The UK Rules
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Vehicle Type Approval

Vehicle Approval Certificate UK Regulations

The Road Vehicle Approval Regulations came into force in 2009 for the United Kingdom. Having Vehicle Type Approval confirms its production samples meet or exceed specified performance standards.

VEHICLE APPROVAL UK: This guide clarifies the current regulations for:

Most sellable products need some degree of Type Approval or Certificate of Conformity. It shows the items meet the minimum regulatory, technical, and safety requirements.

But, the term 'Type Approval' is not confined to the automotive industry. The regulatory requirements exist for a multitude of diverse merchandise including mobile phones and medical equipment.

Note: In this case, having Type Approval certification means the vehicle meets certain requirements for its class.

Purchasing a vehicle from a manufacturer means it will have approval. The same applies to those sold by importers. But, there are some types where you would need to apply for vehicle approval, including:

How to get a Vehicle Type Approved

There are different Vehicle Type Approval schemes. The one you use will depend on how many vehicles need approving and whether they are imports.

Note: The Pre-Registration Inspection (PRI) is no longer available since August 2015. Only these schemes meet the standards and rule conditions.

Some manufacturers and importers want approval for a type of vehicle instead of a single vehicle. In this case one of the following schemes will apply:

  1. European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval. ECWVTA is for manufacturers and importers of large volumes of vehicles.
  2. National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) scheme. Manufacturers and importers of modest numbers of vehicles will use this service.
  3. European Community Small Series Type Approval. ECSSTA is for manufacturers and importers of very low numbers of specialist vehicles,

Note: Further information is available at the DVSA or Vehicle Certification Agency.

Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency
Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Vehicle Certification Agency
VCA enquiries@vca.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 330 5797

Vehicle Type Approval Exemptions

Vehicle approval is not needed for certain types of trucks and automobiles including:

The DVLA need proof of vehicle approval for registration unless it is exempt. They will not register such vehicles without proof of approval.

Individual Vehicle Approval in the UKIndividual Vehicle Approval

IVA SCHEME: There are several routes for getting vehicles approved for sales rights in the United Kingdom. But, the Individual Vehicle Approval scheme tends to be less burdensome than others.

COIF CERTIFICATE: The Certificate of Initial Fitness is a Vehicle Approval scheme used for registering Public Service Vehicles. This guide clarifies exactly who can use COIF in the United Kingdom.

ACCESSIBILITY CERTIFICATE TEST: Most buses and coaches need Vehicle Approval Accessibility Certification for wheelchair use. The testing refers to wheelchair restraints, spacing, and boarding ramps or board lifts.


Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval in the UKMotorcycle Single Vehicle Approval

MSVA SCHEME: The Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval is for vehicles without ECWVTA. It is a cost effective method of type approval for 2, 3, and most small 4 wheelers.


Voluntary Approval in the UKVoluntary IVA Scheme

VOLUNTARY APPROVAL: This guide explains the process for the Voluntary Individual Vehicle Approval scheme. Voluntary IVA rules differ to those in the Statutory IVA scheme.


Vehicle Approval Certificate Regulations in the United Kingdom