All commercial vehicle drivers in the UK must be familiar with the abbreviations, “VOSA” and “DVSA”. VOSA is an abbreviation for “Vehicle and Operator Services Agency”, and existed between the 3rd April 2003 and the 31st March 2014. As an executive agency, it was sponsored by the Department for Transport, and while active, commercial drivers were occasionally subjected to VOSA vehicle checks.
Since then, VOSA has merged together with the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) to form the DVSA. This stands for “Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency”. Essentially, this means that the DVSA is a more developed and wide-ranging authority compared to VOSA.
This post lays out the fundamentals of everything you need to know about VOSA vehicle checks, and how the DVSA has taken over these procedures.
VOSA Vehicle Checks: What Were They?
Although VOSA vehicle checks have now been rebranded and taken over the recently formed DVSA, the content and matter of the VOSA vehicle checks have remained the same. The key points are:
- VOSA/DVSA officers have the right to pull your commercial vehicle over
- They are roadside checks for commercial drivers
- A vehicle check can be carried out on-site or at a designated testing facility
Learn More: A Complete Governmental Guide To DVSA Checks
As part of the checking procedure, DVSA and the police can carry out the following checks:
- Vehicle authorised load weights
- The types of permitted vehicle loads
- Driving license checks
- Tachograph records checking
- General roadworthiness checks
Importantly, the point behind VOSA vehicle checks and DVSA vehicle checks of today is to keep the roads safe. By ensuring that all vehicles are roadworthy, the risk of breakdowns and faulty vehicles on the roads is drastically reduced.
What Specifics Did VOSA Vehicle Checks Take Into Account?
VOSA officers were responsible for checking the following:
- Vehicle lights
- Wheel fixings
- Trailer connections, if necessary
- Vehicle bodywork
Furthermore, the DVSA is also the authority that provides the basis for MOT checks in the UK. The above-mentioned factors are also subject to testing in a yearly MOT check for all vehicles.
Therefore, an effective way to interpret VOSA vehicle checks/DVSA vehicle checks is a spontaneous vehicle roadworthiness checkup between MOTs.
What Do Fleet Managers Need To Know For VOSA Vehicle Checks?
Not only are commercial drivers subjected to potential spontaneous checks with their vehicles, but fleet operators also have reponsibilities. These include:
- Carrying out safety checks before the first vehicle use
- Ensure that safety checks are regular
- Set out a system to single out and take non-roadworthy vehicles off the road
- Assign drivers clear instructions and responsibilities
Vimcar: Commercial Vehicle Checks
Commercial drivers, fleet managers and business operators should ensure that each vehicle within their commercial fleet is roadworthy. To avoid fines and further nasty surprises, fleet managers should prioritise preventative maintenance checks for all vehicles within their fleets. This is where Vimcar comes in.
With Fleet Admin by Vimcar, you can easily store your preventative maintenance checking data in one, centralised database. Moreover, Fleet Admin also reminds you of essential MOT checks and notifies you of important deadlines.
You can also acquire Fleet Geo by Vimcar to track each vehicle location out on the road. Analyse route history, set driving hours with timefencing and plan for more efficient routes.
Vimcar also offers an add-on for Fleet Geo: Vimcar’s Driving Style Analysis. Analyse individual driving style behaviour with hard vehicle data to keep your drivers safe.