SVA test changing

To all in the U.K,
I was wondering if anyone had any insight into what the changes may be when the SVA test is phased out next year and the new test is brought in. Rumours abound that this is just a stepping stone to full type approval. I'm probably/almost definitely NOT going to get my car ready in time for SVA before April 2009 when the new IVA test is to be phased in, so I'm a little concerned about what the changes may be.
I've gone for an injected car, so I'm hoping I've played it safe on emmissions.



Statement from Andy Burrows from GD cars... (Cobra/T70 mfrs)

SVA & the future for specialist car builders

There seems to be a lot of anxiety in the air about changes to the SVA, some fearing it is coming to an end and so no more kit cars. We thought it appropriate to offer some rationale and dispel anyone’s concerns regarding amateur status.

As we at Gardner Douglas are advised, the newly named IVA proposed to take effect in Spring 2009 will replace the current SVA with only insignificant minor changes to the current test procedure and maybe a review of the fees. To put peoples minds at ease, there will continue to be a system in place for single amateur built vehicles and I have been told there is no long term plans for this to stop. So, if you’re currently half way through your build, or thinking about starting one, proceed as planned and don’t panic but do take note of the categories below.

It is likely that amateur built cars submitted for test (currently cat ‘A’ SVA) will need satisfactory proof of amateur status, people are already experiencing this request from VOSA, but this should be no problem as I am sure anyone building a car takes pride in documenting their build progress.

There are likely to be some changes in the way low-volume vehicles are submitted and tested and the quantities allowed, the details of which will not be confirmed for some time. Whatever changes are introduced, we at Gardner Douglas will respond accordingly to ensure our factory “turn-key” cars continue to remain compliant.

Gardner Douglas has been involved with the SVA since the beginning, from the early consultation days as founder members of both STATUS and the ASCM to being the first Cobra replica to be SVA tested. Be assured, we will continue to produce cars and kits that meet and exceed the standards of SVA and the future IVA.

It is worth pointing out the reason for the pending changes are partly due to the abuse the system has suffered. Our industry is not solely to blame, but there continues to be sufficient misuse that has attracted attention by the powers that be, and hence the tightening up. Problem areas have been where a vehicle is submitted as Cat.’A’ amateur-built yet professional built on the owner’s behalf or, where the car may be submitted under Cat. ‘C’ with a falsified engine date or origin (either way to avoid a current emission requirements). In this day and age, with pressure on the government to combat emissions, it is hardly surprising such antics attract attention.

Less obvious to some might be how they go about completing and registering their newly imported “turn key minus”. Having spent a large amount of money for a company abroad to produce you a near complete car minus the engine, to maintain Cat. ‘A’ amateur status you could find yourself having to completely dismantle it and rebuild it again taking photos along the ways as proof. Or alternatively you assign the job over to a company to complete, they cannot use Cat ‘C’ as it does not use parts from a previous UK registered donor so it has to be put through as Cat. ‘L’ - but of course this means the car will then need an emission friendly engine.

One might also wish to consider the potential Insurance implications – If a car has been wrongly SVA’d and is involved in an accident resulting in a large claim, the underwriters could wish to examine thoroughly the vehicles particulars in seek of any counter claim. If their findings were to expose any doubt as to the vehicles description/specification one could be arguing for a very long time over the payout. Think on!

We can’t change the past, but for new persons starting out thinking of building a kit or buying a newly built car from ANY manufacturer/supplier from 7’s to GT40’s to Cobra’s etc. etc. it is important to ensure the car will comply with one of the following current categories:

Category A = Amateur-built A vehicle the majority of which you have built, or which has been built by someone on your behalf who is not in the business of building motor vehicles, i.e. not doing it for a living. The emission test will be based on the engine age so any age or origin can be used.
GD example: You build the car from one of our kits plus related parts.
A GDJAG based car would get an “age related” registration plate.
A GDEURO or GDT70 would get a new plate. This type requires all parts are new with the exception of one major item so a rebuilt Chevy/Ford V8 can be used.

Category C = Vehicle built by a person in the business of building vehicles using parts of a vehicle registered in Great Britain The engine and at least one other major part must come from the same donor vehicle. You must provide the donor registration number, engine number, and a list of parts used. The emission test will be based on the engine age.

GD Example: We build a GDJAG based car for you with an engine sourced from the same vehicle – a highly unrealistic proposition for GD since we don’t offer cars that use the donor engines.

Category L = Car built by low-volume manufacturers. The engine will be tested to current emission compliance.

GD Example: We build a car for you fitted with an EFI engine to comply with emissions, hence our introduction of the GM LS range of engines.
A GDJAG donor based car would get an “age related” plate even though the engine must still meet current emissions. A GDEURO or GDT70 would get a new plate as all parts are new with the allowance of one major part “as new” if applicable, e.g. a transmission.

I hope the above clears any confusion, however, if you have any queries you should contact VOSA or your respective kit manufacturers who should be able to provide you with any relevant information of the new IVA as it becomes available.

Andy Burrows
Gardner Douglas Sports Cars
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