Vehicle testing, plating and prohibitions

There are four separate vehicle testing regimes: 

• HGV testing scheme – DfT annual testing of most goods vehicles over 3.5t MAM and trailers over 1,020kg unladen. 

• Roadworthiness enforcement and prohibitions. 

• MOT testing of light vehicles. 

• Vehicle defect rectification scheme. 


It is important to note that most vehicles which are exempt from plating and testing are still subject to the roadworthiness requirements of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and the Road Traffic Act 1988. It is still an offence to use an exempt vehicle on a road if it is any way defective (for example, brakes, steering gear, tyres, overloaded, unsafe load). Vehicles which are never used on public roads (for example factory shunters) may still be subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992. These basically require that equipment should be properly maintained and that the appropriate equipment be used for a job. Failure to comply is an offence. 


Information on the topics below is available to Logistics UK members by clicking on any available links or by downloading the Vehicle testing, plating and prohibitions chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

  • Types of test. 

  • HGV testing scheme. 

  • Plating. 

  • Exemptions from testing and plating. 

  • Roadworthiness enforcement and prohibitions. 

  • MOT testing of light vehicles. 

  • Vehicle defect rectification scheme.