3. 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:

  • passenger cars
  • goods vehicles
  • buses and coaches
  • trailers
  • 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
DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1ZZ

Basic and normal IVA

There are 2 levels of IVA inspection: basic and normal.

Basic IVA

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
  • personal imports
  • amateur built vehicles (kit cars)
  • rebuilt vehicles
  • very low volume production vehicles
  • ambulances
  • motor caravans
  • hearses
  • 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.

Normal IVA

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.

Model reports

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.

Cost of the scheme

You have to pay a fee for DVSA to inspect your vehicle.

What happens next

Wherever possible, DVSA will inspect your vehicle at the test location you’ve chosen and issue an Individual Approval Certificate (IAC) if it passes. You’ll need this certificate when you register your vehicle.

Appeal against a refusal

You can appeal and have a re-examination carried out by an independent inspector if your vehicle doesn’t pass its inspection and you’re not satisfied with the decision.

You must make your appeal within 14 days of the decision and you’ll have to pay a fee. This will be refunded, either partially or fully, if your appeal is successful.

You mustn’t modify the vehicle before the appeal inspection.

You can appeal by downloading and filling in the IVA notice of appeal.

Read part 8 of the DVSA guide on the IVA scheme for more information about appeals.