The RHA has welcomed the DfT’s decision to relax cabotage rules for car transporter firms during the new number-plate peaks in March and September, but warned that it should not be extended to other sectors.

Roads minister Stephen Hammond said his decision to relax the rules and allow car transporters from abroad to continue operating in the UK for longer than allowed under cabotage rules, will ensure the industry can better deal with the peaks.

Nick Deal, RHA car transporter group secretary, said that while the relaxation made sense, it should not be extended further. “This is about the car industry needing to get rid of two peaks, which is a bigger game than we can play,” he said.

Car transporter firms typically rely on international sub-contractors as it is not financially viable to hold sufficient numbers of trailers all year round to service two peak periods. The change will be in place for the 63 plate in September, not the forthcoming 13 plate in March.

Ray MacDowall, MD of car transporter ECM, said: “The regulations place unnecessary constraints on the efficiency of our operations.”