22 SVA & Registration

SVA Preparation

The Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) test (now superseded by IVA - Individual Vehicle Approval) is administered by the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) for the purpose of obtaining a Minister's Approval Certificate (MAC) which is required to register the vehicle (image 1). The test is concerned with standards of construction (unlike the MOT test, which is concerned with condition). These standards are outlined in the SVA or IVA Inspection Manual (obtainable direct from VOSA) which I recommend kit car builders obtain (cost was £35 at time of writing).

The SVA test is an obstacle which all kit car builders must tackle. In principle, it is good that these construction standards exist or we could have all sorts of lethal concoctions on our roads. There are, however, some mind numbingly curious regulations.

The current NG designs are basically SVA friendly but there are a few things to watch out for. Most of these are highlighted in the build manual but different test centres may interpret the regulations a little differently. What I have outlined in SVA Particulars, therefore, is only my experience and is issued with a health warning! Care and attention to detail is the key.

Pre-SVA Check

As I did not want the car's first journey to be to the SVA test centre, I took it on a trailer (photo 2) to some private land and drove it a few miles. I then also obtained an MOT certificate for it. This preparation gave me a bit of confidence - it was then just the weather to worry about!

SVA Test

You are allowed to drive to the pre-arranged test without number plates (photo 3) or tax but you must, of course, have insurance. This can be issued temporarily on your chassis number.

The test took around 3 hours (including tea, coffee and burger breaks!). It was mainly conducted indoors (photo 4) but with outside tests (photo 5) for steering self-centring, brake skid test and mirror fields of view. The only attention needed to the car during the test was a slight re-alignment of the headlamps.

Note that SVA and registration procedures should be checked with VOSA and DVLA as they may be subject to change.