Regulation – transport, storage and distribution sector


Legal requirements for public service vehicles

The Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and the Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment, Use and Certification) Regulations 1981, as amended, regulate the construction of public service vehicles (PSVs). Vehicles must have either:

  • a certificate of initial fitness
  • a certificate of conformity

This shows that they have been built to specified public service vehicle standards. There are two sets of rules, one for minibuses with between 9-16 seats, and one for larger vehicles that have more than 16 seats. Vehicles must be maintained in a mechanically sound condition. They must be tested annually at a Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa) testing station to make sure they still comply with the specified standards. There is a special MOT test for PSVs. See information on PSV testing on the VOSA website.

Only components and systems that have been tested and approved as meeting specified performance standards can be used in public service vehicles. The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) is the approval authority in the UK for the type approval of motor vehicles and components. Find out about vehicle components that need approval on the VCA website.

The Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 require PSVs with more than 22 seats to comply with certain accessibility measures and to provide a minimum number of priority seats for disabled people. Download Department for Transport (DfT) guidance on the Public Service Accessibility Regulations from the DTI website (PDF).

PSVs must comply with strict Euro 3 emission standards, designed to protect the environment. More stringent Euro 4 and 5 standards are to be implemented from 2005 and 2008. Vehicles meeting certain emissions standards may be eligible to be licensed in a taxation class with lower rates of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). The vehicle must be tested by Vosa and issued with a Reduced Pollution Certificate (RPC). For more information on emissions:

Speed limiters

All PSVs with more than nine seats – including the driver’s – and a maximum mass exceeding 7.5 tonnes are required by law to be fitted with speed limiters that restrict speed to 100 kilometres pre hour (kph). When it is implemented – from 1 January 2005 for vehicles registered on or after 01/01/05 – EC Directive 2002/85/EC will extend this requirement to all PSVs with more than nine seats, whatever the weight. For more information read the Consultation letter about speed limiters on the DfT website.

This document is based on Crown Copyright © 2004-2011
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