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The Issue

In 2014, new rules came into force designed to improve road safety and environmental issues across the EU. It included proposals for periodic testing on small agricultural trailers and tractors.

We believe that while road safety is paramount elements of the proposal were unnecessary. Vehicles in the UK have to be roadworthy and if introduced, the extra test would place added burdens on small businesses, especially in rural areas.

There is no evidence the additional testing would make roads safer.

Action FSB have taken

  • We lobbied hard against the proposals to MEPs, using our member case studies to highlight the impact of the plans on small businesses.
  • We called for light trailers, agricultural vehicles and modified vehicles to be exempted from the plans.

Our Goal

We want roads across the EU to be safe but question whether extra regulation for agricultural vehicles would make them safer. We believe MOT testing insurance requirements already ensure the roadworthiness of vehicles on roads in the UK.

Research from the Department of Transport in 2009 estimated it would cost £237 million to introduce a national registration scheme for trailers in the UK. Some of the costs would trickle down to small firms and for rural businesses dependent on trailers and tractors, the costs would be disproportionate and unfair.

Achievements in...



  • We successfully lobbied against plans from the EU to introduce MOT-type tests for trailers.  This would have meant the certification of smaller agricultural trailers and even horse-boxes
  • Our evidence from members who would have been affected by the changes helped convince MEPs to vote against this part of the Roadworthiness Package
  • We will continue to monitor this legislation to ensure light trailers remain exempt from future provisions when the European Commission reports on this in April 2019. 

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