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How to import your vehicle permanently into Great Britain
"Bi-purpose vehicle" means a vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage of both goods and not more than 8 passengers, not being a vehicle to which the Motor Vehicles (Type Approval) (Great Britain) Regulations apply (i.e. not a passenger car, dual purpose vehicle, motor caravan or motor ambulance). Bi-purpose vehicles are thus subject to goods vehicle type approval, or if up to 3.5T gross weight, alternatively SVA.
"Dual-purpose vehicle" means a vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage both of passengers and of goods or burden of any description, being a vehicle of which the unladen weight does not exceed 2,040 kilograms, and which satisfies the following conditions as to construction, namely:
a. the vehicle must be permanently fitted with a rigid roof, with or without a sliding panel;
b. the area to the rear of the driver's seat must -
i. be permanently fitted with at least one row of transverse seats (fixed or folding) for 2 or more passengers and those seats must be properly sprung or cushioned and provided with upholstered back-rests; attached either to the seats or to a side or the floor of the vehicle; and
ii. be lit on each side and at the rear by a window or windows of glass or other transparent material having an area or aggregate area of not less than 1,850 square centimetres on each side and not less than 770, square centimetres at the rear; and
c. the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the back-rests of the row of transverse seats satisfying the requirements specified in sub-paragraph b(i) above or, if there is more than one such row of seats, the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the back-rests of the rearmost such row must, when the seats are ready for use, be not less than one-third of the distance between the rear most part of the steering wheel and the rear most part of the floor of the vehicle.
"Hearse" means a motor vehicle intended for the transport of deceased people and having special equipment for such purpose.
This shall be interpreted as a vehicle:-
- having an enclosed glazed area to the rear of the driving position,
- being fitted with a permanent deck of suitable length to accommodate a full size coffin
- incorporating bier fittings such as coffin stops and/or rollers, and
- not fitted with any seats or seat mountings below the deck/bier, (although storage space may be provided).
"Light Goods Vehicle" means a motor vehicle used for the carriage of goods and having a maximum gross mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.
"Minibus" means a vehicle constructed or adapted to carry more than 8 but not more than 16 seated passengers in addition to the driver.
Specific requirements for a minibus are set out in Schedules 6 and 7 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended.
"Motor Ambulance" means a passenger vehicle intended for the transport of sick or injured people and having special equipment for such purpose.
The interpretation applied to this definition is as follows :-
The vehicle shall be readily identifiable as a vehicle used for the carriage of sick, injured or disabled people to or from welfare centres or places where medical or dental treatment is given by being permanently marked “Ambulance” (or “Ambiwlans”) on both sides
The vehicle must have the following equipment or characteristics;
- An optical warning system ie a blue warning beacon (or special warning lamp) or a device which fulfils the same function
- An acoustical warning system
- One operational 12v socket for medical devices in the patient’s compartment
- The electrical supply system shall consist of at least four separate sub-systems as follows;
- basic system in non-equipped vehicle
- supply system for specific body mounted devices
- supply system for patient compartment
- supply system for communications.
Apart from the basic system, (the pre-converted vehicle system) the road ambulance body shall not be used as part of any of the supply systems. (ie it must be an insulated return system)
- A communication system;
- with a transceiver permanently installed
- connected to external antenna(e)
- A permanently fitted bulkhead;
- separating the driver’s compartment from the patient’s compartment,
- if fitted with a door that the door is self closing while the vehicle is moving and is secured against self-opening,
- having one or two windows with a minimum separation of 100mm, and
- any permanently fitted window;
- shall be made of material displaying an “e” or “E” marking
- shall have a maximum area of 0.12m²
- shall allow direct visual contact with the driver
- shall be secured against opening
- shall have an adjustable blind or other means of preventing the driver being disturbed by the light of the patient’s compartment.
- External Windows;
- positioned or screened to ensure patient’s privacy,
- displaying an “E” or “e” marking.
- Restraint Systems
- All positions for occupants on board shall be fitted with a permanent restraint which when subjected to a force of 10g shall prevent the occupant becoming detached such as to create a hazard to the safety of other persons on the ambulance.
- All items (eg medical devices/equipment /objects) on board shall be fitted with a permanent restraint and when subjected to a force of 10g shall not become detached such as to create a hazard to the safety of the persons on the ambulance.
- The maximum distance the patient, the stretcher and any item attached to either the holding assembly or stretcher may travel is 150mm.
- It shall be possible to release all persons in the ambulance without the use of equipment on board the ambulance.
- An audible and/ or visual signal shall warn the driver when any door is not completely closed when the vehicle is in motion.
"Motor caravan" means a special purposes passenger car constructed to include living accommodation which contains at least the following equipment:
- seats and table,
- sleeping accommodation which may be converted from the seats,
- cooking facilities, and
- storage facilities.
This equipment shall be rigidly fixed to the living compartment; however, the table may be designed to be easily removable.
The interpretation applied to this definition is as follows
Seats and a Table
- Are required to be an integral part of the living accommodation area, and mounted independently of other items.
- The table must be capable of being mounted directly to the vehicle floor and /or side wall.
- The table mounting arrangement must be secured as a permanent feature, (bolted, riveted, screwed or welded), although the table may be detachable.
- Permanently secured seating must be available for use at the table.
- The seats must be secured directly to the vehicle floor and/or side wall.
- The seats must be secured as a permanent feature, (bolted riveted, screwed or welded).
- Must be an integral part of the living accommodation area.
- Either beds or a bed converted from seats (to form a mattress base)
- Secured as a permanent feature, with base structures bolted, riveted, screwed or welded to the vehicle floor and / or side wall, (unless the sleeping accommodation is provided as a provision over the driver’s cab compartment.
- That are an integral part of the vehicle living accommodation and is mounted independently of other items.
- That are secured to the vehicle floor and / or side wall.
- Secured as a permanent feature, (bolted, riveted, screwed, or welded.
- The cooking facility must consist of a minimum of a two ring cooking facility or a microwave in either case having a fuel/power source.
- If the cooking facility is fuelled by gas having a remote fuel supply, the fuel supply pipe must be permanently secured to the vehicle structure.
- If the cooking facility is fuelled by gas having a remote fuel supply, the fuel reservoir must be secured in a storage cupboard or the reservoir secured to the vehicle structure.
- Storage facilities must be provided by a cupboard or locker.
- The facility must be an integral part of the vehicle living accommodation, ie mounted independently of other items, unless incorporated below seat/sleeping accommodation or the cooking facility.
- The storage facility must be a permanent feature, (bolted, riveted, screwed or welded).
- The storage facility must be secured directly to the vehicle floor and / or side wall, unless a storage provision is provided over the driver’s cab compartment.
"Passenger Car" means a motor vehicle which is constructed solely for the carriage of passengers and their effects or is a dual-purpose vehicle and which –
i is adapted to carry not more than 8 passengers exclusive of the driver and either has four or more wheels or, if having only three wheels has a maximum gross weight of more than 1,000 kg,
ii. has three wheels, a maximum gross weight not exceeding 1,000 kg, and either a design speed exceeding 50 k.p.h. (31 mph) or an engine with a capacity exceeding 50cc, and is not a motorcycle with or without a sidecar attached.
Note: Larger vehicles such as Limousines with bench seating arrangements can be approved, subject to the applicant declaring that the vehicle is only suitable for carrying up to 8 passengers.