Roadworthiness pass rate up

Trucks and trailers both achieved yet another all-time high pass rate at their annual roadworthiness test in the year to 31 March 2015.

Data released in the DVSA’s Moving On blog shows that the truck first-time pass rate hit 80.1%, up from 78.4% in the previous 12 months.

The rate for trailers climbed from 85.1% to 86.1%. This is the eighth successive annual improvement in the truck pass rate; back in 2002/03 it was at a low point of just 57.5%. The trailer first-time pass rate has enjoyed 13 years of uninterrupted improvement, taking it from a low of 70.5% in 2001/02.

This period of continuous improvement reflects a number of fundamental developments in the industry such as the introduction of the OCRS system, easing the headlamp aim requirements and the introduction of privately-run ATFs to replace the former government-run HGV test stations. The first-time pass rate has also become a key performance indicator for many operators, repairers and manufacturers’ dealer networks.

The trend continues to track upwards: the DVSA’s data shows that results in each quarter in 2014/15 were better than the previous quarter.

In the final quarter, covering tests conducted in January to March this year, the truck pass rate stood at 80.8% and for trailers it was 86.5%.

It is highly likely that pass rates will kick up yet again in 2015/16. The headlamp aim rules have been simplified and given greater tolerance on 1 April this year.

With headlamp aim still the number one truck test failure reason, this adoption of a ‘simpler more consistent standard’ is bound to impact on the overall test pass rate. The removal of a secondary brake check later this year is also likely to have a small beneficial effect on the pass rate.