "limited" one.

This licence may be granted to a "motor trader" or a "vehicle tester". The former may use the licence for vehicles, and I quote, "which are from time to time temporarily in his possession in the course of his business and for any recovery vehicle in the course of his business". A vehicle tester may use the licence for vehicles "which are from time to time submitted to him for testing in the course of his business as a vehicle tester".

The definition of "motor trader" has not been altered and still includes "a repairer of mechanically propelled vehicles", so the fleet owner with his own workshop for the repair of his vehicles is entitled to a trade licence. The snag is, he will only be able to use the licence on his recovery vehicle and for vehicles temporarily in his possession. Normally, all his vehicles will be permanently in his possession so he will not be able to use the plates, for example, to test one of his vehicles which has been overhauled* although this is one of the permitted uses.

Many hauliers used a light runabout van for collecting spare parts and other odd jobs, running it under general trade plates, but this will not be permitted with the new licence.

Regulation 39, as now amended, states the purposes for which vehicles may be used under a trade licence. The licence must not be used other than for a business purpose which falls into one of the following categories— (a) for test or trial in the ordinary course of construction or repair or immediately after completion of construction or repair; (b)travelling to or from a weighbridge to ascertain the unladen weight of the vehicle or to a place for its registration or inspection by a council; (c) for test or trial for the benefit of a prospective purchaser and for travelling to and from the place where the test takes place; (d)for test or trial for the benefit of a person interested in promoting publicity in regard to the vehicle and travelling to and from the place where the test takes place; (e) for delivering it to a place where the purchaser intends to keep it; (f) for demonstrating its operation or the operation of its accessories or equipment when being handed over to the purchaser; (g) delivering a vehicle from one part of his premises to another or to the premises of another trader or collecting it from another trader's premises and delivering it to his own; (h)going to or coming from a workshop in which a body or special equipment or accessory is to be or has been fitted; (i) travelling from the premises of a motor trader to a place where the vehicle is to be transported by train, ship or aircraft or coming from such a place of transportation to a motor trader's premises; (j) travelling to or returning from any garage, auction room or other place where vehicles are usually stored or offered for sale and at which the vehicle has been stored or is to be or has been offered for sale; (k)travelling to or from a place where it has been tested or to a place where it is to be broken up or dismantled; (1) in the case of a recovery vehicle for proceeding to or returning from a place where assistance is to be or has been rendered to a disabled vehicle; or for carrying a disabled vehicle or for towing it (whether with the assistance of a trailer or not) from the place where it has broken down to a place for storage or repair or for breaking up.

Vehicle testers who hold a trade licence may only use it on a vehicle for testing it or any trailer drawn by it or any of the accessories or equipment on the vehicle or trailer in the course of his business as a vehicle tester.

The carriage of goods on vehicles using a trade licence is severely restricted. Goods may be carried when the vehicle is being used for any of the test or trial purposes providing the load is returned to the place of loading without having been removed from the vehicle except in the case of an accident or when the vehicle is being used for the purpose described in (f) above (demonstration to purchaser).

In the case of a recovery vehicle a disabled vehicle may be carried or towed. Any load built in as part of the vehicle or permanently attached to it does not count as a load for the purpose of this section of the regulations. A load consisting of parts, accessories or equip ment designed to be fitted to the vehicle and the tools for carrying out the fitting may be carried on a vehicle if it is being used for one of the purposes described in (g) or (h) above. A trailer may be carried as a load if the vehicle is being used for a purpose outlined in (e), (h) or (i) above.

Only the following persons may be carried while a vehicle is being used under a trade licence:— (a)the driver of the vehicle being either the holder of the licence or his employee; other persons may drive with the permis sion of the holder of the licence but in this case they must be accompanied by the licence holder or his employee. The latter proviso does not apply if the vehicle is so constructed to carry only one person; (b)persons required to be on the vehicle by law, e.g. a statutory attendant in the case of a drawbar trailer; (c) any person carried for the purpose of carrying out his statutory duties of inspecting the vehicle or trailer; (d) any person in a disabled vehicle being towed; (e) the holder of the licence or his employee if their presence is necessary for the purpose for which the vehicle is being used.


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