If you have imported a vehicle to UK and you want it approved to be on UK roads, you must follow the country’s regulations.
If you are a manufacturer, you have the responsibility of going through the approval process before selling the car.
Below is when to approve your vehicle:
- you have built a vehicle
- You have rebuilt a vehicle
- You have radically altered a vehicle
- You have reconstructed a classic vehicle
- You have imported a vehicle
Get a vehicle approved
PROCESS OF VEHICLE APPROVAL
You can get a single vehicle or small number of vehicles approved through:
Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA)
- Individual Vehicle Approval
You can use the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme if you’re making or importing a single vehicle or a very small number of vehicles in the following categories:
buses and coaches
special purpose vehicles, eg vehicles specially designed to hold a wheelchair
You can’t use the Statutory IVA scheme if your vehicle has been registered before in the UK – you’ll need to use Voluntary IVA instead.
Vehicle identification number
Your vehicle needs a vehicle identification number (VIN) before having an IVA inspection. Apply to DVLA if it doesn’t have one.
K and R
Basic and normal IVA
There are 2 levels of IVA inspection: basic and normal.
Basic IVA involves a visual inspection and other tests to make sure the vehicle meets the necessary standards. You won’t normally need to provide any documentary evidence.
You can apply if you have a passenger car or light goods vehicle in one of these categories:
left-hand drive vehicles
amateur built vehicles (kit cars)
very low volume production vehicles
armoured passenger vehicles
a vehicle manufactured using parts of a registered vehicle
Read the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA ) guide on the IVA scheme for more on these categories.
You’ll have to apply for normal IVA if you don’t meet the criteria for basic IVA.
This involves a more detailed inspection. Vehicles have to meet extra standards and you’ll have to provide documentary evidence.
Modified goods vehicles
You can use the IVA scheme to get approval for goods vehicles that have been modified.
Read the DVSA guide on IVA for modified goods vehicles to find out how changes are approved.
How to show your vehicle meets IVA standards
There are several ways to prove your vehicle meets IVA standards. Read part 5 of the DVSA guide on the IVA scheme for more details.
One way of proving your vehicle is compliant is by showing it’s the same specification as another vehicle (a ‘master vehicle’) that’s been proved compliant. You do this using a model report.
If a model report has already been produced for your exact model of vehicle, you may be able to use it for a fee. Look for it on the DVSA list of model reports and their owners.
Otherwise, you’ll need to pay for your own tests to be carried out. These must be done by an authorised provider of ‘designated technical services’.
For more information on model reports, see part 11 of the DVSA guide on the IVA scheme.
How to apply
You need to choose the correct application form depending on your type of vehicle. Send it to the address on the form.
DVSA should offer you an inspection within 20 working days of receiving your completed application.
Choosing a test station
Your vehicle will be inspected at either one of DVSA’s approved test stations or a privately owned test facility. You should say which one you want to use on your application form.
Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA)
if you’re making or importing a single 2, 3 or smaller 4-wheeled vehicle
- Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval
When you must use the scheme
To register your motorcycle, 3-wheeled or light 4-wheeled vehicle, it must:
- comply with European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA)
- have a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) to prove this
It must be inspected under the Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) scheme if it doesn’t have a Certificate of Conformity.
You must also use the MSVA scheme if your vehicle has been radically altered or built using a mixture of parts from previously registered vehicles. For example:
- amateur built vehicles
- rebuilt vehicles
- vehicles converted to a different wheelplan
Eligibility for MSVA
You can use the MSVA scheme for vehicles that:
- are under 10 years old
- haven’t been registered before in the UK
- don’t have ECWVTA
The following types of vehicle are eligible:
- 2-wheeled mopeds
- 3-wheeled mopeds
- light quadricycles
- solo motorcycles
- motorcycle combinations
- motor tricycles
- heavy quadricycles
These vehicle types are defined in appendix 1 of the MSVA guide, produced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
If you have a Certificate of Conformity (CoC), it will say which side of the road and which speedometer units your vehicle is equipped for.
You must modify your vehicle if it isn’t equipped for use in Great Britain. It will then need a Partial MSVA to check the following items:
- headlamp dipped beam pattern – this checks the headlamp is suitable for driving on the left
- speedometer – the speed must be shown in miles per hour (mph) or dual mph and kilometres per hour
- mirror location – on mopeds fitted with a single mirror, the mirror must be fitted to offside (right) of the vehicle
Read more in Partial MSVA frequently asked questions.
