MEPs lift restrictions on the cross-border hire of trucks without their drivers

(Credit: Unsplash)

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

Under new rules adopted on Tuesday, there will be fewer restrictions on the use of hired vans or trucks without drivers from another EU country.

Parliament gave a final green light to an agreement with EU governments on the update of the EU rules that set an obligatory minimum open market level for the use of goods vehicles (vans or trucks) hired without their drivers.

More options to meet seasonal needs

The new law will ease existing restrictions in place for the hiring of these vehicles from other EU countries. It will allow transport operators, rental and leasing companies to meet short-term, seasonal or temporary demand peaks or to replace defective or damaged vehicles. It will also contribute to the EU’s climate objectives, as hired vehicles tend to be newer, safer and less polluting than the fleet average.

Limited time and number

MEPs ensured in the negotiations that transport companies can use hired vehicles bearing the licence of another EU country for at least two months per year (current rules only allow the use of hired vehicles registered in the same member state as the hiring company). However, EU governments may also choose to require these vehicles to be registered under their national rules after 30 days of use.

Companies will have to report to their national authorities the use of hired vehicles, in order to monitor and control the legality of transport operators. EU countries will also be able to limit the number of hired vehicles that companies can use, but thanks to MEPs, this limit cannot be lower than 25 percent of the overall goods vehicle fleet used by a company.


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

Next steps

The rules will enter into force 20 days after their publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Member states will have 14 months to prepare for the application of new rules.

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