Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Earlier this month the DVSA updated its Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness with changes to Construction and Use Regulations for rules relating to tyres over 10 years old and manufacturer date codes. What are the changes? From 1 February 2021 Construction and Use Regulations will not allow tyres aged over 10 years old to be used on the front steered axles of HGVs, buses, coaches or all single wheels fitted to a minibus (9 to 16 passenger seats). So, if used will mean a dangerous fail at annual test and a prohibition. If inspected at a DVSA enforcement check, tyres aged over 10 years old found in these positions will be considered dangerous and given an ‘S’ marked immediate prohibition notice. The manufacturer’s date code must to be legible on all tyres fitted to HGVs, trailers over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches and minibuses. If a tyre is a retread then the manufacturer date is taken from when the retread was carried out. If the date code on the tyre is not legible on the affected wheel positions Tyres without a legible manufacture date code, will fail the annual test. If the DVSA finds this during an enforcement check, then there would be a delayed prohibition. Obvious signs of tyre deterioration may result in an ‘S’ marked immediate prohibition notice. If the date code on the tyre is not legible on other wheel positions If the manufacturer date code can’t be seen on other wheel positions it will also be an offence. A minor fail result will be recorded at the annual test. This would not stop a pass certificate being issued but the DVSA would expect the tyre to be replaced. If the date code is not legible at an enforcement check an inspection notice would be issued and again, the tyre must be replaced. Using tyres more than 10 years old on other wheel positions It’s the operator’s responsibility to make sure they have a tyre management system in place and that they regularly assess the risks in using older tyres, even if the law allows them. If tyres more than 10 years old can be legally used on other wheel positions, their age should be recorded and a specific risk assessment is carried out.
Using old tyres on historic vehicles The new regulations exempt non-commercial vehicles aged 40 years and older from these requirements. It is good practise to get tyres of all ages inspected regularly and be part of a tyre management and vehicle maintenance system. Even if an older tyre looks safe, you need to check and manage any risks. A short, slow journey with a light load has different risks to longer, high-speed journeys, with a heavy load.
Reporting to the Traffic Commissioner
The DVSA will report drivers and operators to the Traffic Commissioner (TC) if they’re caught using tyres more than 10 years old or without a legible manufacturer date code, which may lead to regulatory action against your licence.