The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has claimed four out of five LCVs it stops on suspicion of being overloaded are confirmed to be breaking the law when inspected.

In 2013/14 the DVSA issued 2543 prohibition notices on UK-registered LCVs following weight checks on 3031 vehicles – a failure rate of 83.9%, down from 89.9% in 2012/13 and 87.3% in 2011/12.

The DVSA also issued 15,122 prohibition notices following mechanical checks on 25,139 LCVs – a failure rate of just over 60% and a fall from 68.9% the previous year and from 66.2% in 2011/12.

Following 5155 drivers’ hours checks 745 prohibition notices were handed out (14.5%) compared to 21.6% in 2012/13 and 24.8% the year before.

In terms of overloading, the DVSA said the view among a substantial number of van users was that load space was there to be filled up. It said businesses needed to be much better informed about the capabilities and restrictions of their vehicles. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has pledged to work with the DVSA to raise awareness among operators about loading limits.