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Road Users


Special purpose vehicles.

A special purpose vehicle is a vehicle in EU category M (passenger vehicle) , N (goods vehicle) or O (trailer) that has specific technical features to perform a function which requires special arrangements and/or equipment.

Vehicles in these categories include

Check the vehicle history

If you are buying a special purpose vehicle, it’s 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 a special purpose vehicle for you. All of them charge a fee, but the peace of mind you get will make it well worthwhile. 

You should also check the vehicle’s test history, where applicable, which will help tell you how the vehicle performed on each of its annual CVR tests. 

A pre-purchase inspection of a used special purpose vehicle by a qualified mechanic will give you a good sense of the vehicle’s overall condition and some idea of any work needed in future.  

Related pages

Modified vehicles

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.