Manage your operator licence

How to Manage Your Vehicle Operator Licence on-line

In today’s fast-paced transportation industry, managing your operator licence efficiently is crucial to ensure compliance. The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) recognises the challenges faced by operators in this regard, so they developed the Manage Your Operator Licence Online platform. This self-service system simplifies the process of updating and maintaining your operator licence. In this blog, we’ll have a look at what you can do on the Manage Your Vehicle Operator Licence online system.

What can you do on the Manage Your Operator Licence Platform?

Add/Remove Vehicles on Your Licence

It is likely you will need to add or remove a vehicle to your operator licence. You can do this easily on the system, just remember to do so within 28 days of the new vehicle(s) coming into your possession.

Add or Remove a Transport Manager

When changes occur in your management team, such as adding or removing a transport manager, the Traffic Commissioner must be informed immediately. The OtC (Office of the Traffic Commissioner) usually will allow a reasonable period of time for you to find a replacement Transport Manager. The time frame is normally up to 6 months, however, in some cases, it may be extended to 9 months at the Traffic Commissioner’s discretion.

Change Your Licence Type – Major Change/Variation

You can change your licence from a restricted to a standard national licence, or from a standard national to a standard international licence for example. To do this you must apply using the platform at least nine weeks before you require the change to happen.

You don’t have to advertise a change in licence, but you will have to provide proof of competence, good repute and financial standing if you are moving from a restricted to a standard licence to a standard national or standard international licence.

The traffic commissioner publishes applications to upgrade licences in Applications and Decisions. This will mean your application will be open to objection by statutory objectors such as local authorities and the police.

The change in licence type does not take effect until the application has been granted and the varied licence issued, unless an interim authority has been given.

Increase Vehicle/Trailer Limit – Major Change/Variation

As your business flourishes, you might find the need to increase the vehicle limit on your licence. The platform allows you to request an upgrade to accommodate a larger fleet if you want to exceed the maximum number of vehicles permitted on your licence. This is also classed as a Major Variation and will need advertising together with evidence of financial standing. The fee is £275.00 and you must apply at least nine weeks before you need the extra vehicles/trailers.

Change or Add a New Operating Centre – Major Change/Variation

You may want to move your operating centre to new or larger premises or even add a new operating centre as you expand. As with a new application, the OtC will publish details of your variation application in the publication Applications and Decisions and you will need to advertise the application in a newspaper circulating in the vicinity of your new operating centre. If you are only using vehicles (or vehicle combinations) that do not exceed 3.5 tonnes you do not need to advertise the intention.

Add/Remove Directors

You must inform the Traffic Commissioner immediately if there are any changes regarding Company Directors. For example, if someone is taken on as a director, a director dies or if the business changes from sole trader to a limited company. The change could constitute a major change and a fee of £275.00 charged.

Surrender Your Licence

In some cases, operators may decide to cease their operations temporarily or permanently. The self-help system offers a simple and straightforward process to give up, or “surrender,” your operator licence. This feature helps ensure you comply with the necessary procedures when discontinuing your transportation services.

Print/Download a Replacement Licence

The Manage Your Operator Licence system provides a convenient way to get a replacement copy of your O’Licence. Whether you need a physical copy or a digital version, the platform ensures you can obtain a replacement.

N.B. You have to apply by post if you want to transfer an operating centre to another licence.

How to register for the Manage Your Vehicle Operator Licence online system

It’s easy to register for an account

Step 1: Visit the DVSA Website – and click Start now

Manage your vehicle operator licence







Step 2: Click create an account

Create an account

Step 3: Create your account

Create an account

Step 3: Check your email. You will receive 2 emails. One with a temporary password and one with to confirm your registration

Check your email

Step 4: Click ‘sign in’ from your temporary password email. This will take you to a page to create a new password

Change your password

And that’s it, you have created your account!

If you would like to know more about our Operator Licencing, services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!

Operator Licencing

Operator Licensing Help

Your trusted partner in navigating the world of operator licensing

We specialise in providing comprehensive Operator Licensing services that are tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. With our expertise and in-depth knowledge of transport industry regulations, we offer a range of solutions to assist you in obtaining and maintaining your operator licence.

