The Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval Scheme
Guide to the Approval of Non Type-Approved Motorcycles,
Three Wheelers and Light Four Wheelers.
What is the Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval Scheme?
The Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) scheme
is a pre-registration inspection for mopeds, motorcycles,
three wheelers and quadricycles that have not been type-approved
to European standards. The main purpose of the scheme
is to ensure that these vehicles have been designed
and constructed to modern safety and environmental standards
before they can be used on public roads. The scheme
entered into force on the 08 August 2003.
Why do we need MSVA?
MSVA checks that vehicles constructed for non-European Economic
Area markets comply with British law. Even vehicles outwardly
similar to European-specification models, but intended for
other markets, can often be unsuitable for use in Britain
without at least some modification. (For further information
on importing a vehicle see the Department’s leaflet PI5 ‘How
to Import your Vehicle into Great Britain’). MSVA recognises
certain non-European technical standards as acceptable alternatives
to the MSVA requirements.
MSVA also checks that the construction of amateur-built vehicles,
rebuilt vehicles and vehicles using parts from a previously
registered vehicle meet modern safety and environmental standards.
It also provides an alternative to type approval for vehicles
manufactured in very low volume.
What vehicles are within the scope of MSVA?
(a) two wheeled mopeds and motorcycles,
(b) three wheeled vehicles, and;
(c) light four wheeled vehicles.
Will MSVA affect you?
Generally, your vehicle will need to be approved under the
MSVA scheme and issued with a Minister’s Approval Certificate
(MAC) if it is up to 10 years old and is not covered by EC
type approval (or similar national approval from another European
Economic Area Member State that is equivalent to the technical
requirements of GB Single Vehicle Approval).
MSVA will be applied to the following :
an amateur built vehicle
a vehicle manufactured in very low volume
a vehicle manufactured using parts of a registered
a rebuilt vehicle (mandatory if first licensing and
an imported vehicle without type approval.
DVLA may also require radically altered vehicles and rebuilt
vehicles to be examined.
Recognition of Foreign Single Approvals
If your vehicle has been singly approved by another EEA Member
State to standards equivalent to those of British MSVA, it
is eligible for a Ministers Approval Certificate on that basis.
You must provide evidence of the actual standards to which
the vehicle was tested by or on behalf of the authorities
What is tested?
Most of the items inspected in the MSVA scheme are those that
are tested when manufacturers apply for type-approval of mass-produced
vehicles. The following table lists the items inspected.
How are the
For MSVA, all the inspections are undertaken at selected testing stations operated
by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), an executive agency of The
Department for Transport. These tests can also be conducted by VOSA Examiners
at “designated premises” if certain conditions are met. Please contact VOSA on
the National Number for further information - 0300123 9000.
Although virtually all of the items tested are those in European Type Approval
they are not tested in the same way. To keep the fee to a level affordable by
individuals, the examiner will conduct an engineering assessment. This check will
be in the form of either visual inspection or a simple test on the vehicle to
ensure that it complies with the regulations.
The examination will be limited to parts of the vehicle which can be readily seen
without dismantling. However, the presenter may be asked to open lockable compartments
and remove engine covers, inspection/access panels, trims or carpeting. This is
to allow access to items subject to examination. Consequently, because vehicles
are inspected individually, the tests are not destructive or damaging in any way.
A Minister’s Approval Certificate (MAC) under MSVA is issued when the examiner
is satisfied that the vehicle would meet the requirements of the regulations in
relation to the design and construction of the vehicle. Unlike the MOT, the examination
is not primarily concerned with vehicle condition (although poor condition may
make it impossible to assess whether some construction requirements are met).
Conditions relating to the presentation of vehicles for test
The examination of a vehicle may be refused for any of the following reasons :
the vehicle is not submitted for examination at the appropriate time and
the fee has not been paid,
the vehicle cannot be driven or has insufficient fuel or oil to enable
the test to be completed,
the vehicle is presented in a dangerous or such a dirty condition that
the test cannot be carried out,
a load or items on the vehicle are not secured or removed as required,
a proper examination cannot be carried out because any door, tailgate,
boot lid, engine cover, fuel cap or other device designed to be readily opened
cannot be opened,
the condition of the vehicle (in the opinion of the examiner) is such that
a proper examination of the vehicle would involve a danger of injury to any person
or damage to the vehicle or any other property,
the vehicle does not display, permanently, in an accessible position and
readily legible, the required vehicle identification number, or
the driver does not remain in the vehicle or its vicinity and operate the
controls, etc. as requested.