Last reviewed 6 November 2020

As we reported in July, the Government has decided that tyres over 10 years old are to be banned from use on heavy vehicles (see “Old lorry tyres to be banned”).

From February 2021, it will become illegal to fit tyres aged 10 years or older to: the front axle of a goods vehicle with a maximum gross weight exceeding 3500 kg; the front axle of a bus or coach - including minibuses; and the rear axle of a minibus with single rear wheels fitted.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has now warned operators that the change in the law will allow it to issue prohibitions if such tyres are found at annual test and enforcement checks.

This means that tyres that are aged 10 years and older will become a failure item at annual test and, if these tyres do not display a date code, this will also be classed as a fail.

Once the rules change in February, roadside enforcement teams will issue an ‘S’ mark prohibition and conduct a follow-up investigation if they find a tyre aged 10 years or older fitted to the front axle of a relevant vehicle.

The Agency will publish updates to the guide to maintaining roadworthiness, categorisation of defects and MOT inspection manual before the new legislation comes into force.

However, in the lead up to the ban, Vehicle Standards Assessors (VSAs) will start to identify tyres aged 10 years or older on heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), alongside their existing checks on public service vehicles (PSVs).

They will share this information with vehicle presenters and drivers to help raise awareness of the forthcoming rules.