Whether you are a new business in need of consultation and guidance for an application or an existing operator seeking assistance with licence renewal and compliance, our dedicated team is here to support you every step of the way. With our proven track record of success and commitment to excellence, you can trust us to navigate the complex licensing process, ensure compliance, and help you unlock new opportunities for growth and success.

How we can help

Restricted Operator Licence Help

We assist with setting up your systems and provide the Restricted Licence holder with invaluable support and guidance to maintain compliance.

Get 20% off our comprehensive Compliance Pack!

£189.00 per month


Operator Licence Applications

We undertake your new operator licence application on your behalf, ensuring everything is in order and providing guidance and support.

Get 20% off our comprehensive Compliance Pack!

£375.00 flat fee


Transport Manager Finder Service

We find and connect you with an External Transport Manager near you.

Get 20% off our comprehensive Compliance Pack!

From £450.00


Application & TM Finder Bundle

Purchase our Operator Application Help, the External Transport Manager Service and save £50.00.

Get 20% off our comprehensive Compliance Pack!

From £775.00


What is Operator Licencing?

Operator Licensing is the application and provision of an Operator's License issued for those involved in the operation of goods vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles for business or trade. An Operator Licence is required under the regulations of Operator Licencing, through the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC), which oversees and regulates the operation of commercial vehicles in the UK.

Who needs an Operator's Licence?

If you drive goods vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, you need to have a goods vehicle operator's licence. This also applies to light goods vehicles between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes which are used to carry goods in the EU.

What type of Operator Licences are there?


For businesses who carry their own goods or materials in connection with their trade or business. Covers operations in the UK and the EU.

Transport Consultant Recommended

Standard National

For businesses who operate vehicles within the UK for hire or reward.

Transport Manager Required

Standard International

Permits the holder to operate goods vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles internationally, both within the EU and beyond.

Transport Manager Required

Standard (International) light goods vehicles

Permits for businesses who use light goods vehicles between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes to carry goods for hire or reward within the European Union.

Transport Manager Required

Benefits of Hiring a Transport Manager Consultant for Restricted Licence Operators

Benefits of Hiring a Transport Manager Consultant for Restricted Licence Operators

Running a transportation business as a Restricted Licence Operator comes with its fair share of challenges, from navigating complex regulations and compliance issues to overcoming operational hurdles. However, the path to success becomes clearer with the invaluable support of an experienced Transport Manager Consultant. In this blog, we will delve into the advantages of enlisting the services of a Transport Manager Consultant, uniquely equipped to address the specific needs and requirements of Restricted Licence Operators.

Qualified CPC Transport Manager

A Transport Manager Consultant is a seasoned professional in the field of transport management, holding a coveted Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). This certification is earned through a rigorous training program, affirming that the consultant possesses the essential expertise and skills to oversee transportation operations. With their CPC qualification, the Transport Manager Consultant brings a wealth of knowledge and proficiency to effectively navigate the complexities of the transport industry and compliance.

Experience is Everything

An experienced Transport Manager Consultant brings insights into regulations encompassing crucial aspects like driver hours, vehicle maintenance, tachograph rules, and load securing. Working with a Transport Manager Consultant ensures you will be better able to adhere to all necessary requirements, minimising the risk of penalties and potential compliance entanglements. Their wealth of knowledge serves as a shield, safeguarding the smooth and compliant operation of your business.

Expert Guidance and Industry Insights

Transport Manager Consultants are experts at what they do. They bring a wealth of industry knowledge to the table. They possess a deep understanding of the transport sector and its regulatory requirements. By leveraging their expertise, a Transport Manager Consultant can provide valuable guidance, helping Restricted Licence Operators navigate complex challenges to help make informed business decisions.

Systems implementation

Establishing comprehensive systems in the form of policies and procedures is paramount when operating a Restricted Operator Licence. The assistance of a Transport Manager Consultant is instrumental in effectively implementing these essential frameworks.

By working with your consultant, you can create a clear and robust policy framework that leaves little room for misunderstandings or debates regarding appropriate courses of action in specific situations. Fostering transparency and consistency throughout your organisation, ensuring a cohesive approach to operations and decision-making. Having well-defined policies and procedures sets the stage for a streamlined and harmonious operation, bolstering your business’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management

Compliance with transport regulations is crucial for restricted licence operators. However, keeping up with the ever-evolving rules and requirements can be overwhelming. Transport Manager Consultants specialise in regulatory compliance and risk management. They stay updated with changes in legislation, ensuring that the business adheres to all legal obligations. By conducting audits and assessments, consultants can identify potential risks, implement effective mitigation strategies, and minimise the chances of a DVSA visit or Public Enquiry.

