This page has information on the key features of in-service roadworthiness systems in other parts of the world.

Queensland Australia

  • No periodic vehicle inspections.
  • Vehicles are required to be inspected on transfer of ownership (such as when sold) or transfer of registration from another state.
  • Police and Transport Inspectors employed by the Queensland Government can undertake roadside inspections of vehicles.

European Union (EU)

The EU sets minimum mandatory requirements of member states, though many states inspect more frequently. The current requirements are:

  • Cars and light commercial vehicles (up to 3.5 tonnes) have the first inspection at no later than 4 years and at a frequency of up to 2 years thereafter.
  • Most other types of vehicles have an annual inspection (buses, vans, trucks, trailers, taxis, ambulances, coaches).
  • Roadside inspections of heavy goods vehicles are mandated (roadside inspections of other vehicles, eg passenger vehicles, are not).

The EU has recently agreed to make the following changes to these requirements:

  • Cars and light commercial vehicles and mopeds, motorcycles and light trailers will have their first inspection at no later than 4 years, the second no more than 2 years after that, and every year subsequently.
  • High mileage cars and light commercial vehicles, which have travelled more than 160,000km at their first inspection (4 years), will be inspected annually thereafter.
  • Roadside inspection will also include light commercial vehicles, and inspections will be targeted based on operators’ risk profiles.

United Kingdom

Mandatory annual test of safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions for vehicles over three years of age.

  • It is enforced by making the possession of a current valid inspection certificate compulsory when purchasing Road Fund Licence (Road Tax) which must be displayed on the vehicle window.
  • Police roadside inspections will check tyres and for other obvious and serious defects (generally, but not always, when the vehicle has been stopped for some other reason).

Japan

  • Personal cars and 2 wheeled motorcycles must first be inspected (the Shaken test) at 3 years of age, and then every 2 years thereafter.
  • Most owners pay a mechanic to take their vehicle to the inspection centre. The vehicle owner or the mechanic who takes the vehicle through the inspection must provide a checklist showing that 60 items have already been checked – this is more invasive than the actual inspection.
  • Road-side tests are also undertaken by government employed transport officers in cooperation with the Police.
  • An annual 26 item inspection is apparently also compulsory but may be performed by the vehicle owner, or a by a professional mechanic. It is not necessary to display evidence of this inspection.