What is an IVA test? Well, some people would call it an INCONVENIENCE vehicle approval, or individual voluntary arrangement, which has nothing to do with American RV Motorhomes but is a Government alternative solution to bankruptcy. Joking apart, IVA, in this case, stands for Individual Vehicle Approval.
The idea behind this test is to control the registration of vehicles that are too long or too wide for our British roads. As well as this, it is to make the vehicles comply with another set of rules and statures, called construction and use, more of this later.
At present, there is a decline within the American Motorhome RV industry, due to the difficulty people are having importing motorhomes from outside the EU, including the IVA test. We at LAS believe that by using our professional experience and knowledge, we can make the journey to getting your American RV easier and more affordable.
At LAS Motorhomes the team pride themselves on the quality and complexity of the work they do in their fully equipped workshop. We feel it is now time for us to offer customers IVA tests without any hassle or inconvenience to them.
This service will allow customers to choose and buy their motorhome from America – please talk to us before you purchase one. Once the vehicle arrives in the UK, LAS will then take over for you. We will collect your motorhome from the docks (if required) and bring it to our workshop, carry out the conversion work for you and present it for its IVA test. Once the vehicle has passed its IVA test it can then be registered, again we will do this for you taking the hassle out of completing lots of paperwork.
As the IVA test is an offshoot of an SVA (Single Vehicle Approval), the items and the guidelines are open to interpretation, this means one VOSA tester interprets the rules one way, whilst another has a different interpretation. VOSA has released an IVA inspection manual which states the rules and measurements that each vehicle has to comply with making it easier to understand what alterations the vehicle will need. However, as the American RVs come in all sizes and shapes it is difficult to prepare a single quote that would apply to any American RV. What we have done is to work out an average costing of 9 vehicles which have all had IVA tests and passed. These vehicles were of various makes and sizes, therefore giving an overall guide. The average price for the work needed prior to the test and presentation and also includes the fees for the IVA test.
If you are thinking of importing an American RV Motorhome in from the States then you will need to budget approximately £4,500.00 into your calculations.
The first thing that I will bring to your attention is that you will be looking at prices in dollars, the exchange rate can go up and down constantly so you need to keep an eye on it.
The second thing you need to put in the equation is how much extra you will have to pay on import duty and VAT when the RV enters the United Kingdom.
You will need the purchase price of the American RV motorhome taken from the purchase invoice which will be in dollars plus the shipping costs, these will also be in dollars. Take the purchase cost and the shipping cost add them together and then add 10 percent to the total. Now take the purchase price and the shipping costs + 10% figure which is in dollars and convert the total to pounds using the up to date exchange rate.
If the vehicle you are purchasing is under 10 years old you will need to present the motorhome to VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) for an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) test.
When you decide to purchase a motorhome 10 years and older you are not required to take the motorhome for an IVA test. In this case, you will have to pay the same import and VAT charges but will only need to present the vehicle to an appropriate MOT (class 4) testing station after you have had the road lights converted to EU standard. This conversion work will consist of making sure the indicators flash separately to the brake lights, the motorhome has a rear fog lamp and has white side lamps to the front, just to name a few alterations.
If you decide to import an American motorhome newer than 10 years old and present the motorhome for an IVA then here are a few rules you must obey.
A few things to bear in mind is that nowadays new American RV motorhomes are very hard to come by. After 2006 they started to become rarer, this is due to the fact that the value of them does not seem to be dropping, this could sway your decision.
Here are a few pointers to help you with the technicalities:
When you decide to purchase an American RV motorhome the first thing people need to do is to collect as much information about it as possible, which the majority of you do.
The dilemma you have is where you get the information from. For instance, if someone is selling a Thor Hurricane motorhome then they may think that this is the best motorhome that your money can buy, but is it? How can you be sure? Next, people tend to look on forums, where everyone is an expert… Usually an expert at guessing the answers!
Can LAS Motorhomes help you decide how to spend your money wisely on an RV Motorhome? I think we can, as I have helped many owners to safely purchase their dream RV Motorhomes with confidence. Let me do an on-site inspection of the vehicle for you.
First of all, I would make sure that the floor plan is right for you and suitable for your requirements, then look at the best type of motorhome that you can buy with the money that you are going to spend. Give me a call (John Beesley), and I can discuss with you which models to look at as well as the ones I would recommend you should avoid, this will help you to start your search. Only when you are certain that you wish to buy a specific American motorhome will I travel out to it and inspect it for you. After all, think about it, you wouldn’t buy a house without having a surveyors report done first would you?
With a private sale, your warranty is usually very limited whereby a dealer will give you 3 months. How can you be certain the dealer has inspected it or has the knowledge to examine it thoroughly? To be honest, most warranties are a bit like a lottery, some American motorhomes are sold without even being serviced. If you as the new owner report problems they will fix them for you within the warranty period. What if you miss something or do not notice some major deterioration on part of the motorhome, like if you buy the motorhome in the summer, you may not know the roof is leaking until winter and then the vehicle is out of warranty. This is where I can be very helpful and save you money, I will fully inspect the motorhome on your behalf and check all of the systems, TV, water, awning, gas, a roof for leaks, slide outs, chassis, engine, LPG system and much more.
On completion of my inspection, I will present you with a full written report on the condition of the RV motorhome, allowing you to know what you are about to buy or walk away from. There are many advantages to having a report done before you buy, one is that it can reduce the time you have to spend going back to the dealer for repairs, and another is that you can get any repairs done that the motorhome needs before you part with any of your money.
Do not hesitate to call us if you are serious about importing an American motorhome, we will endeavour to help you as much as we can.
Please call John on 01604 861999 just to make sure you have all your dimensions correct, LAS motorhomes may have already put a vehicle the same as yours through an IVA test.
Please be advised that VOSA do revise the IVA manual periodically and the revisions do need to be checked by yourself or by LAS motorhomes.Download IVA Manual
All dimensions were correct at the time of publication. We strongly recommend that you seek professional advice before you put your Motorhome through an IVA inspection.
LAS Motorhomes cannot be held responsible for any changes or revisions to the VOSA IVA manual and/or any liability for costs of failed inspections, incorrect calculations, exchange rates or any other issue that may arise from reading this case study.
To find out more about the latest legislation please call LAS Motorhomes on 01604 861999