Operational Efficiency and Cost Optimisation

One of the primary goals for Restricted Licence Operators is to maximise operational efficiency while minimising costs. Transport Manager Consultants can assess the existing operational processes, identify any shortfalls, and recommend improvements. They bring fresh perspectives and industry best practices, helping operators streamline workflows and improve fleet utilisation. By identifying cost-saving opportunities, such as fuel efficiency measures or outsourcing options, consultants can help businesses operate more efficiently and improve their bottom line.

Enhanced Safety Measures

Safety is a top priority in the transport industry. Employing the services of a consultant demonstrates a commitment to the Traffic Commissioner you are maintaining high safety standards. By implementing comprehensive safety measures, consultants can reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and damage to goods, protecting both the company’s reputation and the well-being of employees, and the public.

In Conclusion

Employing the services of a Transport Manager Consultant can be a game-changer for Restricted Licence Operators. By leveraging their expertise, industry insights, and network, they can guide businesses towards sustainable growth and improved operational efficiency. From providing help on regulatory compliance and risk management to optimising costs and driving performance, consultants offer a comprehensive approach to help overcome challenges and unlock your full potential.

However, it is important for Restricted Licence Operators to conduct thorough research, seek recommendations, and choose a consultant with a proven track record in the transport industry. With the right consultant by their side, Restricted Licence Operators can navigate the complexities of the industry, stay ahead of the competition, and pave the way for a successful and profitable future.

If you have any questions about hiring a Transport Manager Consultant for your operation or would just like to chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!

Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness Updates 2023

Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness Updates 2023

As road safety remains a top priority, ensuring the roadworthiness of vehicles is crucial. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) provides comprehensive guidelines to help vehicle operators and owners maintain the safety and condition of their vehicles. In this blog post, we will explore the DVSA Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness Updates 2023, highlighting the key changes and their significance in promoting safer roads.

Types of inspections and checks

In response to feedback, DVSA understands that there has been confusion regarding the specific checks to be performed during a first-use inspection and the frequency of driver walkaround checks.

To provide clarity and guidance, DVSA has taken steps to address this issue. They have introduced a clear definition for each type of inspection and check, ensuring that you understand their purpose and scope. This will assist you in conducting the appropriate checks based on the specific inspection or check required.

Additionally, DVSA has incorporated an intermediate safety check into their guidelines. This check is specifically designed for situations where certain components require more frequent inspections for wear and tear, exceeding the regular safety inspection intervals.

Safety inspection

A safety inspection is a periodic inspection that is carried out at pre-set intervals in line with what an operator has declared on the Vehicle Operators Licencing system (VOL). The scope of the inspection should at least include all the items covered by the statutory annual test and employ the methods of assessment that are prescribed in the respective inspection manual. See section 4 for further details.

Examples of Safety Inspection forms can be found in Annex 4A(HGV), 4B(PSV), 4C(LGV) and 4D (small trailers) the safety inspection form can be any format as long as the mandatory items listed in Section 1 of this guide are included on the form.

First-use inspection

Prior to using a newly acquired vehicle/trailer on the public highway, operators must conduct a first-use inspection to satisfy themselves that the equipment is in a roadworthy condition. The scope of the inspection should at least include all those items that are inspected at the annual test, this includes conducting a laden roller brake test when appropriate for the type of vehicle. In some instances, a first-use inspection is not required if sufficient evidence is provided to indicate that the equipment has been subject to a safety inspection. For example, documentation is provided to indicate that a new vehicle has been subject to a comprehensive pre-delivery inspection or a pre-rental inspection record has been provided by a hire/lease company.

Intermediate safety check

With some types of vehicles and operation, it may be necessary to check some components more often than at full safety inspections. For example, a vehicle used in urban areas such as a public service vehicle or a local delivery vehicle, or vehicles used in hilly areas, may require more frequent component checks, for example, brakes, steering and suspension. It is sometimes necessary to check components following repair work. Any additional intermediate safety checks carried out should be documented and retained on the maintenance file. It should be clear on the documentation these are an intermediate safety check and not a full safety inspection.

