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Apply for a van and trailer permit

You will need a permit to visit any of our recycling centres with a van, pickup or a trailer. You must be a Surrey resident (only one permit will be issued per household).

Van permits are:

  • For household waste only.
  • Not valid for household construction waste (including waste from home DIY projects) or business waste, which must be taken to a waste transfer station where it will be weighed and charged.
  • Free and entitle you to 12 visits in one calendar year (automatically renewing on your first visit in the new calendar year).

Apply for a van and trailer permit online

To apply you will need:

  • A valid email address (for receipt of your permit, which you need to access our sites).
  • To create a Surrey account (using the link below). Once registered, please click on “Quick Links” to apply for your permit.

Apply for van and trailer permit

Note: Before being able to apply for a van and trailer permit, you are required to read and accept our terms and conditions first.

For help or guidance with the application process, please see our Step by step guide to van permit application (PDF).


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Access our sites with your permit

  • When accessing our sites you must provide a visual copy of your permit (either printed or via a smart phone or tablet) together with proof of ID if asked.
  • If your permit number does not match the registration number of the vehicle you have registered with us, you will be refused entry.

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Changing your details

  • Should any of your details change (ie address, email address, telephone number or vehicle registration number), you are required to update your permit details online via your Surrey account.
    Note: You will need to accept our terms and conditions before any changes will be accepted.
  • Your details will already be in our system, so do not try to create another permit as any new applications will fail.

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Permits for hire vans

  • Permits for ‘Hire vehicles’ will only be valid for 7 days. You can apply for subsequent permits for a 'hire vehicle', but overall you will only be allocated 12 visits per year not per permit.
  • You can apply for a permit online - select 'hire vehicle' in the 'type of vehicle' field .
  • When you arrive at the recycling centre you'll be asked for proof that it is a hire vehicle, so bring both your permit and your hire documentation.
  • If you have a permit for a personal vehicle and then need a permit for a hire vehicle, you can apply for it online. The hire permit will run along side your personal permit for 7 days, after this it will expire and your personal permit will continue.

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Permits for business vans

  • You can have a permit for a business van if it is your own personal van and you are bringing in your own household waste. You will not be allowed to dispose of business or construction waste. Your visits and the type of waste you bring will be recorded and monitored to prevent abuse of the scheme.
  • Duplicate details are not accepted in our system (e.g. vehicle registration numbers, addresses, email addresses). If you are using a company vehicle on your permit, other people will not be able to register the same vehicle in the future.

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Common questions about the permits

What is a van?

For the purpose of the permit scheme, a van is:

  • Any vehicle without side rear windows
  • Any flatback vehicle
  • Any pickup vehicle (two seater or four seater)
  • Any large MPV where the seats have been removed
  • Camper vans
  • A vehicle that is pulling a trailer

Passenger vehicles where the seats have been removed (ie not being used for what they were intended eg to 'transport passengers'), may also be classified as a van. This could include minibuses and large hatchback cars.

If you are regularly entering our sites in these types of vehicles, seen to be bringing in large quantities of construction waste, you may be challenged by site staff.

I have hired a man and van to get rid of my waste - can he have a permit?

No. As soon as you give your waste to someone else and pay for them to take it away, it becomes commercial waste. It must be taken to a waste transfer station where it will be weighed and you will have to pay for its disposal.

Why do we have the van and trailer permit scheme?

Our community recycling centres are for household waste only. Businesses must use waste transfer stations and pay for the disposal of their waste.

As businesses mostly bring their waste in vans and trailers, these type of vehicles need a permit to use the recycling centre.

This allows residents with a van or trailer to use the centres to dispose of their own household waste whilst keeping businesses out. This reduces congestion at the centres and means that businesses contribute to the cost of disposing of their waste.

Why can I only make 12 visits in a calendar year?

Increased demand for essential services, coupled with reduced government funding, means Surrey County Council needs to reduce its spending in other areas. Changes to the van permit system will enable the council to make critical savings while still maintaining a comprehensive service for residents.

How these decisions were made can be found in the cabinet report dated 24 November 2015 Item 231/15.

Files available to download

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