Hiring vehicles without drivers: provisional deal on new rules

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

Parliament and Council negotiators agreed on Tuesday evening to ease existing restrictions on the use of vans or tucks without drivers hired from another EU country.

The provisional deal will update current EU rules that provide a minimum level of market opening for the use of goods vehicles (vans or trucks) hired without their drivers.

It will ease existing restrictions when hiring these vehicles from other EU countries, in order to allow transport operators, rental and leasing companies to meet short-term, seasonal or temporary demand peaks or to replace defective or damaged vehicles. Moreover, the agreement reached by Parliament and Council will contribute to the EU’s climate objectives, as hired vehicles tend to be newer, safer and less polluting than the fleet average.

Member states agreed to allow the use of hired vans or trucks without drivers bearing the licence of another EU country, but opposed a full market opening due to possible fiscal distortions. EP negotiators ensured transport companies will have an option to use hired vehicles for at least two months per year. Member states may also choose to require these vehicles to be registered under their rules after 30 days of use. Companies will have to report to their national authorities their use of hired vehicles, in order to ensure that it does not constitute more than 25 percent of the overall goods vehicle fleet used by the business involved.

EP rapporteur Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (EPP, PT) said: “This agreement allows companies to hire additional trucks more easily, instead of buying them, to meet seasonal needs. This gives companies more options, the freedom of entrepreneurship and the chance to allocate resources in the best way possible, leading also to environmental gains and road safety.”

Next steps

The informal deal on EU rules on the use of goods vehicles hired without drivers still needs to be approved by Council and Parliament.

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