Daily walkaround check

A driver or designated responsible person must conduct a walkaround check of a vehicle/ trailer prior to using the equipment on the public highway. At least one walkaround check should be carried out in every 24-hour period that the vehicle/trailer is in service. Those carrying out such checks must be suitably trained and competent in identifying any faults that would render the vehicle/trailer unroadworthy. The scope of the check should include all items that are readily visible to the inspector without the need for dismantling. To facilitate the inspection, it may be necessary to use an assistant.

Brake testing

Starting from April 2025, with some exceptions, laden roller brake tests or Electronic Brake Performance Monitoring Systems (EBPMS) will be the accepted methods for brake testing. To help in preparation for this change, DVS strongly recommend conducting a laden roller brake test at every safety inspection. The updated guide provides more detailed instructions on using EBPMS and offers additional advice on brake testing. A brake performance assessment can be conducted up to 7 days prior to the safety inspection.

Light goods vehicles

Effective from 21st May 2022, new regulations require a standard international operator’s licence for the use of light goods vehicles weighing over 2.5 tonnes but not exceeding 3.5 tonnes, for hire or reward within or through the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein. DVSA has updated their guide to reflect this requirement. For more information regarding van operator licence requirements, feel free to read this blog. Alternatively, if you need help when applying for a van operator licence, please do get in touch.

Towing another company’s trailer

To offer guidance in the scenario of towing another company’s trailer, DVSA has added additional advice. This includes information on trailer authorisation for the operator license, responsibility for maintenance and safety inspections, and access to trailer documents. Operators are reminded of their responsibility for the condition of the trailer when coupled to their vehicle, as unroadworthy trailers can lead to penalties or prohibitions.

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)

Acknowledging the increasing prevalence of vehicles equipped with ADAS, DVSA has introduced a new section addressing the need for system recalibration when windscreens are replaced. Furthermore, they highlight the importance of drivers being familiar with the various types of ADAS features installed in their fleet.

Other updates

  • In exceptional circumstances where the safety inspection report is unavailable when the vehicle is ready to return to service, DVSA has introduced a roadworthiness declaration. This formal document verifies that the vehicle has undergone the necessary inspections and repairs to ensure roadworthiness.
  • To enhance driver walkaround checks, the updated guide now includes height markers in the daily walk-around checks. This addition enables drivers to visually confirm compliance with height limits, ensuring clearance under bridges and structures.
  • Additionally, guidance on PSV automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems, emphasises their significance in monitoring and recording vehicle movements for operational efficiency and safety.

In Conclusion

The recent DVSA Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness updates 2023, signify the agency’s commitment to improving road safety through effective vehicle maintenance practices. By emphasising regular inspections, updating brake testing standards, addressing electronic systems, enhancing defect reporting and rectification guidance, and emphasizing documentation and record-keeping, the guide provides a comprehensive framework for vehicle operators and owners to ensure their vehicles are safe and roadworthy.

Adhering to these updated guidelines will help promote a culture of preventive maintenance, early defect identification, and timely rectification. Ultimately, this will contribute to safer roads, reducing the risk of accidents caused by vehicle defects and ensuring that vehicles on our roads meet the required safety standards.

If you have any questions about the new Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness Updates 2023, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!


Do I need an Operator Licence if I run a van?

Do I need an Operator Licence if I run a van?

The big question van owners are asking is, do I need an Operator Licence if I run a van? In this blog post, we will dive into the intricacies of this topic and provide you with clarity. We will explore the factors that determine whether or not you need an Operator Licence to run a van, taking into account both domestic and international operations. Join us as we navigate through the recent regulatory changes and shed light on the implications for van owners. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of the Operator Licence requirements and how they may affect your van operation.

The Big Question: Do I Need an Operator Licence if I Run a Van?

Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, if you operate abroad and no, if you only operate in the UK. The rules changed at the end of May 23 regarding operating vans in the EU. Meaning that if your operations include driving vans or cars towing trailers to transport goods for hire or reward between 2.5t and 3.5t in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, from 21 May 2022, you will now need a Standard International goods vehicle operator licence.

Historically, you only needed an Operator Licence (O’ Licence) if you operated goods vehicles or public service vehicles over a GVW of 3.5t. This has changed, vans between 2.5t and 3.5t now need an Operator Licence, or you will be operating unlawfully and could face prosecution.

