Daily vehicle checks are a fundamental part of fleet management and individual vehicle ownership in the UK, and the process is governed by stringent laws and regulations.

These checks are pivotal, not only for compliance with legal standards but also for ensuring the safety of drivers, passengers, and other road users.

In this article, we’re going to explain the laws and procedures surrounding daily vehicle checks and how you can empower your drivers to perform more efficient and robust daily checks.

Legal Framework for Daily Vehicle Checks

In the UK, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) mandates that all commercial vehicle drivers perform daily walk-around checks before using the vehicle.

This requirement is rooted in the broader legal obligation to ensure that all vehicles are roadworthy and safe to drive at all times under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to severe penalties, including fines, points on the driver’s licence, and in extreme cases, legal action against the driver or the operating company.

Importance of Daily Vehicle Checks

The primary objective of daily vehicle checks is to identify and rectify any potential safety issues before a vehicle is operated.

Regular inspections can significantly reduce the risk of accidents caused by vehicle defects. Furthermore, these checks are crucial for:

Preventing Breakdowns: Routine inspections can detect minor problems before they escalate into major failures, reducing downtime and repair costs.

Enhancing Longevity: Regular maintenance and early detection of issues can extend the lifespan of a vehicle.

Ensuring Compliance: Adhering to daily check requirements helps avoid legal penalties and ensures that vehicles meet the DVSA’s roadworthiness standards.

When to Perform Daily Checks

The DVSA recommends that daily vehicle checks should be conducted before the vehicle is first used each day.

If a vehicle is used by multiple drivers, each driver is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is safe to drive at the start of their shift.

In cases where vehicles are operated round the clock, checks should be carried out at the change of each shift.

What to Include in Daily Checks

A comprehensive daily vehicle check should cover, but is not limited to, the following elements:

  • Brakes and braking systems
  • Steering mechanism
  • Tyres and wheels
  • Lights and indicators
  • Mirrors and windows
  • Fuel and oil levels
  • Load and load securing (for commercial vehicles)

Utilising Technology for Efficiency

Advancements in fleet management technology have made it possible to streamline the process of conducting daily vehicle checks.

Digital solutions, such as mobile apps and software platforms, offer pre-defined checklists and real-time reporting features.

These tools not only expedite the inspection process but also improve accuracy and reliability in record-keeping, ensuring that all checks are documented and any issues are promptly addressed.

Adhering to the daily vehicle checks laws is a critical responsibility for all drivers and fleet operators in the UK.

These regulations are designed to uphold the highest standards of road safety and vehicle reliability.

By integrating technology into the inspection process, drivers can ensure thoroughness and compliance with ease, contributing to safer roads for everyone.

To find out more about FleetCheck Driver and our other products you can book a demo here or call our sales team on 01666 575900.