- Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
- Part of:
- Vehicle testing, enforcement, approval and safety defect data
- 4 December 2015
- Last updated:
- 17 January 2017, see all updates
Statistical data sets about vehicle enforcement checks, including prohibitions issued, top offences for prosecution and top defects.
About this data set
This data set comes from data held by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
It isn’t classed as an ‘official statistic’. This means it’s not subject to scrutiny and assessment by the UK Statistics Authority.
Vehicle enforcement checks at roadside and operators’ premises
As a commercial driver, you might be asked to stop by the police or a DVSA officer. They can stop lorries, buses and coaches.
The police and DVSA have the power to carry out spot checks on your vehicle and issue prohibitions if necessary. A prohibition prevents you from driving until you get a problem with your vehicle fixed.
Police and DVSA officers can also issue fixed penalties if you commit an offence. Some of these are graduated depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the offence.
Light goods vehicles (LGVs) shown in the tables include light goods vehicles, cars, motorcycles, taxis, private hire cars and non-testable vehicles (eg mobile cranes, diggers and non-HGV trailers). The figures exclude vehicles that were sifted.
Severity of defects and offences
The offence band relates to the severity of the offence, with band 1 containing the least serious offences and band 5 containing the most serious. The categories are:
- category 1 - an immediate prohibition including an immediate brake, steering or tyre defect
- category 2 - an immediate prohibition not falling within category 1
- category 3 - a delayed prohibition including a brake, steering or tyre defect
- category 4 - a delayed prohibition not falling within category 3
These are the actual number for which the appeal period has passed and any challenge has been dismissed.
Maintenance assessments and outcomes
The number of assessments reported here is less than the number actually carried out. This is because multi-site assessments are treated as a single assessment in this table.
The figures include both targeted and non-targeted assessments.
Top 10 offences for prosecution
There are a small number of other offences included in the overall figures, which aren’t reported separately in these tables.
Top 10 prohibition defects as a percentage of all vehicles inspected
Multiple occurrences of the same defect item are only counted once in these tables.
Parking brake performance has become a top 10 item for HGV trailers, replacing direction indicators and hazard warning lamps.
Direction indicators and hazard warning lamps have become a top 10 item for PSVs, replacing steering mechanism.
LGVs are classified as up to 3,500kg. ‘Brakes - controls’ has become a top 10 item replacing ‘Brakes - mechanical components’.
‘Brakes - parking brake operation and performance’ and ‘Steering - steering linkages’ have become a top 10 item replacing ‘Lamps and reflectors - headlamps’ and ‘Suspension - springs.
Taxis and private hire vehicles
‘Brakes - warning systems’ and ‘Brakes - brake pipes and hoses’ have become a top 10 items, replacing ‘Brakes - mechanical components’ and ‘Suspension - suspension arms and linkages and subframes’.
Transport of hazardous goods
Published: 4 December 2015
Updated: 17 January 2017
- Updated with data for April 2015 to March 2016.
- First published.