What are the new rules for vans?

The changes are contained within the Trade & Cooperation Agreement between the UK and EU and will apply to you if you’re based in England, Scotland or Wales and use:

  • Vans or other light goods vehicles (sometimes called light commercial vehicles or LGV for short)
  • Vans towing trailers
  • Cars towing trailers

You need to either:

  • Apply for a standard international goods vehicle operator licence for the first time
  • Add the vehicles to your standard international goods vehicle operator licence (if you already have one)
  • Apply to upgrade your standard national goods vehicle operator licence (if you have one) to a standard international goods vehicle operator licence
  • Apply to upgrade your restricted goods vehicle operator licence (if you have one) to a standard international goods vehicle operator licence

Do the new rules apply to me?

The new rules will apply to you if you use:

  • Vans with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) over 2,500kg (2.5 tonnes) and up to and including 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes)
  • Vans towing a trailer with a gross train weight (GTW) over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes
  • Cars towing a trailer with a GTW over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes

You will not need a goods vehicle operator licence if any of these apply:

  • You only use your vehicles in the UK
  • You are transporting goods not for ‘hire or reward’

Am I carrying goods for “hire and reward”?

Hire and reward means that you are carrying goods for, or on behalf of, someone else. This generally applies if you are paid to move other people’s goods. If however, you are only moving your own goods for your own purposes, this would usually not be classed as hire and reward.

Do I need Tachographs for Vehicles over 2.5 Tonnes?

Currently no, you will not need a tachograph for vehicles over 2.5t up to 3.5t. However, from 1 July 2026, tachographs will have to be installed in vehicles over 2.5 tonnes operating in the EU.

How do I apply for an operator licence?

You have two options:

Option 1 – Employ the services of a consultant

If you’re a little unsure and the whole process looks a little daunting, you can enlist the help of a consultant to assist with your application. Here at TMconsultant, we help new operators gain their Operator Licence every week. If you would like to know more about how we can help you, click here or please do just get in touch. We’re a friendly bunch and are happy to chat and provide free advice.

Option 2 – Apply directly to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (Licensing)

You can DIY by going here. I have written a blog about how to apply for an operator’s licence, you can read that here.

Do I need a Transport Manager?

Yes, you do. To get a standard international goods vehicle operator licence when operating vans over a MAM over 2.5t in the EU, you will now need a Transport Manager (or external transport manager). This is someone who is responsible for:

  • Planning routes and scheduling delivery times
  • Managing your team of drivers and administration staff
  • Making sure drivers follow company and industry regulations
  • Arranging vehicle maintenance, MOTs and tax payments
  • Organising vehicle replacements.

You must either:

  • Apply to get an existing member of staff (including yourself) temporarily recognised as a transport manager
  • Employ someone with a Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification
  • Hire an external qualified transport manager.

What are my transport manager options?

You have three options:

Option 1 – Use an existing member of staff temporarily recognised as a transport manager through Grandfather rights

If you decide to get an existing member of staff temporarily recognised as a transport manager, they must have at least 10 years of experience managing fleets of vehicles before 20 August 2020.

  1. The member of staff needs to apply to be temporarily recognised as a transport manager (this is sometimes called having ‘acquired rights’). If their application is successful, they’ll be treated as having the Transport Manager CPC qualification until 21 May 2025\
  2. When you apply for your goods vehicle operator licence, you need to apply to add them as the transport manager for your licence
  3. The member of staff needs to pass the CPC qualification by 21 May 2025 to continue being a transport manager after that date
  4. When they’ve fully qualified, they’ll need to keep up a high-quality professional knowledge of transport industry rules and policies.

Option 2 – Get a member of staff qualified

This person will need to take a Transport Manager CPC qualification. This is called the International Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) in Road Haulage. You will need to take the international For more information, you can read a blog I wrote about how to become a transport manager here.

Option 3 – Hire an External Transport Manager (ETM)

You can hire-in an External Transport Manager. An External Transport Manager, (ETM for short), is essentially a freelance consultant Transport Manager. They’re not someone on your payroll, but they are contracted to work with you to act as your transport manager. Ensure you find an ETM with an International TM CPC qualification and of good repute. If you would like to take this option we can help find an ETM near you!

