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DVSA updates Guidance: Running a vehicle recovery business

Recovered vehicle

This guidance for Running a vehicle recovery business: driver and vehicle safety rules addresses some basic questions to help recovery vehicle operators and drivers. Click here for the full guidance. It’s intended only to offer general help and is not a legal document. For full details of the law in respect of each aspect covered by the guide, you need to refer to the relevant legislation or get legal advice.

For many years, there’s been a great deal of uncertainty about the legal requirements in relation to operating recovery vehicles.

One of the reasons for this confusion is the various classifications of vehicles used by the recovery industry. Several definitions in the current legislation include:

  • breakdown vehicles
  • recovery vehicles
  • specialised recovery vehicles
  • road recovery vehicles

The variations in the definition are further complicated because one might refer to the construction of a vehicle and another to how a vehicle is being used.

Because of this, non compliance has been identified both within the industry and in enforcement. For these reasons, this guide tries to introduce greater clarity on rules which, at times, can be fairly complex.

It’s also the case that some of the rules which have been in place for many years need to be interpreted in a common-sense way. So efforts to help do this have been included where appropriate.

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