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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Particular occupations: lorry drivers - leasing agreements

If a driver claims that he or she is providing a lorry which has been leased from the haulier for whom he or she is driving, the arrangements should be examined carefully. Agreements, which succeed in establishing a driver as self-employed, are likely to:

  • give the lessee total control of, and responsibility for, the vehicle for the duration of the lease
  • make the lessee responsible for the maintenance, insurance and fuel
  • provide for a commercial rent protecting the investment of the lessor
  • result in the driver being responsible in law for obtaining an operator’s licence from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).

An example of an agreement which fails to establish self-employment is one which:

  • leaves the control and responsibility for the vehicle with the haulier enabling it to be used by other drivers
  • leaves the responsibility for maintenance, insurance, and fuel with the haulier
  • allows the driver to ‘pay’ for the vehicle through a deduction from earnings based on, for example, hours of use, mileage, or a clearly non-commercial amount per day or week.