LAS Motorhomes

IVA Test Options

Importing RV Motorhomes


American RV Motorhomes that are imported outside the EU and are up to 10 years old, now need an IVA test before they can be registered in the United Kingdom.

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.

Working out your budget

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.

Purchasing an older vehicle?

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.

Purchasing a newer vehicle?

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.

  1. The motorhome must not exceed 2.6 metres wide. This measurement should be taken from the flat panel or any none removable trim which exceeds 10mm (slide-out sections are exempt from this measurement).
  2. LAS would need to be contacted before a purchase is made just to make sure that everything is intolerance.
  3. The work that is required to get an American RV motorhome through an IVA test is quite in depth. A rough idea of costings would be about £4,500.00 - £5,000.00, this includes LAS completing all the required paperwork.

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:

This picture shows the awning light which is exempt from the width measurement as it classed as an auxiliary lamp

This photo shows a rain guard over the entrance door. If it is not removed the guard will be included in the width calculation even though the protrusion is less than the awning light on the left

This picture is showing a slide out topper which is allowed to be fitted if it has a maximum protrusion of 100mm, over 2 metres in height as the picture shows it is just over and needs to be removed

Slide out topper picture

The decorative front grill has large holes in it. These holes have no radius’s around them which would cause the vehicle to fail an IVA test. Don’t be put off because a little ingenuity and you can see that we have used some fly screen material to cure the problem

Body trims up to 10mm protrusion is exempt

Slide out sections are exempt

If you need to measure the width of the motorhome, it is the best policy to carry out the same process as the IVA Inspectors.

Use a weight and some string (a plumb line), place the string against the flat panel and drop the weight to the floor, once on the floor you can make a mark

Carry out the plumb line procedure on the other side of the motorhome, also making a mark on the floor. Measure between your two lines and that is the width of the motorhome, NO WIDER THAN 2.6 METRES

Once you have established the correct dimensions and they are within the requirement you are ready to purchase and import your American motorhome.

On-site inspections for used vehicles in the UK.
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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
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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