You’re running a business and have a fleet of vehicles. No matter whether that’s 2, 200 or 200 you need to ensure you’re on the right side of the law.

1. Speed limits

It seems obvious that your drivers need to know and stick to speed limits, but it’s worth reviewing your understanding of the different limits for different vehicle types and how weight can change those limits:

(source: )


You can see from the above table that car-derived vans are treated the same as cars, meaning they can drive at the same speed as a car, provided they remain under the maximum weight limit

2. Smoking 

 What is and isn’t covered?



The rules vary, so businesses operating across the UK need to be aware of the differences.

3. Overloading

The police and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) have the power to stop and carry out checks to ensure your vehicle is not overloaded with weight.

If an officer checks your vehicle and finds it to be above the maximum permitted vehicle weight – otherwise known as the model’s Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) – you will be fined, and in the vast majority of cases, they will prevent you from driving any further.

What’s the legal limit?

Allowed weight = Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) less kerb weight

A van’s kerb weight refers to how much the van weighs on its own, with a full tank of petrol but with no additional passengers or items – find this out in the vehicle manual, or online.

How much can overloading cost?

If found to be overloaded you will receive a fixed penalty fine, the amount of which depends on how overloaded you are. The current penalties are below:


4. Parking and unloading

 Restrictive covenants for residential parking. Asking/allowing your drivers to take their work vans home might save on travel time but they need to be aware that some housing estates have restrictive covenants preventing commercial vehicles and caravans from being parked overnight – this could be for a set number of years or indefinitely but it’s worth checking – or your employees risk legal action.

It may seem obvious but when it comes to both parking and loading/unloading commercially used vehicles, your drivers need to follow the rules. Here are a few you may not be fully aware of:

5. Driver hours

There are many rules covering driver hours, rest breaks and weekly and fortnightly driving limits.

In summary, the current limits on drivers’ hours or vehicles carrying goods (including dual purpose vehicles) where the weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes as specified by the EU rules are:

Full details are available here.