Car boot sales are a classic British institution – a place to hunt for hidden treasures, get rid of unused items, or earn a bit of extra cash. But what about if you have alcohol to sell? Can you sell alcohol at a car boot sale?

This blog post is going to delve deep into this topic, examining the legalities, responsibilities, and best practices associated with selling alcohol at car boot sales.

Is it Legal to Sell Alcohol at a Car Boot Sale?

Let’s cut straight to the chase. As per the UK law, you generally cannot sell alcohol at a car boot sale without the correct licenses. The sale of alcohol to the public requires a premises license and a personal license, under the Licensing Act 2003. This regulation applies whether the alcohol is sold from a permanent venue like a pub or temporary event like a car boot sale.

Violating this law can result in significant penalties, including fines and potential imprisonment. It’s important to remember that these regulations are in place to ensure alcohol is sold responsibly, and to protect the community from the potential issues associated with inappropriate alcohol sale.

Applying for Temporary Event Notice (TEN)

If you still wish to sell alcohol at a car boot sale, you will need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) from your local council. A TEN permits the holder to sell alcohol at a single event, like a car boot sale, for a limited period, typically up to 7 days.

The process of applying for a TEN involves paperwork, a small fee, and can take some time, usually a minimum of ten working days’ notice is required. Make sure you apply well in advance of your planned car boot sale.

Potential Issues and Responsibilities

Even with a TEN, selling alcohol at a car boot sale presents some unique challenges. You are responsible for ensuring that you do not sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18. Checking IDs at a car boot sale might not be what you envisioned, but it’s an essential part of selling alcohol responsibly.

You also need to consider how the alcohol will be stored and displayed. Alcohol should be kept out of reach of children and should be in a secure location where it cannot be stolen or tampered with.


So, can you sell alcohol at a car boot sale? The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as selling your old DVDs or kitchenware. You’ll need to navigate through the process of getting the right licenses and carefully consider how to sell responsibly.

And remember, every local council might have slightly different rules, so always double-check the specifics with your local authority. After all, car boot sales should be fun, exciting events for everyone involved – and that’s easier when you’re following all the rules.

Find a car boot sale near you and start earning extra cash from your unwanted things!


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