Making sure your vehicle is roadworthy

You’re responsible for maintaining the roadworthiness of your vehicle. This will help avoid problems with vehicle checks.

Driver responsibilities

You must ensure your vehicle is safe to drive before setting off on a journey. You should carry out a walkaround check of the vehicle before your journey and check the:

  • lights
  • tyres
  • wheel fixings
  • bodywork
  • trailer coupling
  • load and other equipment
  • in-cab vehicle height indicator

Download guidance for walkaround checks for public service vehicle (PSV) and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.

You’re also responsible for reporting any defects in writing to whoever’s in charge of sorting out vehicle defects in your organisation. Reports should include the:

  • vehicle registration or identification mark
  • date of inspection
  • details of the defects
  • name of the person reporting the defects

Operator responsibilities

You must carry out safety inspections before you use a vehicle for the first time.

If you’re leasing, hiring or borrowing the vehicle, the vehicle supplier should provide evidence that a safety inspection has been carried out within the appropriate interval range.

If the supplier cannot show that a safety inspection has been completed, you should carry out a safety inspection before you use the vehicle.

You must also:

  • make sure there are regular safety inspections
  • give drivers clear written instructions of their responsibilities so they understand what they should do
  • have a system to ensure that non-roadworthy vehicles are taken out of service

Safety inspections must be carried out by trained inspectors with a good knowledge of the appropriate Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) inspection manuals.