Automated Vehicles Trialling

This page was last updated on 29th July 2022

Code of Practice 

Trialling of automated vehicle technologies and services on public roads and in public places falls under the Code of Practice for Automated Vehicle Trialling.  

The guidance is split into two parts: 

  • Automated vehicle trialling – guidance to be used by organisations or individuals planning to trial or pilot automated vehicle technologies and service. 
  • Vehicle authorisations and exemptions for more complex CAV trials – Guidance for more ‘advanced’ on-road trials where either the vehicle(s) or aspects of their operation may need exemptions or authorisations for use on UK roads. 

You can access the guidance on Trialling automated vehicle technologies in public on the GOV website. 

If you have any questions in relation to trialling of automated vehicle technologies and services, you can contact the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles at 

Vehicle Special Orders (VSO) for Automated Vehicles Used in Trials 

Under the Code of Practice, it is not necessary to obtain permits or approvals when conducting trials in the UK.  Should you however require a Vehicle Special Order (VSO) you will need to involve VCA. VSOs can give exemptions to the construction and use requirements given in:  

  • The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended 
  • The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended 

You can find more information on VSOs for automated vehicle trials in this section of the Code of Practice and can find information here about how to apply for a vehicle special order. 

If you would like to discuss whether your trial may need to make an application for a VSO, please contact the Regulatory and Technology Group at