The Direct Vision Standard objectively measures how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. This is communicated as a star rated from zero (poor) to five (excellent), which indicates the level of risk to people walking and cycling near the vehicle. 

The standard is part of the Mayor’s plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network.

How will it affect me?

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and safety permit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) requires all lorries over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight to be granted a permit to enter or operate in Greater London. 

When will it come into effect?

From 26 October 2020, all HGVs more than 12 tonnes (GVW) entering or operating in Greater London will need to hold a valid HGV Safety Permit. From 27 October 2024, permit safety standards will tighten dramatically so it’s best to plan ahead.

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the DVS Scheme will still go ahead as planned on October 26th 2020, however penalties for non-compliant vehicles will not come into force until February 2021 allowing the industry time to deal with the current crisis.

Vehicles without a permit or that fail to reach the standards set to receive the permit will be subject to penalty charges. 

Is my vehicle up to standard?

Many HGVs have poor visibility due to their design and although manufacturers are working towards building direct vision standards into their vehicles at the factory, a certain lead time is needed. Because of this, a ‘Safe System’ is being introduced to ensure that all vehicles can more quickly reach an adequate safety standard. 

Will i be able to get a permit?

This depends on the current ‘direct vision’ rating of your vehicle which relates to the driver’s ability to see up ahead and to the nearside/blind spots. 

This is communicated as a star rated from zero (poor) to five (excellent). Vehicles must achieve a rating of at least one star to apply for the permit. Vehicles rated zero stars for direct vision must be fitted* with the following upgrades to apply for the HGV permit:  

  • Mirrors fitted to the nearside and front of the vehicle (Class V and Class VI respectively) 
  • Under-run sideguards fitted to both sides of the vehicle (except where this is impractical or impossible) 
  • External pictorial stickers and markings to warn vulnerable road users of hazards around the vehicle 
  • nearside sensor system that alerts the driver to the presence of a vulnerable road user 
  • Audible left-turn warning alarm shall be fitted to warn vulnerable road users 
  • A fully operational camera monitoring system fitted to the nearside of the vehicle 

*Some exemptions do apply. Please visit tfl.gov.uk for more information 

How much will it cost? 

Applying for the permit is completely free of charge.

The only associated costs will be for safety upgrades to the vehicle/s in order for them to reach the required standard.

Permit Requirements Overview


  • Mirrors (Front/Nearside) 
  • Camera Monitoring System 
  • Nearside Sensor System


  • Left-turn Warning Alarm
  • Stickers & Markings 


  • Sideguards 


You can begin to improve the safety equipment of your HGVs right away – there’s no need to wait until next year – and you’ll be in the best position when you need to apply for a permit in 2020. Drivers with better DVS ratings (3-5 stars) will receive the maximum ten-year permit so there’s an incentive to aim high and achieve the best possible standard to future-proof your HGVs. 

We recommend that you upgrade your vehicle as soon as possible as improved vision for your drivers will pay dividends for your fleet in the short term and create a safer environment for all. 

EchoMaster offer a selection of safety products that can help you get DVS ready, including camera monitoring systemsnearside sensor systems and left-turn warning alarms. We believe that every upgrade should be straightforward, cost-effective and utilise the most up-to-date technology to help protect all drivers and vulnerable road users.