About the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)

The VCA is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport

We are an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport and exist to improve vehicle safety and environmental protection by providing robust testing and certification to internationally recognised standards.

Designated by the Secretary of State to discharge their statutory responsibility for operating national and UNECE type approval schemes, we approve most categories of new vehicles from locations in the UK and overseas. We have also been designated to act as the UK authority for the certification of packaging and intermediate bulk containers used for the transport of dangerous goods.

With more than 40 years’ experience, we have become one of the largest and well-respected approval bodies around. This position has been built on a reputation for technical expertise and quality, which is at the heart of everything we do.

Key Activities

  • Type approval, which is confirmation that production samples of a vehicle, system or component design will meet specified performance standards.
  • Conformity of Production (COP) testing which is a means of evidencing a manufacturers’ ability to produce a series of products that exactly match the specification, performance and marking requirements outlined in the type approval documentation.
  • Certification of packaging and intermediate bulk containers used for the transport of dangerous goods and the appointment of Authorised Inspection Bodies.
  • Provision of a fully searchable automotive legislation data on a subscription basis. We can provide copies of all automotive European Union and UN ECE legislation in a number of ways, and supply interested customers with up-to-the-minute information on key dates associated with the legislation though our LegStat system.
  • Provision of car and van fuel /CO2 databases, which aim to provide data for most new cars and light vans available for sale in the UK.
  • Enforcement of fuel consumption and CO2 data provision in promotional literature.
  • Other certification activities, including but not exclusive to Non-road Mobile Machinery, Vehicle Special Orders and individual vehicle certification for vehicles approved and registered in an EU member State.

Our Locations

Our main headquarters are located in Bristol, with an office and test facilities on the HORIBA MIRA site at Nuneaton and at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Milton Keynes.

Our Dangerous Goods team is based in Leatherhead, Surrey.

Overseas, we have offices in North and South America, Japan, China, India, South Korea and Australia.

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