SVA/Legalities of Conversion

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SVA/Legalities of Conversion

Postby Greenbeast » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:09 am


I'm new here, considering an EV conversion project.

Am i right in thinking that a vehicle only needs SVA if it is younger than 10 years old and otherwise i should just follow this procedure:

geekygrilli wrote:Hi Richard

I'll give answering your questions a go... I had a bit of difficulty getting DVLA to recognise my car has changed to Electric, but its not a difficult process...

1. You need to complete the modifiations and get the car road worthy.
2. Trailer the car to your local MOT man. Explain in advance what it is, and that everything is standard, except for the fuel type. Also explain that you are then going to take it to the DVLA.
3. Insure your car, Peter Best are good, I think.
4. Book it in for an inpection at your local DVLA office, they'll inspect it - just to make sure that it is no longer petrol.
5. They will change the V5 (well, send it off to swansea), and they should issue a FREE tax disk there and then.
6. Drive your car!

The people at the DVLA (swansea and my local office) didn't really know how to go about the changes when I did it, but I think I was just unlucky.

They insisted that I show them a 'Certificate of Change'; so I made one which was just a copy of the LPG form. Its not official, or approved in any way, but it was good enough for them! PM me your e-mail address and I'll send you the form.

The inspection at the DVLA is not an SVA at all. The chap just wanted to look under the bonnet - I didn't even have to take it off the trailer.

Hope this helps?


I want to get this cleared up before i invest too much time or money


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Postby Jeremy » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:09 pm

You only need to go through SVA if you radically alter the vehicle. Just changing the engine to an electric motor isn't classed as a radical alteration, so there's no need to go through SVA.

There are some exceptions, related to vehicles that weren't subject to type approval, but in general any vehicle that is road legal before conversion doesn't need to go through SVA just because it's been fitted with an electric motor.

If you want to know more, then there is chapter and verse here:

In essence, they apply a "points system" when determining whether or not alterations to a vehicle are radical enough to warrant SVA, based on the parts of the original vehicle that have been retained. Provided that you retain the body shell, running gear, brakes, suspension, steering etc from the original vehicle, and provided that the original vehicle is registered in the UK, then you should be fine when doing a conversion.


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Postby Greenbeast » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:47 pm

Thankyou for the concise reply

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Postby geekygrilli » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:02 pm

My understanding of the DVLA inspection is just to confirm that you have made a modification that entitles you to drive tax free.

I asked the DVLA, hypothetically, if I had dropped a big fat V8 in my car and increased its tax band would they need to inspect it - they said 'no'.

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Postby qdos » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:04 am

Just to let you guys know that SVA is no more. IT's been replaced by the IVA. (happened 10 weeks ago)

As Jeremy says though if you are simply changing the engine to an electric motor then you needn't go through IVA. I was at a seminar Tuesday with VOSA DVLA and other Kit Car manufacturers discussing the new IVA. VOSA and DVLA are keen to help make the IVA work and see that it does not close the door to amateur and specialist builds

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