MEPs back new common standards for vehicle checks 

Press Releases 
New minimum common standards on vehicle checks will also ensure that inspectors across the EU meet the same training and competence requirements. ©BELGA/EASYFOTOSTOCK  

A deal with EU member states on minimum common standards for periodic vehicle inspections, vehicle registration documents and roadside inspections of commercial vehicles was endorsed by MEPs on Tuesday.

"Parliament secured the existing minimum testing frequency against the stricter approach of proposed by the Commission, preventing an additional administrative burden for the citizens, said Werner Kuhn (EPP,DE)," rapporteur for the periodic vehicle inspection rules.

The rules, updated to improve road safety, will set new minimum common standards across the EU for vehicle testing and inspectors’ training and competences. In addition, at least five per cent of the commercial vehicles on roads in the EU as a whole will be subject to roadside inspections.

Member states can also impose stricter standards than those laid down in the rules if they wish.

"The whole package will contribute to achieving the road safety target of halving the number of road fatalities in the Union by 2020" said Olga Sehnalova (S&D, CZ), rapporteur for the technical roadside inspections file.

Cross-border recognition of roadworthiness certificates

It will be easier to re-register a vehicle in another member country under the new rules as member states will be required to recognise a valid roadworthiness certificate issued by another member state.

"With the new directive we set clear rules on recognising roadworthiness tests, meaning that no extra tests and costs are needed, " said Vilja Savisaar-Toomast (ALDE, ET), rapporteur on vehicle registration documents.

Efforts to detect odometer fraud (tampering with the mileometer) must be beefed up, by including odometer readings in roadworthiness tests and certificates and member states must ensure that tampering is punished effectively.

Methods and frequency of motorcycle tests left up to member states

The Commission originally proposed having common testing requirements for motorcycles and mopeds. However, under the compromise agreed between the Council and Parliament, only motorcycles with engines over 125cc will be subject to compulsory inspections, and only from 2022 onwards. Moreover, member states may exempt them if they have “put in place effective alternative road-safety measures for two or three-wheel vehicles.”

To support roadside inspections, the new rules will say that member states should use risk-rating systems to target firms whose commercial vehicle fleets have poor safety records and reduce the administrative burden for those with good safety records.

Next steps

The agreement now needs to be formally approved by the Council.