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Roadworthiness Directive: an Update from the DVSA

motorists should be aware of the changes incorporating the roadworthiness directive

The DVSA’s issued an advisory to motorists regarding annual vehicle testing, and how it will be affected by the anticipated Roadworthiness Directive.


Published in the agency’s Moving On blog, the information covers which types of vehicles will be subject to annual testing, as well as the phases involved.


So, what is the Roadworthiness Directive?


Essentially, the new directive is a table of regulations that will govern the suitability of vehicles for on-road use.

One of the major changes it will generate concerns the classification of defects. For example, under the new regulations, vehicle defects will be categorised under one of the following:


  • Dangerous;
  • Major; or
  • Minor.

Among other things, this new grading system is intended as a way of helping drivers allot the requisite urgency in having issues remedied.


A proper rundown of the proposed defect grading system has been published. It can be found on the Government’s Matters of Testing blog.


The scheme, which has been for years in the making, will be introduced in May 2018.

hgv testing will be affected by the roadworthiness directive
Changes to HGV testing will be implemented in May 2018


What do hauliers need to know?


As for road haulage, there are some changes fleet operators need to be aware of. Between May 2018 and May 2019, a phased testing approach will be used on the following types of vehicle:


  • mobile cranes
  • breakdown vehicles
  • engineering plant and plant, not being engineering plant, which is movable plant or equipment being a motor vehicle (not constructed primarily to carry a load) especially designed and constructed for the special purposes of engineering operations
  • tower wagons
  • road construction vehicles (but not road rollers and other specialised
    equipment not based on an HGV chassis)
  • electrically propelled motor vehicles registered since 1 March 2015
  • tractor units pulling exempt trailers
  • motor tractors and heavy and light locomotives exempted under sections 185 and 186 (3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, where these are based on a HGV chassis.


During that 12-month period, the listed vehicles will have to be tested before their next Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) renewal date.


In addition, operators are advised to make themselves familiar with the changes planned. The DVSA’s invited hauliers to contact them with any questions.


This year promises enormous discord for the road freight sector. So, as a means of making the lives of operators easier, Chartwise have devised a new compliance software solution. You can read about the benefits, and sign up for the Early Bird Discount (a lifetime reduced price), by visiting OpCom – The Future of Compliance.


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