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EU Road Worthiness Regulation 

The RYA has worked to have smaller trailers excluded from new EU legislation

In 2012 the European Commission announced further regulation that would bring in tougher testing rules for vehicles and trailers in an effort to reduce fatal road accidents linked to technical failure.

This would have extended the scope of roadworthiness testing to trailers up to 3500kg gross weight and included un-braked light trailers that have a gross weight of less than 750kg

Inclusion of such trailers would impose significant cost and bureaucracy on recreational boaters including many trailer boat owners and those that tow dinghies and Personal Water Craft, with negligible road safety benefits.

The RYA wants to achieve

  • All unbraked trailers of less than 3,500Kg to be exempted from compulsory periodic roadworthiness testing.

The RYA has successfully

  • Gained support from the UK Government for the RYA position.

RYA position

Unbraked trailers of less than 3,500Kg maximum gross weight should not be subject to periodic roadworthiness testing (i.e. MoT) or registration.


Pressure from the UK Government and other Member States forced the Commission to abandon its plans for a roadworthiness regulation and instead to introduce its proposals in the form of an EU Directive. Directives, unlike regulations, allow member states to reflect the local needs of their citizens when they are transposed into national law.

This Directive was adopted by the EU on 3 April 2014 and must be applied by member states from 20 may 2018. The Directive does not apply to trailers less than 3,500Kg maximum gross weight.

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