Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding, 3,500kg must be tested one year after they were first sold or supplied and every year after. A trailer test certificate will be issued if it passes the test. This however, does not guarantee a trailer’s condition.
Book a trailer test
You can book a trailer test online at:
If you own a trailer that is under type approval in the UK (see type approval information below) it must be fitted with UK trailer identification (ID) number before entering service.
The trailer maker or ‘final supplier’ needs to get a Consent to Supply authorisation, which includes a trailer ID number, from Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) before selling these trailers.
The UK trailer ID scheme was introduced as a practical means of controlling entry into service rules. DVSA are responsible for administering the trailer ID scheme in the UK.
If you present a trailer for the annual roadworthiness test without the UK ID number fitted to the trailer, or a chassis plate attached securely to the trailer, it will fail.
Trailers made before 29 October 2012 will continue to be given an NI identification number at the time of booking the trailer’s first annual test.
Heavy trailers (primarily those with a maximum mass exceeding 3500kg) made from 29 October 2012 need to be constructed in line with European or National type approval legal rules, if built in single stage.
A trailer constructed in single stage has been built and finished in one stage, by one maker.
Heavy trailers made from 29 October 2013 need to be constructed in line with European or National type approval legal rules, if built in multiple stages.
A trailer constructed in multiple stages has been built and finished in more than one stage, normally by two or more different makers. For example a tipping trailer, where a second maker has finished the vehicle by adding the additional parts (for example, the tipping body).
Small trailers (those not under annual testing)
For trailers not under annual testing the control will be at point of sale. The retailer is banned from selling a trailer without a valid approval certificate and needs to keep a record that they made such a check for each trailer sold. The retailer would not need to give any recordable document to the owner other than usual commercial transaction papers.
Enforcement of the point of sale record-keeping rule, for trailers not under annual testing, would be carried out by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA). In future, small trailers built for a person for their own use must be made to the legal approval standards and they will need an approval certificate before they can be used on the road.
This will most probably be attained by going to a Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) centre for an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) inspection.
Summary of legal rules:
- most trailers, no matter what size they are, made on or after 29 October 2012 will need approval before they can be sold or used on the road
- from 29 October 2014 all trailers need approval