A public service vehicle (PSV) has to be managed differently to other commercial vehicles, and hence PSV fleet management is quite challenging compared to other forms of commercial vehicle fleet management. Many of the demands on fleet managers relating to PSVs involves service and maintenance and licensing compliance. This is natural when you consider the public liability involved in carrying passengers, and therefore the licensing and health and safety demands that follow.
What is a public service vehicle?
The Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 defines a PSV as a motor vehicle, other than a tramcar, which either:
- is adapted to carry nine or more passengers and is used to carry passengers for hire or reward, or
- is adapted to carry eight or fewer passengers and is used:
a) to carry passengers for hire or reward at separate fares
b) in the course of a business of carrying passengers.
What do you need to know about PSV fleet management?
Of course any form of commercial vehicle fleet management will involve monitoring fuel usage, driver performance and the selection of the right vehicles and hire finance packages, but with PSV fleet management there are very specific requirements relating to maintenance and licensing:
- Employer’s maintenance duty: The employer has a duty to maintain PSVs in a fit and serviceable condition and so they need to have a structured system in place for servicing and maintaining the vehicles, whether they are adapted vehicles, taxis, LCVs or minibuses.
- The role of Traffic Commissioners: Traffic Commissioners are officials appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport responsible for the licensing of operators of buses and coaches and heavy goods vehicles. They can serve out disciplinary action against drivers of PSVs in the UK. Traffic Commissioners have to be satisfied that maintenance arrangements exist and businesses have sufficient finance in place to maintain PSVs properly before they grant a licence for their use.
- Traffic Commissioner powers: Traffic Commissioners have the power to take disciplinary action if they consider existing licence holders for PSVs are failing to comply with the law in any way. This will often relate to poor maintenance of a vehicle or not complying with licensing conditions.
- Employer maintenance records: An employer needs to keep records relating to maintenance of PSVs, which should include records of regular safety inspections carried out by drivers and any pre-MOT safety inspections.
- Licensing and insurance of PSVs: There are very specific licensing and insurance requirements for PSVs and these differ according to the particular vehicle type, ie. minibus licensing is different to taxi licensing. However, the criteria is usually based around a person’s minimum age, how long they have held a licence, health status, whether you are driving on a voluntary or commercial basis, the size and facilities required on the vehicle (ie. does it have wheelchair access etc). Licences to drive a PSV can be applied for via the DVSA.
Talk to Total Motion: experts in PSV fleet management
PSV fleet management can be a more complex area, depending on the nature of your business or operations, but it requires careful management, and hence, due to the strict licensing and maintenance restrictions, businesses often outsource this work. Total Motion have a proven track record of delivering commercial vehicle fleet management in many different industries and for many different fleet types. We are industry leaders in driving innovation and delivering cost and operational improvements, and ensuring businesses have strict controls in place to maintain licensing and insurance compliance.
Get in touch with Total Motion, the PSV fleet management experts, and we can help you deliver change and improvement to your business.