Vehicle standards for light commercial vehicles (LCVs)
Important vehicle standards for LCVs such as roadworthiness, towing capacities, maintenance and repair.
This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.
Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are vehicles which have a design gross vehicle weight (DGVW) or maximum authorised mass (MAM) not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.
Maintaining and repairing your vehicle
As the owner or operator of a commercial vehicle it's very important to always keep your LCV in a roadworthy condition.
All LCV owners or operators must ensure their vehicles are roadworthy. They must:
- Have in place regular and good quality preventative maintenance systems
- Conduct daily walkaround checks
- Swiftly repair defects
- Ensure vehicles are tested on time
Aside from the road safety benefits and it being your legal obligation, well maintained vehicles reduce the likelihood of your vehicle encountering delays from unscheduled downtime, unsafe vehicles being impounded and additional delays at roadside inspections.
You can find out more on the CVRT vehicle maintenance and repairs website.
Find out how CVRT plays its part in keeping you and other road users safe, and how and where to book a CVRT.
Know the towing capacity of your vehicle
It’s very important not to exceed the towing capacity of your towing vehicle. You can refer to your owner’s manual or contact the original manufacturer or authorised distributor. Note that each vehicle is different, and its overall gross towing capacity will depend on whether the trailer being towed is braked or unbraked.
More information on the towing capacity of your vehicle can be found from our trailers pages, including the maximum weights and dimensions for vehicles and trailers on Irish roads and how to calculate the towing capacity of your vehicle.
Check the vehicle historyIf you are buying an LCV privately, we would always recommend getting a qualified mechanic to independently inspect it. This will give you a good sense of the vehicle’s overall condition and some idea of any work needed in future.
It’s also a good idea to get a vehicle history check beforehand to ensure that the vehicle has not been seriously damaged in a previous collision. There are a number of companies who will check the history of an LCV for you. All of them charge a fee, but the peace of mind you get will make it well worthwhile.
If you are thinking about buying an LCV, whether new or used, you should first check the safety rating of the model you are considering.
A good source of information is the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP). Euro NCAP provides a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular LCVs sold in Europe by rating their performance in crash testing. Consumers can then compare the safety performance of similarly sized vehicles.
You can use the Euro NCAP safety performance lookup feature to compare results of the most popular vans sold in Europe.
Our Daily Walkaround Checks webpage highlights the importance and benefits of daily walkaround checks and your obligations as a LCV driver.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, provided the vehicle details on new plate correspond with vehicle registration cert and both state the Design Gross Vehicle Weight is now 3,500. You may also need to present a modifications report at the next roadworthiness test. A modifications report can be downloaded from the LCV Manual webpage.
It applies to the design gross vehicle weight. It is illegal to drive in a weight restricted area if vehicle exceeds the weight limit.
For testing purposes, it states that the owner or presenter must provide a letter from the manufacturer on headed paper showing VIN number, axle permitted weights and DGVW.
For testing methods and reasons for failure, see Section 0.4 of the LCV Manual.
No. However, we recommend carrying a breakdown triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and spare bulb kit in your vehicle.
Under S.I. No. 348 of 2013 of the Road Safety Authority (Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) (Vehicle Maintenance and Repair) Regulations 2013, it states that ‘the owner of a vehicle shall:
(a) Develop and put in place a system for the regular inspection and maintenance of the vehicle, and
(b) Periodically review, and make such changes as are required to ensure the effectiveness of the system referred to in sub-paragraph(a)’.
For further information on vehicle checks, see our CVRT website.
Anything that projects out further than the outermost part of the front of the vehicle could be interpreted as an inessential projection which is illegal and comes under S.I. No. 5 of 2003 of the Road Traffic Construction and Use of Vehicles Regulations 2003.
You may also view our FAQ on Loading and Load Security for more information.
From a road safety point of view, it is legal providing the legal requirements outlined below in relation to glass safety, modifications and roadworthiness are met. However, you should contact Revenue before any modification is carried out on the vehicle as they may not accept it.
Any modification to a vehicle that may affect the safety of the vehicle must be carried out to an appropriate standard and will require a letter from a manufacturer or suitably qualified individual (SQI). You will also need to present a modifications report at its next roadworthiness test. See modifications report template in LCV Manual.
The glass must meet the requirements as set out in Road Traffic Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles Regulations 1963 as amended i.e., they must be made from a material suitable for automotive applications which is not likely if fractured to produce fragments capable of causing severe cuts. Proof that the glazing material fitted to a vehicle is of an acceptable standard is checked during its roadworthiness test and glazing materials used must be type approved and bear an ‘E’ or ‘e’ mark. Download the Index of Amendments CE and U Regulations for further information.
Article 96 of this regulation states that ‘every vehicle while used in a public place shall be such, and so maintained and used, that no danger is likely to be caused to any person’.
Yes. Manufacturer’s approval is required.
In order to re-classify a vehicle or amend its vehicle registration certificate, you will need to contact Revenue to see if there are any VRT implications. If there are no VRT implications, you will need to contact your local motor tax office.
A modifications report which can be viewed within the LCV Manual will also need to be completed by a suitably qualified individual at an approved test centre and presented at its next roadworthiness test (CVRT).
Information and regulations for important vehicle components including lights, seat belts, glass and tyres.
Vehicle standards for converted or modified vehicles. Down-rating and up-rating of modified vehicles. Converting M1 and N1 vehicles. Reclassification rules.
Road traffic legislation for vehicles in use on Irish roads. Type approval legislation for new vehicles. Irish and EU safety and environmental standards.