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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Vehicle roadworthiness rules

Inspections of vehicles are essential not just for road safety but also for maintaining a vehicle’s environmental performance over its lifetime. Due to technological/regulatory developments, vehicles in the EU are becoming technically more complex. To keep pace, the Commission is planning to revise the Roadworthiness package to adapt the way vehicles are inspected. The package will be made up of the rules on periodic roadworthiness testing, roadside inspections of commercial vehicles and vehicle  registration documentation.

Better exchange of relevant vehicle roadworthiness data at EU level is also needed to enforce road safety measures more effectively.

Public consultation 2022

On 6 July 2022, the Commission launched a public consultation on a revision of the rules governing the roadworthiness of vehicles in the EU, planned for mid-2023. The results of the public consultation will feed into the revision of the EU's roadworthiness rules, including those on periodic roadworthiness testing, roadside inspections for commercial vehicles, and vehicle document registration. The Commission invited all those interested to express their opinions on the impact of the current legal framework, as well on the possible policy measures that could be taken and the impact they may have. The Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy adopted in December 2020 underlined the EU's commitment to improve road safety and the objective of zero road fatalities by 2050. In this context, the Strategy also called for adjustments to the roadworthiness legislative framework.

2014 Roadworthiness Package

The current rules on vehicle testing were adopted in 2014 and have been in force since May 2018.

The current legislation:

  • Improved the quality of vehicle tests by setting common minimum standards for equipment, training of inspectors and assessment of deficiencies.
  • Harmonised requirements for the control of cargo securing during roadside inspections of goods vehicles above 3,5 t.
  • Made electronic safety components (such as ABS, ESC and air-bag) subject to mandatory testing.
  • Introduced the first European measures to combat mileage fraud.
  • Introduced compulsory EU-wide testing for heavy motorbikes unless a Member State achieves equivalent road safety enhancement by other measures.
  • Provided for a single European area for technical roadworthiness control based on harmonised standards for aspects of control, equipment, qualification of inspectors and assessment of defects and on co-operation among Member States,

In all cases, the directives set common EU wide minimum standards for vehicle checks with Member States free to go further if appropriate.

What is in the current Roadworthiness Package?

There are three parts to the roadworthiness package currently in force:

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