Construction and use of vehicles - main requirements

This chapter covers the design and build requirements of a vehicle depending on its use. Specifications for vehicles with projecting loads or high-level equipment are also given, plus ways to prevent bridge strikes.

Updates for 2024:

  • 10 year tyre ban introduced in Northern Ireland.

  • Dual purpose vehicles definition added.


Download the Construction and Use of vehicles chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law


  • Exemptions.

  • Vehicle related definitions.

  • Abnormal and projecting loads.

  • Brakes.

  • Bridge strikes.

  • Exhaust emissions.

  • Front underrun bumpers.

  • Horns and other audible alarms.

  • Lifting axles.

  • Manufacturer’s plate.

  • Markings.

  • Minimum ground clearance.

  • Mirrors.

  • Mobile phones.

  • Noise.

  • Opening doors.

  • Overhang.

  • Petrol tanks.

  • Power to weight ratio.

  • Radio – digital radio.

  • Radio suppression.

  • Rear under-run protection.

  • UN/ECE Regulation no.58/03 series of amendments.

  • Safety glass.

  • Seat belts and anchorage points.

  • Sideguards.

  • Silencers.

  • Speedometers.

  • Speed limiters.

  • Spray suppression.

  • Springs.

  • Tail lifts.

  • Towing.

  • Tyres.

  • Tyre labelling.

  • 10-year tyre ban.

  • Weights and dimensions.

  • Windscreen wipers and washers.

  • Wings.

Download the Construction and Use of vehicles chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

The Road Vehicles Construction and Use Regulations 1986 cover the design, manufacture, maintenance, construction and use of motor vehicles and trailers used by road transport operators, amongst others.

Specified Requirements

There are no specified requirements for loads projecting rearwards by up to one metre and forwards by up to two metres. It is, however, good practice to ensure that these are also clearly visible. These requirements are illustrated in the Construction and Use Regulations document and below, showing a side view of a construction vehicle carrying tubes.

Construction and Use Regulations Exemptions

Certain vehicles are exempt from a substantial number of the Construction and Use Requirements described in the regulations, for example an agricultural tractor. There are also concessions for vehicles more than 20 years old. In addition to the design and manufacture of goods vehicles, the Construction and Use chapter also looks at bridge strikes, usually caused by the driver being unaware of the height of the vehicle.

Continue Reading

Logistics UK members can continue to download the Construction and use of vehicles chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law here.