For safety as well as environmental reasons, the law has created a number of regulations governing the construction and use of vehicles. Although many of these relate to the manufacture of vehicles and should not concern the motorist, others have to do with the condition of the vehicle, when it is used.
It is important to realise that offences can be committed even if the motorist is not aware that a specific breach of the regulation has occurred. Thus it is not a defence to a charge of using a vehicle with faulty brake lights to say that you were not aware that they were not working. The motorist is expected to check that all is in order before setting off. The most common offences are the following:
In cases where the defect in a vehicle was minor the police used to give verbal warning to the driver and ask them to put the defect right. However, since the introduction of the Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS), the police have been able to require the motorist to put the defect right in order to avoid a prosecution. The scheme is voluntary. It involves the police giving the motorist a form, which sets out the defect. The motorist must rectify the defect and submit the vehicle for inspection by an approved garage. The result of the inspection is endorsed on the form, which must be returned to the police within 14 days; otherwise the motorist will be prosecuted.
However if your vehicle's condition is so bad that it is considered dangerous your licence will be endorsed with penalty points and your vehicle could be impounded.