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Apply for a van and trailer permit

If you want to use any of our community recycling centres with a van, pickup or a trailer, you'll need a permit.

If you currently have a valid Surrey van and trailer permit, it will automatically expire and you will be required to reapply for a new permit under our new ‘Terms and Conditions’.

The main changes are:

  • Your new van and trailer permit will entitle you to 12 visits in any one calendar year. It will automatically renew itself on your first visit to one of our sites in a new calendar year.
  • You will be required to provide a valid email address as we need to be able to send you a copy of your permit. Without this you will not be allowed access to our sites.
  • Permits for ‘Hire vehicles’ will only have a 7 day validity.
  • 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 log in account. (NB: You will need to accept the Terms & Conditions each time before any changes will be accepted).
  • You will be required to 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.

Before being able to apply for a van and trailer permit, or when you change any details, you are required to read and accept our new 'Terms and Conditions' first.


What can I use my van and trailer permit for?

Van and trailer permits are to be used for household waste only. This does not include household construction waste. Waste from home DIY projects is classified as construction waste.

Household construction or business waste must be taken to a waste transfer station where it will be weighed and you will be charged.


How to apply for a van and trailer permit

If you live in one of the 11 Surrey districts or boroughs, you can apply for a permit. There is no charge for the permit. Only one permit will be issued per household.

Before applying, if you require any help or guidance with the application process please refer to our Step by step guide to van permit application (PDF)

Apply for van and trailer permit

  • Our Contact Centre will no longer be able to issue a van and trailer permit on your behalf. You must now make your van and trailer permit application online as you will be required to verify your email address.
  • Once you have registered your account, please click on “Quick Links” to apply for your permit.

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.

Can I have a permit for a hire van?

Yes. If you are using a hire van, 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. A permit issued to a 'hire vehicle' 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.

If you have a permit for a personal vehicle, and then find that you need to have a permit for a hire vehicle as well, then you can apply for one, and it will run concurrently along side your personal permit for 7 days. After 7 days your hire vehicle permit will expire and your personal permit will continue. 

Can I have a permit for a business van?

Yes, but only 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.

What if my details change?

If you move or change your vehicle, please update your details online by logging in to your Surrey account. Please be aware that you will always be required to accept our 'Terms and conditions' before making any changes. Your details will already be in our system, so do not try to create another permit as any new applications will fail.

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

  • Updated: 15 Dec 2016
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