Vehicle Maintenance Requirements in Operator Licensing

The Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness is like go to guide when it comes to vehicle maintenance arrangements to satisfy the Traffic Commissioner, and ensure that all vehicles are in a fit and serviceable condition, as vehicle safety is main priority.

So what makes a robust maintenance system?

A robust system is made up of more than just the vehicle being maintained through inspections, it starts with the driver and ends in the paperwork. 


The driver has a vital part to play in ensuring that safe vehicles are only taken out on the road and this is not just a tickbox exercise.  Through driver CPC training, toolbox talks and internal communications, the driver should be fully aware of how important they are in the maintenance regime.

Daily walkaround checks are normally completed before the driver takes over any vehicle or trailer and recorded either in a paper or electronic format.  We are currently promoting electronic walkaround checks and have started to offer this service through seeing how effective it can be for an operator.

The driver must be able to report defects promptly and know how to deal with any safety related defects on the vehicle and have support not to take out an unroadworthy vehicle.


Sometimes referred to as PMIā€™s, are planned maintenance inspections carried out at specific intervals as stated on an operator licence, which can be anything between 6-12 weeks depending on the work carried out and the mileage of the vehicle. 

Maintenance can be carried out by a 3rd party or in-house, as long as facilities are adequate enough for the vehicles, and any equipment inspected and calibrated. 

Staff wishing the maintenance provider setting should also have the correct qualification or experience, although a Traffic Commissioner did recently speak about how operators should ensure that the staff are trained.


All documentation for maintenance on each vehicle should be maintained for at least 15 months, and it is the operator that is responsible for keeping records even if they use a 3rd party provider.

The Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness is updated throughout the year and is available free of charge online through this link:

If you need any assistance with the topics covered in our Total Compliance Fortnightly Focus, please get in touch through or by calling 0345 9001312.

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