UK Government

Department for Transport: Consultation on HGV testing exemptions

Press Release   •   Dec 11, 2009 11:29 GMT

A consultation proposing the removal of a number of exemptions from the Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) roadworthiness testing scheme was published today by Transport Minister, Paul Clark.

The consultation proposes the removal of annual testing exemptions covering 10 categories of vehicle.  The Department is reviewing the list of exemptions because the number of exempt vehicles is growing. This raises concerns about road safety as well as questions of fairness between operators.  The UK also has to ensure compatibility between the list of exempt vehicle classes and EU law on testing.

Paul Clark said:

"Britain has the joint safest roads in the world but if we are to maintain that position we need to ensure that the vehicles using our roads meet the highest possible standards.  The annual roadworthiness tests for lorries and other larger vehicles are vital in helping us to meet this challenge by identifying faults before they cause an accident."

The consultation can be found at and closes on 19 March 2010

Notes to editors

1.      The 10 currently exempt vehicles which the department is proposing to bring in scope of the annual test rules are:

·        Mobile cranes

·        Break-down 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.

·        Tower wagons.

·        Road Construction Vehicles (though not road rollers and other specialised equipment used in the road construction process).

·        Electrically propelled motor vehicles.

·        Vehicles constructed or adapted for, and used primarily for the purpose of, medical, dental, veterinary, health, educational, display, clerical or experimental laboratory services.

·        Vehicles having a base or centre in any of the following islands, namely, Arran, Bute, Great Cumbrae, Islay, Mull, Tiree or North Uist from which use of the vehicle on a journey is normally commenced.

Tractor units pulling exempt trailers

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