Thousands of potentially dangerous lorries and trailers taken off the road

Thousands of dangerous lorries and trailers taken off the road

More than 23,000 dangerous lorries, trailers and Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) were taken off the road or repaired between April and June 2019, new DVSA data reveals. 

The figure represents 11.8% of the tests taken. The data shows there was a total of 198,381 annual tests for these types of vehicle, including (failure rate):

• 111,911 HGVs (13.3%)

• 19,374 PSVs (11.8%)

• 67,096 trailers (9.4%)

In the same period, more than 1,000 (1,007, 0.9% of vehicles tested) failed their test on emissions and were not allowed back on the road until the problem was resolved.

Hugh Rimmer, DVSA’s Vehicle Testing Task Force Lead, said: “DVSA’s priority is helping everyone keep their vehicle safe to drive.

“This data shows the huge contribution that the annual test makes to keeping Britain’s roads amongst the safest in the world.

“Although the failure rate of 11.8% is far lower than that of cars, 32.5% of which failed their MOT in the same period, it is still too high. Heavy vehicles are subject to a strict maintenance regime and should also be subject to a daily walk around test. Operators should ensure that their vehicles remain safe to drive the whole year round and that they’re properly prepared for the Annual Test.”

DVSA allocated 152,000 testing hours to Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) of which 140,500 hours were used, representing an average utilisation rate of 93.58%.

Each year around 1 million annual tests are carried out in the UK. The data below, covering the period April – June 2019, shows the reasons for failure.

Top ten reasons for HGV motor vehicle fails  

Lamps 3.2%

Headlamp Aim 3.0%

Brake System Components 2.4%

Service Brake Performance 1.7%

Steering Mechanism 1.5%

Exhaust Emissions 0.9%

Parking Brake Performance  

Tyre condition 0.8%


Hazard Warning 0.6%

Top ten reasons for HGV trailer fails  

Service Brake Performance 3.7%

Parking Brake Performance 2.3%

Lamps 1.6%

Brake System Components 1.5%

Suspension 1.1%

Reflectors & Rear Markings 0.6%

Spray suppression, wings/wheel arches 0.5%

Tyres (Condition) 0.5%

Bumpers/Sguards 0.2%

Service Brake Operation 0.2%

Top ten reasons for PSV fails  

Headlamp Aim 2.2%

Lamps 2.3%

Brake System Components 1.9%

Doors and Emergency Exits 1.7%

Body (Interior) 1.5%

Seat Belts 1.1%

Suspension 1.2%

Parking Brake 0.9%

Service Brake Performance 1.0%

Steering Mechanism 1.0%