Do you need a licence to use a CB radio in the UK?
The simple answer is no, the CB licence was scrapped in late 2006. You can use the 2 CB bands that are legal in the UK, the old UK40 band, and the European CEPT (mid block) both bands are FM, and give you a total of 80 Channels to use in the UK.
European countries such as Ireland, France, Italy etc can also use AM, and so if you live in the travel in Europe and want to communicate with other CB radio users and get traffic reports, then consider a European AM/FM Multi-Standard CB radio such as the TTI TCB-660 etc.
These CB radios must legally be set to the country that you are in at the time of use e.g. in the UK, you set them to the UK bands.
Each European country has its own laws regarding licences, and it is up to the user to check the current laws in any country that they intend to use a CB radio in.
Who uses CB radios over 25 years after the craze in the early 80's?Our most common buyers now seem to be;
- 4x4 drivers who join a green-laning club and are told by event organisers that they need a CB radio installed and working properly before they are allowed onto the course. We had a customer in the shop before Christmas 2007 who was going off roading on MOD property, and the MOD also told everyone taking part in the event that they must have CB radios before they were even allowed through the gate.
- Truckers and other business users such as farmers, site vehicles such as earthmovers etc, courier firms such as DHL, breakdown firms such as the AA.
- Tourers and Motorhome drivers who travel in convoy on their travels. Fibreglass and aluminium bodied motorhomes provide problems with antenna installation, but we can always find a solution for you.
- Motorcyclists such as Harley Davidson and Honda riders have them installed so they can talk to other riders whilst out on runs. CB radios have big advantages over the cheap PMR446 walkie talkies in that you can install a proper CB aerial on your bike (PMR446 radios by law cannot have their antennas replaced or modified) Also, CB radios have an RF signal output of 4 Watts, as opposed to a PMR446 output of 0.5W So you will get better range with a CB.
- People travelling throughout Europe are also increasingly using CB radios. An example is Polish people who now live and work in the UK, and travel back to Poland to see friends and family. We asked the Polish CB radio buyers why so many were installing CB radios for when they travelled over to Poland. It seems that the Polish police see a vehicle with a UK registration plate as a cash machine! the fines are on the spot, and in cash and woe betide you if you ask for a receipt for the alleged offence. One customer who asked for a receipt for his fine was threatened by the police with having his vehicle impounded and a night in jail, so he just paid his €35 fine in cash and that was it. Please ask us for advice on which CB radios have the Polish CB bands enabled as they are on different frequencies to the rest of Europe. They can save you a lot of money when you use your CB for advice from other users about where the police road-blocks and traps are.
Can you legally use a CB radio whilst driving in the UK?Yes you can, two way radios such as CB, amateur radio, taxi radio etc are exempt from the mobile phone laws. But be aware that you will be prosecuted if your use of a CB radio results in dangerous driving or an accident. Also, using one will give the police an excuse to pull you over much the same as they pull over vehicles that have blue LED lights which aren't illegal either. Have a look at the Police National Legal Database http://www.askthe.police.uk and do a search for CB or blue LED's but remember - the police just need an excuse to check both you and your vehicle.
For advice and information on CB radio, call us at Rocket Radio Letchworth on 01462 675481