Van and trailer permits

You may need a permit to dispose of household waste at a household waste recycling centre.


Permits do not allow you to bring in any form of commercial waste.

Commercial waste is generally described as any waste generated as part of a business, or waste, including household waste, carried for profit/where payment has been made. For example, this would include house clearances, gardeners and odd job enterprises.

A van or trailer permit allows you to use a registered vehicle to dispose of your own household waste only.

Vehicles that need a permit

You may need to apply for a free permit if you are using one of these vehicle types:

  • a commercial vehicle, normally but not exclusively one with a DVLA Category N classification, under 3.5 tonnes (includes vans and pickups).
  • if a vehicle has a purpose other than carrying passengers, it will need a permit. DVLA check will ordinarily confirm this N1 classification
  • no rear windows (this means rear windows which are side-facing)
  • no rear seats
  • an open back
  • a back which is separate to the main cab area.
  • a non-commercial vehicle with a trailer over 1.8 metres (6ft) and under 3 metres (10ft).

Any vehicle that falls within the size requirements stated below.

  • no larger or longer than a long-wheelbase transit van up to 6.7m (22ft)
  • weighing 3.5 tonnes or less when fully laden
  • vehicles over 6.7m (22 ft) in length
  • 4x4 pick-up trucks.

Box, Luton, and vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and horsebox vans are not eligible and are not permitted on site.Oxfordshire County Council reserves the right to cancel permits or amend the operation of the HWRC van and trailer permit scheme at any time. Whereuncertainty exists, the council reserves the right to issue a permit to any vehicle.

Checking the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

During the permit application process, we check the DVLA for details about your vehicle, including:

  • vehicle classification (commercial-type or non-commercial)
  • vehicle weight
  • tax status
  • vehicle make.

Borrowing a vehicle from family or friends

If you borrow a commercial-type vehicle or trailer from a friend, family member or neighbour, you will need a permit and you must be in the vehicle. We will turn the van away if you do not travel to the site with your waste

If the vehicle has a permit, we will take the visit from that permit. If the vehicle doesn't have a permit, you'll need to apply for one.

How the permits work

Only Oxfordshire residents with a valid household address can apply for a van or trailer permit.

A van or trailer permit is valid for 12 months. During that time, you can have 12 individual visits to any Oxfordshire HWRC.

When your permit will expire

Your permit will expire if you don't use it for 24 months. However, we will send you a notification two months before your permit expires, so you can either use it or reapply at a later date. 

If you visit an HWRC more than once in one day, we will count each visit separately and update your permit.

When your permit will renew

The permit will renew every 12 months if used at least once during that time. Therefore, you do not need to contact us to renew your permit.

Only one permit per vehicle and address

You can only have one active permit at a time for your home and vehicle.

You cannot apply:

  • for a permit for multiple commercial-type vehicles
  • for a permit for both a commercial-type vehicle and a trailer
  • to have a permit with a vehicle registered to multiple addresses.

Vehicles that do not need a permit

The following vehicles do not need a permit to use a waste site.

  • Cars without a trailer.
  • Camper vans up to the size of a transit van and no trailer.

Non-commercial vehicles used for commercial purposes

If we class your vehicle as non-commercial, for example, it's a car you use for your business; you do not need a permit. However, if the vehicle has business signage, you may be asked to sign a declaration form stating that you are not disposing of trade waste.

Taxi cabs

Taxis need a non-standard permit to access an HWRC apply at Contact Waste Management). However, there are restrictions.

Hiring a taxi to bring waste to an HWRC

If you hire a taxi to take household waste to an HWRC, you must be in the vehicle. We will turn the taxi away if you do not travel to the site with your waste, you will be asked to complete a declaration of domestic waste form and to show proof of address. A visit will not be deducted from the Taxi’s permit.

Using your taxi to dispose of household waste

If you want to use your taxi to bring your own household waste to an HWRC you will need a non-standard permit, apply at Contact Waste Management. If there is any concern over the origin of the waste you will need to sign a declaration form stating that you are disposing of your own household waste or if it is believed that the waste is of a commercial nature then you may not be allowed to dispose of the waste.

Quad bikes

You do not need a permit to bring a quad bike onto an HWRC. You can use your quad bike to tow a trailer permit within the bed length limit.

You do not need a permit to tow a trailer less than 1.8 metres long onto a waste site.

Vehicles that are not allowed on site

  • Box, Luton and horsebox vans
  • Any commercial-type vehicle weighing more than 3.5 tonnes laden
  • Tractors (unless exceptionally small - contact us in advance)
  • Trailers with a load bed longer than 3m (10 ft)

Other restrictions

You can bring a vehicle with a tipping mechanism, lift or ramp onto an HWRC, but you must not use them on site.

No trailers (regardless of size) can be towed onto the site using a commercial-type vehicle.

View the scheme policy for more information about vehicles that are not allowed at an HWRC.

Taking a hire vehicle to a waste recycling centre

Vehicles or trailers hired for less than three days

Please note – all the restrictions above on vehicle sizes, weight, trailer length and operating of mechanical functions’ still apply to hire vehicles. Please check these before attempting to visit in a hire vehicle.

If you hire a commercial-type vehicle or trailer for three days or less that meets all restrictions, you do not need to apply for a permit.

To take a hire vehicle onto an HWRC, you will need:

  • the hire papers
  • proof of your residence in Oxfordshire.

If you hire a commercial-type vehicle or trailer for more than three days, you cannot visit an HWRC. However, in circumstances where you can prove the origin of the waste household waste, you can contact us to arrange temporary access.

Apply for a van or trailer permit

Check if your vehicle needs a permit and apply.

Check how many visits you have left

Use the permit check app to see:

  • how many visits you have remaining
  • when your permit renews.

We can also email your permit details to you at the email address on your permit.

Update details on your permit

Use the change form to update the name, address, vehicle or email address on your permit.

Policy and terms and conditions for van and trailer permits

Before completing the application form, please read the terms and conditions.

Read the van and trailer permit scheme policy.

Using an HWRC in place of kerbside collection

You may choose to use a commercial-type vehicle or trailer to dispose of your waste at an HWRC if:

  • you don't have kerbside collection available
  • you have chosen to opt-out of using it.

Contact us to request an increase of visits on your permit.