What will the ETM do?

The external transport manager is there not only to ensure you are compliant but can help reduce your fuel bill, review your current H&S policy status and develop driver training.

Your ETM will manage:

  • Operator Licensing changes and authority communication
  • Working Time Directive Compliance
  • Drivers Hours Compliance
  • Tachograph Analysis
  • Vehicle Periodic Maintenance Inspection Schedule
  • Vehicle Defect Reporting Systems
  • Driving Licence Checks
  • Daily Walk round Inspections
  • Toolbox talks/Driver CPC Training Delivery
  • Driver Reprimands/Disciplinary Hearings.

Your ETM will also:

  • Carry out an initial audit to identify any shortfalls
  • Full systems implementation – Ensure you are equipped with the requisite policies and processes
  • Carry out weekly catch-ups. This is normally remotely
  • Carry out Monthly on-site visits
  • Provide ongoing advice.

For more information about what ETMs do and how much it costs to hire an external transport manager go here.

How much does an ETM cost?

Prices start from £450.00. Check out our ETM prices here

How can I find an External Transport Manager?

Here at TMconsultant we operate an ETM finder service. All you need to do is provide us with some basic information and we’ll find an ETM near you! Either, complete this form or get in touch, we’re here to share the knowledge!

TMconsultant launch the Transport Manager Compliance Pack

TMconsultant launch the Transport Manager Compliance Pack

When you complete your TM CPC, you may be asking what would be the most important item you will need when embarking on your new career? Well, that would be a comprehensive transport manager compliance pack, a transport manager’s bible. We get many enquiries, from newly qualified transport managers regarding this, so we thought it about time we put together a definitive Transport Manager Compliance Pack template.

Traffic Commissioners expect you to be able to demonstrate the mechanisms you intend to have in place and how you will be managing your fleet. This means all transport managers, internal and external will need to be armed with a set of policies and processes, so they can effectively and continuously manage transport activities. For example, auditing of daily walk-round checks, managing, auditing and reviewing compliance systems, reviewing any shortcomings such as prohibitions and/annual test failures, ensure provisions are in place for the prompt delivery of maintenance sheets, cross-checking the soundness of driver walk-round checks, and PMIs. For a list of transport, manager duties check out our blog on top-line transport manager duties. As you can imagine, compiling a compliance pack from scratch will take some time, this is where our Transport Manager’s Compliance Pack template comes into play. Our pack is a downloadable product and easy to purchase.

So what’s included in the pack?

  • Operator Handbook VS5 – full company policies and process, director declaration
  • Driver Handbook VS5 – policies, processes, declarations and risk assessments relevant to the driver, driver declaration
  • Stationary & Forms – comprehensive pack containing all the stationery and forms you’ll need to run an effective fleet
  • To-do List/Status/Review Document – a helpful tool to ensure you have covered off everything and assist in your annual review
  • Fleet Operator Master Spreadsheet – a handy all in one spreadsheet to record and manage your fleet
  • Risk Assessment Package – essential in helping you manage your transport, work-related road risk (WRRR) obligations
  • Tech support – get in touch if you have any technical issues regarding the pack

Want to purchase the pack, go here.

For more DVSA information regarding effective Transport Management go here.

If you need any help or would just like to have a chat please do get in touch, we’re here to share the knowledge!

What is tachograph analysis

What is tachograph analysis? All you need to know

What is tachograph analysis?

Tachograph analysis is the way to measure and monitor how your drivers are performing in their day-to-day driving and work duties. Tachograph analysis provides the transport manager with detailed reports, highlighting areas for attention. By recording speed and distance, the tachograph provides an accurate picture of what a driver has been doing, even whether or not they have broken the law. Since 2006, all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes sold in the UK are required by law to be fitted with a digital tachograph.

Every fleet operator must ensure they have the means to analyse driver data from both the tachograph vehicle unit (VU) and the Driver Card and to manage said data correctly. For information relating to tachographs rules for drivers and operators go here, including exemptions.

There are some old analogue tachographs out there, however, in the post, we’ll be looking at digital tachographs.

How do we collect this data, where do we put it and what do we do with it?

