More annual tests on LGVs were carried out at non-Vosa facilities than at a Vosa facility last year, the agency’s latest Effectiveness Report has shown.

In 2012/13, 206,002 LGVs were tested at a non-Vosa facility (authorised testing facilities or designated premises), while 197,160 vehicles were tested at Vosa sites.

In 2011/12, the figures were 134,645 and 278,934 respectively. Initial fail rate was almost identical at Vosa and non-Vosa sites, at 22.6% and 22.1% of LGVs respectively.

Headlamp aim remained the biggest cause of test failure for LGVs, being cited as a reason for failure on 9.2% of vehicles tested, followed by lights (4.4%) and braking system components (3.6%).

In terms of trailers, initial fail rate stood at 15.7% overall, with a slightly higher percentage of trailers being failed at Vosa sites (16.9%) than non-Vosa sites (14.9%). Key reasons for failure included service brake performance (cited on 7.9% of vehicles), parking brake performance (4.8%) and lights (2.8%).

The number of enforcement checks carried out at LGV operators’ premises or the roadside by Vosa during the year fell substantially, with 67,831 mechanical checks on LGVs (2011/12: 79,748); 80,796 LGV drivers’ hours checks (2011/12: 100,962); and 5,410 LGV weight checks (2011/12: 6,148).

Prohibition rates were 29.5% for UK-registered LGVs and 36% for foreign ones on mechanical checks; 19.4% (UK) and 17.9% (foreign) on drivers’ hours; and 59.7% (UK) and 62.7% (foreign) on weight checks.

In all, 3,968 fixed penalties were issued by the agency to UK LGVs during the year with 11,363 going to foreign ones.

Vosa also reported 6,209 offences involving LGVs for prosecution during the year – the majority relating

to drivers’ hours and tachographs – and secured 4,873 convictions.

Vosa and DSA chief executive Alastair Peoples said: “The findings support what I have always believed, that collaboration between Vosa and the transport sector can lead the way to safer roads for UK motorists.”