Vehicle identification number
Your vehicle needs a vehicle identification number before having an MSVA inspection. Write to the following address if it doesn’t have one.
Cost of the scheme
You have to pay a fee for DVSA to inspect your vehicle.
Choose a test station
Your vehicle will be inspected by DVSA at one of its approved test stations. You can choose which one as long as it inspects the category of vehicle you want to be tested.
|Aberdeen||Cloverhill Road, Bridge of Don Industrial Estate, Aberdeen, AB23 8FE||B, T, Q|
|Beverley||Oldbeck Road, Off Grovehill Road, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 0JW||B, T, Q|
|Bristol||Merebank Road, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 8AQ||B, T, Q|
|Cardiff (Llantrisant)||School Road, Miskin, Pontyclun, Mid Glamorgan, CF72 8YR||B, T, Q|
|Carlisle||Brunthill Road, Kingstown Industrial Estate, Carlisle, CA3 0EH||B, T, Q|
|Chelmsford||Widford Industrial Estate, Chelmsford, CM1 3DR||B, Q|
|Derby||Belmore Way, Alvaston, Derby, DE21 7AY||B, T, Q|
|Edinburgh (Livingston)||Grange Road, Houston Industrial Estate, Livingston, Edinburgh, West Lothian, EH54 5DE||B, T, Q|
|Exeter||Grace Road West, Marsh Barton Trading Estate, Exeter, Devon, EX2 8PU||B, T, Q|
|Gillingham||Ambley Road, Gillingham, ME8 0SJ||B, T, Q|
|Leighton Buzzard||Stanbridge Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 4QG||B, T, Q|
|London West (Yeading)||Cygnet Way, Willow Tree Lane, Yeading, Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 9BS||T, Q|
|Manchester (Chadderton)||Broadway Business Park, Broadgate, Manchester (Chadderton), Oldham, OL9 9XA||B, T, Q|
|Newcastle-upon-Tyne||Sandy Lane, Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE3 5HB||B, T, Q|
|Norwich||Jupiter Road, Hellesden, Norwich, NR6 6SS||B, T, Q|
|Southampton (Northam)||Unit R Centurion Industrial Estate, Bitterne Road West, Southampton, SO18 1UB||B, T, Q|
|Watford||Unit A, Caxton Court, Caxton Way, Watford, WD18 8RH||B|
Print off and fill in the MSVA application form.
Print off and fill in the Partial MSVA application form.
What happens next
DVSA will inspect your vehicle at the test station you’ve chosen and issue a Minister’s Approval Certificate (MAC) if it passes. You’ll need this certificate when you register your vehicle.
Mutual Recognition scheme
if you’re importing a vehicle that’s been approved and registered in the EU
- Getting vehicle approval
Get vehicle approval to show that your imported vehicle meets environmental and safety regulations. You’ll need proof of approval to register the vehicle.
You might not need approval for a vehicle that was first registered or manufactured more than 10 years ago – check the exemptions.
If the vehicle’s not registered in the EU
To get approval for a vehicle that’s not registered in the EU, apply for either:
- Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA)
- Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) if it’s a 2, 3 or smaller 4-wheeled vehicle
If the vehicle’s registered in the EU
Get a European Certificate of Conformity from the manufacturer to show you have approval for an EU-registered vehicle.
You also have to get a certificate of Mutual Recognition if it’s a left hand drive vehicle.
Getting a certificate of Mutual Recognition
Use the application form for your:
Apply for IVA instead for a lorry or goods vehicle over 3,500kg.
There’s a £100 fee. Send your application to the address on the form. Attach receipts to prove you’ve made any required alterations, eg fitting a speedometer to display miles per hour.
Get help with Mutual Recognition
Contact the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) if you’re unsure whether your vehicle qualifies for Mutual Recognition.
Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)
Telephone: 0300 330 5797
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
From August 2015, you can’t apply for a Pre-Registration Inspection (PRI). You’ll need to get your vehicle approved instead.
You can get approval for a type of vehicle (rather than each individual vehicle) through: