RSA give CRW advice to haulage operators

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is urging haulage operators purchasing a second hand commercial vehicle to check that the vehicle has a valid Certificate of Roadworthiness (CRW).

The RSA says there should be a disc displayed on the windscreen of all trucks/ buses/ vans/ jeeps. On trailers it should be displayed as close as possible to the registration plate.


If a commercial vehicle does not have a CRW disc displayed it may mean that the vehicle has not passed its annual commercial vehicle roadworthiness (CVR) test.

The RSA that he Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness (CVR) test history remains with the vehicle regardless of change of ownership. Therefore, if the vehicle has not been tested on time in the past you will get a CRW with a shorter expiry date when it is next tested

While a CRW is proof that a vehicle met basic safety requirements on the day it was tested, only components that are visible and accessible can be assessed at the CVR Test. It cannot be regarded as a warrantyas to the condition of a vehicle.

Therefore it is recommended to have the vehicle independently checked by a qualified mechanic before purchase. This should provide some assurance that it is roadworthy at the time of purchase. Alternatively buy from an authorised dealer with a warranty.

In addition, operators check the vehicle’s history – checking for odometer fraud, outstanding finance and that the vehicle hasn’t previously been written off.

Since 11th May 2016 the current odometer reading and up to two prior readings are printed on the Certificate of Roadworthiness (CRW). The ‘start date’ for recording these historical readings was 19/08/2014, so any vehicle that passed an initial or periodic CVR test after this date should, since 11th May 2016, display up to two previous test dates and the corresponding odometer readings.

Therefore if you are considering purchasing a used commercial vehicle you should request copy of the CRW certificate from the seller to check the historic odometer readings. If on review of this document you have any queries on the odometer readings recorded at previous test, the RSA recommends that you seek clarification from the seller prior to purchase.

It is important to note that the historic odometer readings are only printed on the Certificate of Roadworthiness that comes with the CRW disc to be displayed on the vehicle’s windscreen. The CRW disc itself only contains the details of the odometer reading recorded at the most recent CVR Test. Therefore you should request a copy of the full CRW certificate from the vehicle seller and not just the actual CRW disc prior to purchase.

Please note also that there may be legitimate reasons why an earlier reading is higher than a more recent one, for example, if a speedometer has been replaced. However, it might also suggest that the odometer has been ‘clocked’ or tampered with by someone.

While this new measure should act as a deterrent to odometer fraud, the RSA is not responsible for policing such activity. Furthermore the RSA cannot divulge any information as regards a vehicle’s prior test history (including historic odometer readings) or details of where a vehicle was tested to any person who was not the registered owner at the time of the test.