Drivers are being urged to make sure their vehicles are safe before setting off as new data shows thousands of drivers are already being targeted by fines and points.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is on track to issue 6,800 prohibitions to van owners in the year to April 2024.
Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of checks carried out on light goods vehicles by DVSA inspectors identified serious safety defects resulting in prohibitions.
The most common issues that lead to the notices being issued include mechanical defects.
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This can include the condition of their tyres, faulty indicators, bodywork issues and overloading the vehicle to dangerous levels.
Prohibitions typically refer to restrictions placed on vans or commercial vehicles as a result of safety concerns.
These can include issues relating to a van or commercial vehicle’s roadworthiness including defects in brakes, tyres, lights, steering and other components.
Prohibitions can lead to a car being taken off the road for an enforced amount of time, with the DVSA having the power to issue immediate or delayed measures.
Immediate action can be issued when a defect is considered so serious that the vehicle is prohibited from being driven straight away.
Delayed prohibitions allow the operators to drive the vehicle, but the defect needs to be fixed within 10 days or less depending on what the issue is.
The DVSA also has the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £300 and risk £300 points on their driving licence, with inspectors having the power to visit premises and review records.
Eva Sandstra-Bennett, Van Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance, said: “Average van age has been creeping up and now sits at almost nine years so it’s important operators carry out regular maintenance to ensure their vans stay roadworthy and reliable.
“The most common reasons for prohibitions such as worn and damaged tyres, broken indicators, or lights and loose bodywork are easily spotted and relatively quick to fix.
“Overloading a van is tempting to often reduce the time a job may take when transporting materials or equipment, but it is an unnecessary risk that can put lives at risk and also damage the vehicle.”
She warned that drivers could see their insurance invalidated if they cause an accident which is caused by a failure to keep the van roadworthy.
Experts have continually stressed the importance of van operators and drivers regularly inspecting and maintaining their vehicles.
This will make them safer to drive for the motorist, as well as keeping them as efficient as possible.
Eva Sandstra-Bennett said that regular checks, proper record-keeping and adherence to regulations can help prevent the DVSA or police from punishing them.
Tyres are one of the most common issues with vehicles
There are estimated to be almost 4.5 million vans on the road across Great Britain, with drivers covering a staggering 92.6 billion kilometres every year.