Motor Caravan Certification

This page was last updated on 21st February 2020

Historically, some European Member States have operated their own set of national requirements for Motor Caravans. However, Directive 2007/46/EC, as amended, introduced a European-wide certification scheme for this kind of vehicle. Existing national arrangements will apply until the application dates outlined below. The key application dates are:

ECWVTA application dates for Motor Caravans
Category New Type Optional New Type Mandatory Existing Type Mandatory
M1 Special Purpose 29th April 2009 29th April 2011 29th April 2012

Type approval is the confirmation that production samples of a design will meet specified performance standards. The specification of the product is recorded and only that specification is approved.

Automotive EC Directives and UN Regulations require third party approval – testing, certification and production conformity assessment by an independent body. Each Member State is required to appoint an Approval Authority to issue the approvals and a Technical Service to carry out the testing to the Directives and Regulations. An approval issued by one Authority will be accepted in all the Member States.

VCA is the designated UK Approval Authority and a Technical Service for all type approvals to automotive EC Directives and UN Regulations.

Routes to certification

Until the relevant application date for your particular vehicle category (outlined above), existing national arrangements will be in place. However, once the relevant application date applies, the following routes to certification will be available to you:

European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA)

EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) is based around EC Directives and provides for the approval of whole vehicles, in addition to vehicle systems and separate components.  This certification is accepted throughout the EU without the need for further testing until a standard is updated or your design changes. Motor caravan manufacturers may be able to take advantage of the provisions which are set out for special purpose vehicles

Read more about European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval

Low volume/Small Series Manufacturers

Full EC whole vehicle type approval (ECWVTA) won’t suit everyone, particularly those manufacturing vehicles in low numbers.  In recognition of this fact there are a number of other approval routes available, including:

National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA)

National Small Series Type Approval is a UK national scheme for low volume manufacturers who intend to sell only in the UK. The advantages of NSSTA are relaxed technical requirements for some subjects, reduced Conformity of Production (CoP) requirement, and reduction in administrative requirements. Like ECWVTA, once the design is approved, individual vehicles do not need to be tested.

Read more about National Small Series Type Approval

Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA)

Individual Vehicle Approval is a UK national scheme and the most likely route for those manufacturing or importing single vehicles or very small numbers. IVA does not require CoP as it is based on inspecting each vehicle, although most bodybuilders and converters will work with manufacturers to ensure there is no warranty compromise.

Under IVA, vehicles have to be inspected by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in Great Britain or the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland.