Star ratings and Safe System improvements

We continue to work with vehicle manufacturers to assign star ratings for their vehicles. Check to see if we hold your star rating and apply for a permit. Find information and guidance about the application process.

Meet the minimum DVS star rating

A vehicle can have a rating of zero stars (the lowest rating, with poor direct vision) up to five stars (the highest rating with excellent direct vision).

If your HGV is rated one to five stars, you can apply for a permit without the need to provide any additional evidence.

If your HGV is rated zero stars, you will need to make your vehicle safer by fitting it with Safe System improvements.

From 28 October 2024, if your HGV is rated zero to two stars, you will need to make your vehicle safer by fitting it with a Progressive Safe System. The pre-registration period for HGV safety permits under the new, tougher Progressive Safe System will open in June 2024. 

Safe System measures: improving HGV safety

To apply for a permit as a zero star rated vehicle, you need to fit your vehicle with all the safety equipment listed:

To improve indirect vision, and help drivers see near the vehicle

  • Class V and VI mirrors
  • A fully operational camera monitoring system
  • A sensor system with driver alerts

To warn road users of intended manoeuvres

  • An audible vehicle manoeuvring warning for left turns (or right turns if the vehicle is left-hand drive)
  • Warning signage

To minimise the physical impact of a hazard

  • Side-underrun protection

The Guidance for operators provides more information about how to make a zero star rated vehicle permit-ready, and how to apply for a permit.

As part of your application, you will be required to upload two photos that show that Safe System measures have been fitted to the vehicle.

Zero star vehicles with an approved Safe System will be granted a permit until 28 October 2024 (when the Progressive Safe System will be required for vehicles rated two star or below).

Contact your manufacturer to find your vehicle's DVS star rating

If we don't know the star rating of your vehicle, we will need information from the manufacturer before we can grant you a permit.

You can contact your manufacturer to request a DVS star rating for your vehicle(s) or to enquire about the rating of a new vehicle. You will need to provide the chassis number (VIN) for existing vehicle(s).

Your manufacturer will then calculate the star rating of your vehicle based on the approved DVS technical protocol and send you a document or email confirming your vehicle's DVS star rating.

If we've asked you to submit a star rating from your manufacturer, you can upload the confirmation they've sent you through the Contact HGV Safety Permit form.

We will then update our records so you can apply for a permit. We will aim to respond within 28 days.

Manufacturer Contact Phone Email/online form
DAF DAF central engineering +44 (0)1844 261111
Dennis Eagle - -
MAN Sales engineering +44 (0)1793 448000
Renault Product engineering +44 (0)1926 401777
Scania Product engineering +44 (0)1908 210 210
Volvo Sales engineering +44 (0)1926 401 777
Mercedes-Benz - -

Iveco Product engineering

Vehicle exemptions

Certain HGVs and vehicles may be fully or partially exempt. A list of vehicle exemptions and policy can be found in the HGV safety permit guidance for operators entering London (appendix A).

Fully exempt vehicles are not required to hold a permit, but you can still apply for one for your records.

Partially exempt vehicles include certain vehicle types which are exempt from specific Safe System requirements, as they make fitting of specific equipment impractical or impossible. Safety evidence photos must still be uploaded for these vehicles to show this, and they still must hold a valid permit.

An international standard

The DVS has been developed in consultation with an expert panel of researchers, academics and representatives from the freight industry, Europe's foremost HGV manufacturers and regulatory bodies.

We are also working with other European cities and the European Union to push for long-term improvements by mandating direct vision in EU vehicle design and safety regulations.

Driver training

While highly recommended, driver training is not a mandatory requirement for obtaining a permit.