Van and trailer permits

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

Warning A van or trailer permit allows you to use a permitted vehicle to dispose of your 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 under 3.5 tonnes (includes vans and pickups). Box, Luton, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and horsebox vans are not eligible.
  • a non-commercial vehicle with a trailer over 1.8 metres and under 3 metres.

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.

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.

We have renewed all permits that were due to expire in the next three months. So those permits will have 12 visits for the next 12 months from 1 February, which will be the new renewal date. 

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.
  • Vehicles with rear windows, rear seats, and no trailer (not including pickups).

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 do not need a permit to access an HWRC. 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.

Using your taxi to dispose of household waste

If you want to use your taxi to bring your household waste to an HWRC, you will need to sign a declaration form stating that you are disposing of your own household 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.

Hire vehicles

Vehicles or trailers hired for less than three days

If you hire a commercial-type vehicle or trailer for three days or less, you do not need to apply for a permit. However, before hiring a vehicle to bring household waste to an HWRC, you should check the restrictions above. To take a hire vehicle onto an HWRC, you will need:

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

Vehicles or trailers hired for more than three days

If you hire a commercial-type vehicle or trailer for more than three days, you cannot visit an HWRC. However, if 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.

Live webchat

We are trialling a live webchat function on this page as a new way to contact us. Let us know if you have any feedback or issues using the webchat. There are some issues we are aware of and are trying to resolve.