Latest Limo Law News: ELA Launches Limousine Law Petition at Number 10 Downing Street.
ELA = European Limousine Association
Travelling in a limo with your mates on the way to town for a big night out is a lot of fun. However, you need to be aware of some very important laws which many UK limousine operators are breaking. The laws are important for your safety, but also for the credibility of the limo hire companies, who know the law and the required standards, but ignore them.
Under current laws, most limousines are restricted to carrying no more than eight passengers unless they have COIF (Certificate of Initial Fitness). This is due to the low ceilings and inadequate safety exit access, which is dangerous when the limo is over crowded.
If the vehicle operators want to carry more people, they need to register the vehicle as a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV), likening it to a bus, and carry a PCV licence. However, the Vehicle Operator Service Agency (VOSA) who issues the licences, will not recognise stretch limos as PCVs as they do not meet the safety requirements for this class of vehicle.
This includes the oversized limousines, such as the stretch Hummer, some of which can carry up to 28 passengers, and are doing so without proper licensing. Therefore, many limo hire companies are taking advantage of the public and police ignorance of the passenger laws and operating illegally.
To obtain a PCV, vehicles need to have a certificate of initial fitness (COIF) and very few new Ford Excursion (140") and Hummer limos have now passed these to qualify for the COIF. More information about the this issue will be available very soon on this website.
If you own would like to speak to someone about getting your limousine COIF'd please contact us and we will put you in touch with perfect people.
To get around this, some operators have registered their limos as mini buses. However, simply being registered as a mini bus does not give operators the right to transport more than eight passengers.
In April of this year, figures were released showing that up to 6,000 limos were operating illegally; this is around half of all the limos operating in the UK.
There are even limo hire companies who justify these actions by claiming that since they were allowed to import and register these vehicles, that gives them the right to operate them as they wish. This is not the case, so make sure when you go to hire a limousine for your next special occasion, don't take the word of the operator when he tells you the limo can seat all 12 of your friends. Please be careful who you book with. It's not worth the risk!
For more details about the limo law, please feel free to contact us.