Vehicle Certification Agency - Home PageVCA Offices - Click to view our global locations  

Home Page > Vehicle Type Approval > FAQ's - Type Approval

FAQ's - Type Approval & Legislation

This area contains some of our Frequently Asked Questions specific to Type Approval. Other FAQ areas that may be of interest are as follows

ECWVTA - commonly asked questions

FAQ's - General

ECWVTA - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's - Importing A Vehicle

FAQ's - Fuel Consumption

What is type approval?

Type approval is the process which ensures that vehicles, their systems and components, meet the appropriate environmental and safety standards. Currently the scheme covers new road vehicles, agricultural tractors, motorcycles and off road vehicles. Further, more detailed information is available within this website.

Where can I find information on EC directives and ECE regulations?

Go to the Legislation area of our site for more information

Is there a list of equivalence for the international legislation regarding Seats & Seat Anchorages?

VCA deals with European legislation such as ECE Regulations and EEC Directives. For the purposes of European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval, Reg 17.04 is viewed as being equivalent to ECE 17 for Seats & Seat Anchorages.

The EC has a Mutual Recognition Agreement with Australia, which covers the recognition of test reports to the majority of Australian Design Rules (ADR's) to EC Directives. The Directive EEC 74/408 equates to ADR 3/01 and ADR 3/02 under this agreement.

Unfortunately VCA is not involved in the FMVSS scheme due to the difference in approach of the scheme to the European one.

Can "Gopeds" be legally used on the road?

Type Approval

EC Directive 92/61, as replaced by Directive 2002/24/EC (as amended), introduced European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval for Motorcycles. 92/61, as amended, applied from 17/6/99 to all motorbikes/mopeds of a type not previously used (not just in the UK but anywhere). This means that "Gopeds" of a type in use before 17/6/99 could be registered but would have to comply with the requirements of the Construction and Use Regulations for use on the road (see below). This all seems rather unclear as there is no definitive list as to what was in use before the date. From 17 June 2003 however all bikes registered need to be approved to 2002/24/EC (as amended), unless specifically exempt.

Construction and Use Regulations

The view is that these vehicles are classified as mopeds. This appears to be the same interpretation as several other Member States. On this basis therefore the requirements of C&U should apply to this type of vehicle.

However, another issue is the definition of a motor vehicle in C&U. Part of this definition includes the application of C&U to vehicles, which are intended or adapted for use on the road. Some have argued that existing Gopeds in theory have not been designed for use on the road and cannot be adapted for use on the road therefore the current legislation can be viewed as not applicable.


In addition, in the Vehicle Excise and Registration Regulations, the scope of application relates amongst other things to mechanically propelled vehicles and requires them to be registered, taxed and insured. Gopeds fall into this category. Through this therefore comes in the interpretation that as this is applied, riders need to be properly licensed for the category and can be charged for such offences as drunk in change etc. To date, we believe that such court cases on Gopeds have been held at Magistrates courts that cannot set precedents or set case law.

In Summary

Overall, there is still no positive decision available. Enforcement of this appears to be down to the Police but often the charges are for road offences as opposed to the interpretation of the definition of the vehicle. As the position is unclear, for further guidance or information we suggest that you contact the Transport Technology and Standards Division (TTS) on 020 7944 2062 .

What is involved in obtaining type approval for an electric scooter / motorcycle?

A full list of all applicable Directives can be found here: /vca/vehicletype/motorcycle-image.asp

Where can I get information on the rules governing the conversion of vehicles i.e. a Goods Vehicle into a campervan etc?

Once a vehicle is registered in the UK, it only needs to comply with the requirements of the Construction & Use Regulations and the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations. Copies of these are available from the Stationary Office or possibly at a local library. There may however be separate requirements for the carriage of compressed gas for heating etc.

Do I require type approval to sell aftermarket products within Europe?

There are requirements relating to aftermarket tyres, lamps, mirrors, silencers and replacement brake linings but not body panels. Once fitted to a vehicle however, in the UK, that vehicle must then adhere to the Construction and Use/Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations. Other member states may have their own national arrangements that you should make yourself aware of.

Is there any legislation concerning the ride height of vehicles or the allowed height of speed bumps?

VCA is unaware of any legislation regarding either of these matters. You could try contacting your local council highways department. Alternatively you can try e-mailing the Highways Agency on or visit their website at (links to another site).

Where can I have a component EMC tested?

The up-to-date list of EMC approved laboratories can be found in the following publication: Where to obtain EMC Approval (PDF 89.2KB).

Those organisations that are authorised as "Technical Services" will manage the entire process for the client. They will provide a price for the complete test including the VCA fees for the issue of the approval certificate.

If the client wishes VCA to act as the Technical Service, VCA can witness the test work being carried out at any of the above laboratories. The client will take out a job number (order reference) with VCA and be responsible for making the test booking with the test laboratory, paying the test laboratory and paying VCA for witnessing the test and issuing the approval certificate.

How do I acquire an 'E' mark for an advance warning triangle as per ECE Reg 27?

VCA is approved to issue approvals to this standard using appointed agents to carry out the test work. On completion of the testing, reports are submitted to VCA so that we can issue the final approval certificates. The British Standards Institute (BSI) is one of the agents we currently use for this work.

How can I find out about legal requirements for a new kit car in terms of safety e.g. are there specific dimensions, weights, lighting requirements which need to be met?

In the UK, all vehicles must comply with the Construction and Use Regulations 1986, as amended and Road vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended. Consolidated versions of these publications are available from Public libraries or can be purchased from organisations such as the Office of Public Service Information (links to another site).

For a kit car prior to registration, you would need to obtain Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). The IVA scheme is run by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). You can contact them at:

Contact Centre
The Ellipse
Padley Road
Tel: 0300 123 9000
Fax: 01792 454 313

How can I find out more about the World Manufacturer Indexing (WMI) scheme?

The scheme is managed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) at the following address:

Contact: The UK WMI Coordinator
BSI British Standards
BSI Group Headquarters, 389 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 4AL, UK
T: +44 (0)20 8996 9000
F: +44 (0)20 8996 7187