Do I need a licence to drive a telehandler on the roads UK?

Do I need a licence to drive a telehandler on the roads UK?



In order to operate a telehandler on public roads within the United Kingdom, several requirements must be met

Not only is a valid UK driving licence essential, but the telehandler must also be properly registered, licensed, and taxed. Detailed information is provided below:
  • The individual who is operating the telehandler should hold a valid UK driving licence.
  • The telehandler must be registered and taxed with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You can find the current rates for vehicle tax at the DVLA’s website.
  • Ensure that the telehandler is covered by insurance for road use. This could be included in your company or personal vehicle insurance policy.
  • The person who operates the telehandler should be well-trained and competent in its use, and should have read and understood the operator’s manual.

Additional Tip for Construction Sites:

In the context of construction sites, operators need either an NPORS or a CPCS Telescopic Handler A17 Wheeled ticket to operate a telehandler. Please note, these requirements do not apply when using a telehandler on private land.

Key Takeaways:

  • A valid UK driving licence is necessary to drive a telehandler on public roads in the United Kingdom.
  • The telehandler must be registered and taxed with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
  • The telehandler should be insured for road use. This can be included in your personal or company vehicle insurance.
  • The operator of the telehandler must be competent and trained to use it and must have read and understood the operator’s manual.
  • On construction sites, an NPORS or CPCS Telescopic Handler A17 Wheeled ticket is required to operate a telehandler. This requirement doesn’t apply to private land usage.
For further plant hire information, you may want to read “Do I need a licence to operate a digger in the UK?”

If you enjoyed our “Do I need a licence to drive a telehandler on the roads UK?” answer, you might find our article on What is the difference between a forklift and a telehandler?” interesting.

We've Answered a Few Telehandler Questions for You.

A 17–metre telehandler is approximately 5.6 metres tall. The overall height of a JCB 540-170 telehandler is 2.69m which does not take flashing beacons into account, which are usually located on the top of the cab. 

JCB 540-170Dimensions
Overall Height2.69m
Overall Width2.44m
Length to Carnage6.36m
Ground Clearance0.4m
Turn Radius4.10m
Maximum Payload4000kg
Maximum Lift Height16.7m
Lift capacity to full height2500kg
Lift capacity at full reach800kg
Placing Height11.7m
Reach at maximum lift height1.97m
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Tank Capacity146L
Noise Level75LP(A)

*Dimensions are subject to change.

Visit JCB’s website.

The cost of hiring a telehandler depends on the size of the telehandler, the length of the contract, and delivery and insurance costs. The weekly rate of a telehandler starts at roughly £250.00 per week, excluding, fuel, insurance delivery, and operator costs.

You will need to consider the job or range of jobs the telehandler will be used for, the lifting height needed, the weight of loads to be moved, and the ground surface of the work area.

If you are unsure, your plant hire company can recommend the most appropriate equipment for the application and conditions.

Yes, you will need to purchase a plant hire insurance policy to cover the equipment you are hiring.

The hirer is responsible for the hired in telehandler from the moment it is delivered to you or collected from the hirer’s premises.

Additionally, you must store hired telehandler equipment safely and securely for the duration of the hire contract.

In the event of theft or damage to your hired in plant, you should contact your insurer and the plant company immediately. If the plant is stolen you should also report the incident to the police.

No, usually not, as you commonly will not need to hire additional telehandler attachments for most basic lifting and carrying duties.

However, crane jib attachments can be useful for particularly heavy loads, distributing their weight more evenly and buckets are useful for moving loose loads of aggregates.

Plan ahead of time and understand your site requirements, as the correct telehandler attachment can save you both time and money.

There are many reasons to hire a telehandler rather than a traditional forklift or skid steer loader.

Telehandlers are versatile and can easily perform the roles of both machines and more. They can easily place and retrieve loads at heights greater than either.

Telehandlers are more maneuverable and can work on a multitude of surfaces and travel by road. Their three steering modes allow normal two-wheel drive, turning in tight circles and driving sideways into confined spaces.

Combined with a wide variety of attachments, telehandlers are suited to more roles on-site, than almost any other piece of plant machinery.

Discover the Perfect Telehandler: Find Yours Right at Your Fingertips!