light goods vehicle

Pre-Check Essentials for Your LCV


Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) play a critical role in the UK’s automotive landscape. They’re the true workhorses behind the transport sector, built for the demands of business, and have become an integral part of the nation’s economy.

Leading the charge as some of the most popular LCV brands in the UK are Ford, Volkswagen, and Vauxhall, with the staple Transit van standing tall as one of the best-selling LCVs across the country.

Volkswagen’s Transporter and Crafter, renowned for their reliability and efficiency, hold a significant market share, and the Vauxhall Vivaro with its sleek design and performance, is also a popular choice among UK businesses.

These brands, trusted for their durability and functionality, highlight the importance of keeping these vehicles in optimal condition, and as they continue to dominate the market, it’s more important than ever to ensure that their drivers properly know how to conduct thorough pre-checks before their journeys.

So let’s take a closer look at what this really means, as we explore the top pre-check essentials for an LCV.

Fluid levels

Starting with the basics, checking an LCV’s fluid levels includes engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. This is essential as the correct fluid levels ensure your vehicle’s smooth operation and prevent potential damage.


Tyres are the foundation of safe driving, so they must be inspected for proper inflation, tread depth, and any signs of wear or damage. This includes the spare tyre too, taking extra case to ensure it’s in good condition and properly inflated for when it’s needed most.


Testing the brakes before setting off is so often missed, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to avoiding or preventing a potential accident.

Listening out for unusual noises, checking the brake pedal’s responsiveness, and ensuring there are no leaks in the brake fluid will help here, to confirm that the brakes are well-maintained and working correctly. Needless to say, this is crucial for driver safety and that of others on the road too.

Lights and indicators

Proper lighting is not just a legal requirement, it’s also essential for visibility on the road, so double checking that all lights, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights, are functioning correctly is essential before setting off.

Electrical systems

Checking the battery for signs of corrosion or loose connections is a key item to tick off on a pre-check list. It’s important to verify that all electrical systems, such as power windows and mirrors, air conditioning, and heating, are working as they should, to ensure that there is no risk of something going wrong if a driver finds themselves in a sticky situation.

Suspension and steering

A smooth ride depends on a healthy suspension system and responsive steering, so it’s important to check for any unusual noises, vibrations, or difficulty in steering, as these could indicate potential issues and even lead to an accident or breakdown.

Wipers and washer fluid

No matter what, clear visibility is crucial for safe driving.

Take the time to inspect the wiper blades for wear and tear, and ensure the washer fluid reservoir is topped up with the correct fluids (not just plain water) for a clear view in all weather conditions.

Exhaust system

A well-functioning exhaust system is essential for emissions control, so be sure to look for any signs of rust, damage, or unusual noises.

Addressing exhaust issues promptly ensures compliance with environmental regulations, and ensures that there are no blockages in the system which could cause a potential breakdown.

Regulatory and compliance checks

Apart from these general pre-checks, LCV drivers must adhere to specific regulatory and compliance checks to ensure roadworthiness and legal operation. These include:

  • A legal and in-date MOT test certificate, as all LCVs in the UK must undergo an annual MOT test to ensure they meet safety and environmental standards
  • Weight limit checks specific to your LCV, as overloading not only compromises safety but also violates legal requirements
  • If an LCV is fitted with a tachograph, ensure it is calibrated and functioning correctly before setting off. This is absolutely critical as tachographs record driving time and rest periods, helping drivers and employers comply with regulations aimed at preventing fatigue-related accidents
  • And carry all necessary documentation, including insurance, vehicle registration, and driver’s license, just in case. Compliance with these legal requirements is vital for smooth operation and avoiding penalties, and the last thing any driver wants is to be caught out without the proper paperwork when it’s back at their office

Don’t cut corners

As tempting as it might be to just jump behind the wheel and get on the road, investing a few minutes in thorough pre-checks can make a world of difference.

Incorporating regulatory and compliance checks is not just a legal obligation but a responsibility that ensures you are contributing to a safer and more efficient road network. As you hit the road with your LCV, remember that a well-maintained vehicle is a reliable partner in your business.

But most importantly, not only do these checks enhance safety and reliability, but they also contribute to the longevity of your vehicle. And whilst accidents can often be prevented by looking after your vehicle correctly in the first place, we completely appreciate that there is never a convenient time to have one.

Knowing who to call when you’re stuck

Egertons are one of the UK’s leading vehicle rescue and recovery operators, with services stretching from breakdown recovery to specialist assistance, available 24/7/365 service across the country.

But the main reason choose us? Because our fleet of incident response vehicles, range of equipment available on hand and the technology our fleet is equipped with, allows us to deploy the exact right vehicles, first time, helping to keep your vehicle downtime to an absolute minimum and ensure recovery takes place as safely and efficiently as possible.

What’s more, we also hold PAS 43, ISO 9001 and NNHS Sector 17 accreditations, helping to ensure that all our recoveries and repairs are completed to the very highest industry standards.

We’re the preferred vehicle rescue and recovery operator for UK fleets to rely on, no matter what.

In other words, when you need us, we’ll be right here.

Reach out today.