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VOSA Testing For Horseboxes

April 11, 2013

Annual Tests For Horseboxes

Last November the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) merged to form the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). We know many of you are struggling to find the correct information on DVSA ‘Annual Tests’ for trailers and horseboxes, but we’ve got everything you need to know right here.

Is your horsebox over 3.5T? If so it must complete a DVSA annual test each year to make sure it meets minimum road safety and environmental standards, known as plating.

It is advisable to prepare carefully for the test by having a qualified mechanic inspect the horsebox prior to the test date. The mechanic should check:

  • VOSA Horsebox testingthe handbrake
  • the steering system
  • the springs and suspension
  • the shock absorbers
  • the reflectors
  • the wheels and tyres
  • the bodywork

You can also make sure there are no major problems while using the horsebox by making regular checks on:

  • headlights and lamps – make sure they work and that there are no broken or faded lenses.
  • brakes – regular use of the horsebox will prevent moving parts from seizing up, and you can also make sure the brakes work efficiently.
  • the fuel system – check for fuel leaks and the condition of the exhaust system.
  • speedometer – ensure it lights up.
  • tachograph – if it does not have one, it needs an exemption form. See this DVSA guide on tachographs: rules for drivers and operators to find out if your vehicle may be eligible to claim an exemption. Vehicles over 7,500 kilograms are now not exempt.
  • speed limiter – if one is fitted, make sure it has the correct calibration plaque and seals.
  • steering – check for oil leaks and any unusual noises when driving.
  • suspension – ensure the vehicle sits square.
  • reflectors – make sure they are all present and correct.
  • wheels and tyres – check regularly for correct pressures and tightness.

When you present a horsebox for its annual test

When you arrive at the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) testing station, you need to:

tell the testing station about any changes you have made to the horsebox since the previous test

make sure the plating certificate (VTG6) is displayed in the cab, and bring the duplicate or record copy of the certificate (VTG7) with you

load the vehicle using heavy items such as bags of feed, fertiliser or straw bales – but not livestock – so that the brakes can be checked for maximum efficiency


If the vehicle has a tachograph, but you only use it as a speedometer, make sure all the seals are intact, that it has been initially calibrated and is fitted with both the calibration and K factor plaques.

If you don’t use tachograph charts, take a completed tachograph exemption form with you to your test. You can download VOSA’s form 75 for declaring a tachograph exemption for a goods vehicle (PDF, 29K)

If you have any questions, contact your local test station, or call the VOSA Helpline on Tel 0300 123 9000.

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