A phased approach to testing heavy vehicles

    A significant number of specialised heavy vehicles now fall into the scope of annual testing for the first time. To declare their weight and load most of them will need to be plated before they are tested.

    DVSA is implementing a phased approach for most vehicle types affected. This will extend the date for compliance, under certain circumstances up to 20 May 2019 at the latest. It’s based on the Vehicle Excise Duty renewal date for the relevant vehicles.

    This will help to make sure the implementation allows industry more flexibility to balance out the testing of their fleet over a longer period.



    The categories of vehicles are:

    -mobile cranes

    -breakdown vehicles

    -engineering plant and plant, not being engineering plant, which is movable plant or equipment being a motor vehicle or trailer (not constructed primarily to carry a load) especially designed and constructed for the special purposes of engineering operations

    -trailers being drying or mixing plant designed for the production of asphalt or of bituminous or tarmacadam

    -tower wagons

    -road construction vehicles (but not road rollers and other specialised equipment not based on an HGV chassis)

    -electrically propelled motor vehicles first 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

    -heavy goods vehicles and trailers on the Isle of Bute

    -heavy goods vehicles and trailers on Arran, Great Cumbrae, Islay, Mull, Tiree or North Uist, which are used on mainland Great Britain.

    If you’re a vehicle owner or operator, you’ll need to:

    • establish whether your vehicle is subject to annual testing
    • assess whether the phased approach applies to your vehicle
    • make sure your vehicle’s safety inspections are up to date if the phased approach applies to you and you intend to defer testing beyond 20 May 2018
    • apply for your plates and book the vehicle’s test in good time before your vehicle needs to be tested
    • ensure your vehicle has a valid goods vehicle testing certificate in place by the point of Vehicle Excise Duty renewal after 19 May 2018.