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Vehicle and Operator Services Agency
Abbreviation VOSA
VOSA logo.png
Logo of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
Agency overview
Formed April 3, 2003[1]
Preceding agencies
  • Vehicle Inspectorate
  • Traffic Area Network
Annual budget £197 million [2]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Legal jurisdiction England, Wales and Scotland
General nature
Operational structure
Elected officer responsible Paul Clarke MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Agency executive Alastair Peoples[3], Chief Executive
Parent agency Department for Transport

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is a non-departmental public body granted Trading Fund status in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Transport of the United Kingdom Government.



The Agency was created from the merger of the Vehicle Inspectorate (VI) and the Traffic Area Network (TAN). The public are most aware of its activities through its regulation of the MOT vehicle inspection test in Great Britain. VOSA are generally better known by commercial vehicle operators as "The Ministry" a throwback to the days of the former Ministry of Transport (MOT). In Northern Ireland this role is performed by the Driver & Vehicle Agency.

In 2005 it had approximately 2,500 staff, 1,700 of which are based at its lorry testing garages across the United Kingdom.


Enforcement charges

Its examiners have been granted the ability to issue fixed penalty tickets from 1 April 2009. These cover a range of offences including breaches of drivers hours legislation, overloaded vehicles and also mechanical defects. These tickets can be issued to both UK and foreign nationals.

In the first 3 months since the implementation of fixed penalties, the Agency has taken more than £500,000 in fines.


  • To improve road safety and the environment and safeguard fair competition by promoting and enforcing compliance with commercial operator licensing requirements;
  • Processing applications for licences to operate lorries and buses;
  • Registering bus services;
  • Operating and administering testing schemes for all vehicles, including the supervision of the MOT Testing Scheme;
  • Enforcing the law on vehicles to ensure that they comply with legal standards and regulations;
  • Enforcing drivers’ hours and licensing requirements;
  • Providing training and advice for commercial operators; and
  • Investigating vehicle accidents, defects and recalls.


  • The Road Haulage and Public Service Vehicle (PSV) industries;
  • Trade associations;
  • Vehicle manufacturers;
  • MOT garages; and
  • Offenders and Defendants

Powers to stop vehicles

Under the Police Reform Act 2002, section 41 and Schedule 5,[4] a Chief Constable can grant powers (under a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme) to VOSA officers to stop vehicles, for checks on vehicle and driver compliance without the need for police support (now expanded to stop any vehicle, although mainly goods and passenger carrying vehicles). Previously only police officers had the power to stop vehicles and therefore had to be present. The powers were piloted in 2003 and brought more widely into force in 2004.[5]

VOSA Vehicles

VOSA employ a fleet of Ford Galaxy vehicles in black and yellow battenburg livery and clearly marked with "VOSA" on the rear.These are fitted with amber lightbars on the roof. This is a similar livery to that of the Highways Agency (HA) traffic officer service.

See also


External links


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