The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2022

Jurisdiction: Great Britain

Commencement: 14th February 2022

Amends: The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

Mini Summary

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 aims to ensure that vehicles are made to high standards, to ensure that such standards are maintained while in use and that they are roadworthy.

The Regulations state that it is an offence to use a road vehicle if it is emitting smoke, visible vapour, grit, sparks, ashes, cinders or oily substances in such a way as is likely to cause damage to property or injure any person.

The Regulations draw upon European Directive requirements relative to emissions from vehicles.


Emissions levels shall be checked as part of the annual MOT for cars and roadworthiness checks for HGVs and stipulate for:

Petrol engine vehicles first used on or after 1st August 1975 and before 1st August 1986, CO should not exceed 4.5% of total exhaust emissions by volume and HC 0.12 volume. Those used after 1st August 1986 and before 1st August 1992, Co not to exceed 3.5% and HC 0.12% respectively.

For diesel fuelled passenger cars and light commercials less than 3,500 kg, first used before 1st August 1995 visual inspections only required. For all other diesel vehicles maximum smoke value to be 3.0 per metre or for turbos 2.5 per metre.

For petrol vehicles first used on or after 1st August 1992 and other vehicles 1st August 1994 listed in DETR publication In Service Exhaust Emission Standards for Road Vehicles, will be required to meet emissions limits specified by the manufacturer.



Changes are made to regulation 110 (mobile telephones) of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, which prohibits the use of hand-held mobile phones or other ‘interactive communication devices*’ when driving.

*Interactive communication devices perform similar functions to a mobile phone, such as sending and receiving spoken or written messages and media.

From 25th March 2022, any use of hand-held mobile phones or similar devices whilst driving(including taking photos or searching for music stored on the device) is prohibited.

A new exemption is introduced, allowing drivers to use hand-held mobile phones or similar devices to make contactless* payments for goods and services when the vehicle is stationary, e.g. at a drive through food outlet.

*Contactless payment means a payment made at a contactless payment facility using a card, mobile phone or other device.

This amendment has no direct relevance to environmental matters.


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