The term roadworthy, or more commonly known as being street worthy, is the ability of an automobile vehicle of any kind, be it a car, a bus, or a motorbike, to be in a proper condition so as to meet the acceptable standards of road safety. It is a legal certification for a vehicle to be obtained for safe driving and transportation of living beings or materials by road. It is acquired as proof that the automobile in question is suitable for use on a regular basis and is usually obtained through a regional government body. It is a critical verification document for any vehicle on road and if caught without an updated one, the vehicle can be impounded by the local police authority. The certificate is also necessary if a claim is to be placed with the insurance company.

For commercial-use vehicles, specifically for public transport vehicles, roadworthy testing must be done every year. A test essentially looks into the following aspects:

  • Identification documents
  • Registration, pollution control, and road tax documents
  • Electrical system checking
  • Braking system checking
  • Tyre condition checking
  • Fittings, such as seat belts, mirrors, etc.
  • Suspension checking
  • Undercarriage checking
  • Steering wheel condition checking
  • Engine condition
  • Exhaust system checking
  • Dimensions of vehicle
  • Transmission system

Bodywork: The bodywork check is crucial for obtaining a roadworthy certificate. While checking for bodywork, it is ensured that the vehicle body is free of rust and damage that could pose any risk to pedestrians.

Doors, Windows and Windscreen: The car doors should be easy to open and close from inside and outside, and the hinge fitting should be in proper condition. inside panel of the door should be in good condition. The windshield should be free of any cracks and with at least one wiper should be in fully working condition. All windows should be free from jams.

Indicators and Lights: All the lights, such as headlights, parking lights, etc. should be in working condition for a roadworthy certificate. The headlights high and low beam should work correctly. Light fittings should be checked as they might attract moisture, resulting in a fuse.

Wheels: The tyre tread must be of a specified depth. This also applies to the spare. Wheels must be of the correct size as per the specifications of the vehicle manufacturer.

Brakes: They should be in their best possible working condition. Concave or grooved discs are absolutely unacceptable.

Vehicle Suspension: The chassis and the shock absorbers must not show any sign of damage or wear. The undercarriage should be rust-free without any fluid leakage.

Exhaust: The mounting of the exhaust must be properly secured. It should be damage-free without any visible signs of emissions.

Engine: Undoubtedly one of the most critical parts, the compartment of the engine should be damage-free and leakage-free for a roadworthy certificate. All wiring should be fitted and secured properly. The battery should be secured with the clamps and must be clean.

Interior: All seatbelts must be fully functional. The seats should be secured properly in place. The speedometer, hooter, and odometer must be fully functional.

A roadworthiness certificate, abbreviated RWC, is required at the time of selling and purchasing the vehicle, when a re-registration in a different name is required. It simply provides a certificate for driving safety and does not essentially guarantee the mechanical reliability of the vehicle. In terms of legal requirements, a roadworthy certificate is a pre-requisite for the buyer of the vehicle. It is essentially the buyer’s responsibility to ensure that the certificate is up-to-date and the validity checking must be done before the registration is made in the buyer’s name. A test must also be done on the car within 21 days of making the purchase.

By Editor