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COIF - Certificate of Initial Fitness

Enjoying a ride in a limousine with your mates going to town for a big night out maybe, is a lot of fun. But, (there's always a BUT isn't there?) - you need to be aware of some very important laws which many UK limousine operators are breaking. The laws are most important because they are there to ensure your safety, but also gives us an idea of how credible a limo hire company may be, they know the law and the required standards, but many ignore them.

Under current laws, the majority of limousines are restricted to carrying no more than eight passengers unless they have COIF (Certificate of Initial Fitness). This law was introduced due to the low ceilings and inadequate safety exit access, which is dangerous when the limo is over crowded.

If the vehicle operators want to carry more passengers, they need to register the vehicle as a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV), likening it to a bus, and carry a PCV licence. However, the Vehicle Operator Service Agency (VOSA) who issues the licences, will not recognise stretch limos as PCVs as they do not meet the safety requirements for this class of vehicle.  

This includes the oversized limousines, such as the stretch Hummer, some of which can carry up to 28 passengers, and are doing so without proper licensing. Therefore, many limo hire companies are taking advantage of the public and police ignorance of the passenger laws and operating illegally. Don't worry all is not lost ...

To obtain a PCV, vehicles need to have a certificate of initial fitness (COIF) and very few new Ford Excursion (140") and Hummer limos have now passed these to qualify for the COIF.

If you own would like to speak to someone about getting your limousine COIF'd please contact us and we will put you in touch with the right people.

To get around this law, some limousine operators have registered their limos as minibuses. However, simply being registered as a minibus does not give operators the right to transport more than eight passengers.

In April of this year, figures were released showing that up to 6,000 limos were operating illegally; this is around half of all the limos operating in the UK!

There are even limo hire companies who justify these actions by claiming that since they were allowed to import and register these vehicles, that gives them the right to operate them as they wish. This is not the case, so make sure when you hire a limousine for your next special occasion, don't take the word of the operator when he tells you the limo can seat all 14 of your friends!

Please be careful who you book with. It's not worth the risk!

ou can be assured that all our vehicles are licensed correctly under UK Law and meet stringent safety standards.