The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is urging parents to check limos are legal before booking one for their child’s school prom.
Hiring a vehicle and driver that hasn’t been properly vetted and licensed could put your child and their friends at risk. The driver may not have had a criminal record check or the vehicle may not be roadworthy.
In the last 6 years, DVSA has impounded 31 unsafe limos and crushed 20.
Checks to carry out when hiring a limo
You can carry out simple checks to make sure that the limo you book is safe and legal. The checks you need to do depend on how many passenger seats the limo has.
Companies hiring out a limo with 9 passenger seats or more must have a public service vehicle (PSV) operator licence.
You can check if they have an operator licence online.
If they don’t have one, they’re operating illegally. Report this to DVSA and they can investigate the company.
Taking action against companies operating illegally
DVSA can take limos being used by companies without a licence off the road to prevent them from operating unlawfully.
DVSA enforcement officers can also stop companies with licences from operating if they find:
- serious mechanical defects on the limo
- the driver has driven more than the number of hours they’re allowed to without proper breaks
DVSA also regularly carries out joint operations with the police who can seize a vehicle if it’s not properly licensed and insured.
Protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:
DVSA is committed to protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. We know parents want to keep their children safe but rogue limousine operators working outside of the law are putting them at risk.
We will not hesitate to take action against cowboy operators who risk the lives of young people and other road users. This could include seizing limousines and referring operators to the traffic commissioners, who have the power to take away their licence.
Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, Richard Turfitt, said:
Unlicensed operators are not insured to carry passengers. There are good, responsible limousine operators in the industry but those who don’t have a licence to operate are likely to be running vehicles with defects that are potentially dangerous.
That is why traffic commissioners fully support DVSA’s advice to parents to be aware of the dangers posed by unsafe limousines and check on GOV.UK whether the operator they plan to use is properly licensed.
National Limousine and Chauffeur Association Legislation Officer, Bill Bowling, said:
The safety of your passengers is paramount to us and we ask that parents ensure that the company they use is properly licensed and insured.
Many people are being taken to their prom in unlicensed and therefore uninsured wedding cars or novelty vehicles.
Our members are all properly vetted and licensed and are there to ensure the safety of your family and friends.
Be safe, not sorry.