New Type Approval scheme will save bodybuilders £10m per year, says SMMT16 July 2014

A new streamlined Type Approval process could save bodybuilders and converters more than £10 million a year, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The SMMT has worked with the Department for Transport and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) to develop an alternative National Small Series process claimed to deliver a 15-fold reduction in the complexity of approving commercial vehicles for use.

More than 55,000 multi-stage-built commercial vehicles are registered in the UK each year – many could now be approved through the alternative Type Approval process.

The only practical option to date has been for the bodybuilder to use the DVSA Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme, but this is time consuming and costly.

Currently, a bodybuilder has to create a new 'type' for each different base chassis. This could result in more than 60 approvals – a major financial and administrative burden.

The new system enables vehicles of the same category and number of axles to be approved under one type, reducing the number to just four.

"The new Type Approval process ... could save the vehicle conversion and bodybuilding industry more than £10 million a year," comments Mike Hawes, SMMT's chief executive.

"By streamlining the hugely complicated and fragmented approval process, bureaucracy can be cut significantly, easing the pressure on over-stretched IVA centres."

Laura Cork

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