Data is collected via a tachograph Vehicle Unit (VU) and a driver card which is inserted into the VU every time the driver uses the vehicle. The data is then uploaded to tachograph analysis software using a download tool and then, in turn, provided to you via software applications, in written and graph formats. Let’s have a look at all the elements needed to be compliant.

The Tachograph Vehicle Unit (VU)

A tachograph unit (VU) is a radio-sized device fitted on goods and passenger vehicles. The VU head records various types of driver and vehicle data such as journey distance, speed, driving time, working time, and events. Data is stored in the VU internal memory. There are a number of companies out there that manufacture Vehicle Units such as VDO (Siemens), Stoneridge, Intellic and Actia.

To access the VU data, you will need to ‘unlock’ theVU using a company card. Other cards used to unlock data are the control card and the workshop card.

Vehicle Unit data should be downloaded at least 90 )the maximum timeframe) or 28 days, but we recommend more frequent downloads, weekly for drivers and monthly for vehicles as best practice.

The Digital Tachograph 3.0 from VDO

The Digital Tachograph 3.0 from VDO

Control Cards

Control cards are used by law enforcement agencies to retrieve data from the tachograph. A control card is able to override any company lock put in place by operators.

Workshop cards

Workshop cards are used by authorised and official tachograph technicians to calibrate, install or repair tachographs.

Company cards

Company cards are used by operators to retrieve data from the tachograph regarding their employees and vehicles. You can also lock information using a company card or authorise third parties, to collect data.

Driver Card

Unlike cards used to ‘unlock’ data from the VU, the driver card collects data. The driver card is a credit card-sized plastic card that contains a microchip. The card stores all relevant driver data required for EU Drivers’ Hours regulations including break and rest times.

The driver card:

  • Is unique to the individual driver and valid for five years
  • Can store information for 28 days
  • Can only be used by its owner, ie. the driver authorised to use it
  • May be suspended or withdrawn by an enforcement officer if the card has been falsified, if the person using the card is not the legal holder of the card, or if the card has been obtained by false declaration or forged documents
  • Must be made available to enforcement officers on request.

Digital tachograph cards

Download Tool/key/card reader

Download tools are used to collect VU and card data. They come in varying shapes and sizes and offer differing functionality. They all collect data from the vehicle and the driver card. Manufacturers include DigVU, Digidown and Optac. Automatic, remote downloading is also available.

Optac download tool

Optac combined download tool


DigiVU+ Digital Tachograph Reader

DigiVU+ Digital Tachograph Reader

Digital Tachograph Card Reader

Digital Tachograph Card Reader

Analysis software

Tachograph software is a web-based tachograph analysis system, where you can instantly analyse data and manage driver and vehicle reports. You generally will only pay for the records that are submitted. This can keep start-up costs down, scales as your business scales, and means that the product is always up-to-date and will never need to be upgraded. I have used quite a few tachograph systems including over the years, for example, Tachomaster, Descartes Smartcompliance, and Tachodisc. I am currently using TDi Disk Check. In my humble opinion, Disc Check is brilliant, very easy to use, intuitive, and is built with end-users in mind. The system is fully accessible from mobile and desktop devices meaning no limits as to when or where data is accessed.

TDI disc-check

TDI disc-check

Go it alone or use a paid service?

This leads us nicely onto whether you should use the services of someone to assist or to go it alone. This will depend on your operation and how your transport department is managed. I’m an ETM and although my employer and I tightly manage analysis reports, using a tachograph specialist just adds an extra level of security and detail providing peace of mind. I use Logistics Support Services. They really know their stuff, provide an excellent support service, and are both reliable and friendly.

Analysis reports

Once you have collated all your data, (driver and vehicle) and you have uploaded it to your software system, you will then be able to view your analysis reports. The system you use will provide you with a number of reports which can be automated. These should include:

  • Drivers’ Hours (infringements)
  • Working Time (infringements)
  • Driver activity
  • Vehicles Driven
  • Missing Mileage
  • Over Speeding
  • Events and Faults – E.G driving without an appropriate card
  • Unknown driver

Most analysis software will have a dashboard to give you an overall view of the analysis and compare how your drivers are performing. From here you can drill down on a report for a more detailed look.


Working Time

Your analysis software will also provide you with a system to manage working time. By using drivers’ hours from the tacho data you can enter statutory holidays and any other work that is carried out not recorded by the drivers’ card.


