UK Limousine Laws
Welcome to our limousine law section.
New limousine laws come into effect from 1st October 2009. All operators of stretch limos must have a Ministry for Transport Operators Licence (O Licence) or Local Council licence to do so, and all 8-16 passenger limousines must have COIF approval.
Both Licences to Operate insures that all Limousines are built within existing UK Construction and use regulations and are kept in a safe and roadworthy condition. It also ensures that all chuaffuers/drivers are CRB checked out. The COIF (certificate of initial fitness) is awarded to limousines that are proven UK legal to carry up to 16 passengers.
Please also take a look at our frequently asked questions before you commit your party to one of these organisations:
One of the passengers will be a baby/child do the same regulations apply?
Yes, every passenger irrespective of age is counted towards the passenger limit; this includes babies and young children, irrespective of how they are carried.
What if the company claims to have a COIF?
Their are currently only a handful limousines with a COIF, if your operator claims that he has one, then you should ask to see a copy.
What about insurance?
All limousine hire operators are required to have insurance for ‘hire and reward’ it is always a sensible precaution to ask the limousine operator if they have a valid policy and who the insurance company is. No professional limousine operator would refuse this information. Some hire and reward policies will invalidate insurance where passengers numbers exceed the number covered in their policy, alternatively where passenger numbers exceed the manufacturers regulations or local licensing laws.
Surely compliance is for the limousine hire operator?
Yes it is. Limousine operators not complying with the regulations can be heavily fined as indeed can the chauffeurs. However, safety should always be the primary consideration and vehicles that do not conform potentially place the passengers and other road users at risk. Police officers and some transport officials have the ability to stop suspicious vehicles and may confiscate or impound the limousine, in addition, they may at their discretion insist that the hire is terminated and the passengers will have to make alternative arrangements. More importantly safety must be the primary consideration and vehicles that do not conform to the regulations are being used illegally and few people would genuinely believe that this does not compromise safety.
What Questions should I ask my limousine operator if they agree to carry more than 8 passengers?
Do the chauffeurs have a PSV/PCV Licence
Does the limousine have a Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF)?
Is the company registered as a Public Service Vehicle Operator
Does the limousine operators’ insurance cover more than 8 passengers
Is the carrying capacity approved by the manufacturer?
Are there any independent organisations that can verify your assertions?
Yes we would recommend that you visit the following websites for further information.
Government body for licensing, testing and enforcement
VOSA – Vehicle & Operator Services Agency –www.vosa.gov.uk
Independent voluntary body for limousine hire operators
National Limousine & Chauffeur Association –www.nlca.co.uk
What should I do if I suspect someone is flouting the regulations and risking safety?
You can report them by calling the following number: 0870 60 60 440
Anyone who does not have a licence to operate puts their limousiine hire insurance and the lives of their passengers at serious risk. Don't get caught out by illegal operators, make sure you ask for proof of their Operators Licence.
This information herein is provided in good faith but is not designed to be comprehensive given a number of authorities govern this area. Independent verification should be sought from the governing bodies, agencies or organisations that regulate or have an interest in this area. No liability is accepted for the information contained herein