A debrief system is a configurable points-based system that helps you spot repeat infringements and advise on what corrective measures to take. The debrief system also provides a process for the escalation of disciplinary matters. This is a great way to identify and reduce repeat infringements.

As with the dashboard overview, debrief systems are included with most driver analysis software.

Smart tachographs

Vehicles registered for the first time on or after 15 June 2019 now have to be fitted with the new smart tachograph. The aim is to reduce the administrative burden on the transport industry (covering both HGV and PCV) and to eliminate the most serious forms of tampering or offence.

Smart tachographs include GPS for positioning and vehicle tracking, remote enforcement capabilities and the ability to link the units to vehicle telematics.

TachoSYS digiDL

TachoSYS digiDL for automation

I don’t have any affiliation with TDi Disk Check, I just use Logistics Support Services for their tacho services and think they’re brilliant, so worth a mention. You can reach them here.

TMconsultant provide transport manager help for transport managers. If you would like to know more about any of our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to share the knowledge!



EU Drivers Hours changes 2020

What exactly are the EU Drivers’ Hours changes 2020?

So what exactly are the EU Drivers’ Hours changes 2020? The amended EU Drivers’ Hours Rules (Regulation EU 2020/10454) introduced on 20 August 2020, additional rules now allow a driver to exceed their daily and weekly driving time, in certain circumstances.

Previously under Article 12 EU Regulation 561/2006 a driver has been (and still will be) permitted to depart from the rules on daily driving time, weekly driving time, the 90-hour two-week driving limit, rests and ferry rests “to the extent necessary to ensure the safety of persons, of the vehicle or its load”…

  1. So long as road safety is not jeopardised, and….
  2. To enable the vehicle to reach a suitable stopping place.

In order to qualify for any relaxation under this rule, the driver must record manually on the tachograph chart of a digital print out (or on a duty roster) the reason for this, this must be done at the latest on arrival at the suitable stopping place. If this recording requirement is not complied with, then the relaxation simply does not ‘engage’ or apply so, rest/driving time offences will have been committed if the normal maximum limits are exceeded.

The new rule

The following further relaxations are now possible under the new EU Drivers’ Hours changes 2020 and again ‘provided that road safety is not thereby jeopardised and in exceptional circumstances’.

  • To exceed daily and weekly driving time by up to one hour in order to reach the operating centre or the driver’s place of residence to take a weekly rest period (NB either type of weekly rest)
  • To exceed daily and weekly driving time by up to two hours so long as an uninterrupted break of 30 minutes is taken immediately prior to the additional driving, again to reach the operating centre or the driver’s place of residence, to take a regular weekly rest period. (NB applies only to regular weekly rest).

This is only ‘in exceptional circumstances’ and hence cannot be routinely used as a means to circumvent the normal rules. This applies to daily driving time, weekly driving time and daily rest periods.

The driver must manually record this on the tachograph chart or digital printout at the latest on arrival at the destination or the suitable stopping place.

NB Where any period has been extended it has to be compensated by an equivalent period of rest attached to any other rest period by the end of the third week following the week in question.

To summarise

The existing ability to reach a stopping place remains, to ensure the safety of persons/vehicles/load. However, it is extended in exceptional circumstances for the purpose of drivers reaching the operating centre (“the operator’s operation centre”) or the driver’s home for weekly rest purposes.

TMconsultant – Transport Manager Help for Transport Operators, get in touch!

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Call for logistics professionals to come together

Call for logistics professionals to come together

Forward post from DVSA: Call for logistics professionals to come together. The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)has launched an initiative to bring together logistics and passenger transport operators in urgent need of supply chain resources.

The initiative, backed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) matches organisations together so that those who have capacity can help those organisations in need, such as the NHS and the grocery retail sector.

Register on the CILT website if:

  • your organisation needs urgent support
  • you’re a driver in need of work
  • your organisation has capacity to support others in need

Motorway services are open

Motorway and major trunk road services remain open following advice from the government deeming them ‘essential services’.

The government has made it clear that for haulage and delivery drivers, travel is essential and therefore motorway services remain open, and continue to offer takeaway food, toilet and shower services.

How to keep safe

The RHA has published guidance for lorry drivers on how to keep safe when delivering goods, handling documentation and refuelling.

Keep up to date with all official government advice on COVID-19 at GOV.UK.