Wagon's IVA Experience


New member
I did post this up on my project thread - but here's a copy for easy finding as I think I am the first IVA-er. I'll answer any questions I can :)

Well as you all know, yesterday (14th may) I took my Freestyle to VOSA in Carlisle for it’s Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) test.

Here are some pre test pics:







I went with the understanding that it would probably fail – and it did, but over all I would say it was quite positive, and I’m am pretty pleased with the outcome – Most of the fixes are minor issues which I should be able to resolve simply enough.
So in the most long winded way possible – here’s what happened.

Before going for the test, I supplied some information to the DVLA.
This included:
1. £450
2. V5C from the Donor Mini (Registration Doc);
3. Pics of the build (From frame up);
4. Receipts of the build; and
5. An “amateur build declaration”.

After this paperwork has “passed” the test centre contacted me by phone and arranged a date. He sent me a letter with my appointment via email. Turns out none of the info sent to the VOSA gets to the actual test centre (except the so if you go for your test take the V5C from the donor with you to prove which year the motor is from – I forgot mine and that alone would probably have cost me £90.

Taking “extra” padding might be a suggestion, but in all honesty I don’t think he would have let me away with putting more on during the test. If you have an engine cover bolted on then a means of removal is a good idea.

The test
Basically the test was undertaken by working through the test manual (it was open and he referred to it continuously – So as many of you are building to the book you should be fine  Some sections he definitely looked at much more than others (listed below).



The test centre was simply a garage which had some ramps and some rollers for various tests.
If the buggy is less than 400KG is can be classified as a motor cycle.
Mine was nearer 600 in completed form.

This was the first test. He used a small almost like a knock sensor which he ran near the motor and checked for sound. I passed easily with a single (all be it large) silencer.

He took the buggy away from this so I didn’t see him do it. He wanted to see the V5C for proof of the engine age. I failed for running too rich (1200HC is the limit I had nearer 2400)

Fuel Tanks
He had a look (no too detailed) and was happy at that (behind seat tank). My breather is hidden and he didn’t even ask. He had a look to see if the cap was tethered.

Rear Registration Plate Space
I bolted up an old number plate (backwards) to show where it should go. I didn’t have the front one on (or a position for it really)

Steering Effort
On the way to the other part of the centre he drove it and tested the steering ( – which passed!)

Indirect Vision
I had some mirrors :)

Brake Systems
He undertook a visual inspection of the brakes and suspension while the buggy was on the ramps – during this time he asked me to operate various controls while he was looking. He checked the cap had markings on it, as did he check the test light.

Brake Performance
This was done wheel by wheel (until lockup) on a rolling road. Parking brake failed.

Interior Fittings
He said as it was “open framed” most of the interior fittings would become “exterior”.
I failed this section for not having a anti slip (rubber) cover on my brake pedal.

Anti - Theft / Immobiliser
My steering lock wouldn’t activate (after I wrecked the previous ignition switch I hurriedly reinstalled another one which didn’t lock after removing the key) – Fail.

Protective Steering
He had a bit of a look at the steering column and seemed happy

Seat Strength
He looked over the seats & their mounts and seemed happy. I explained they were from an Elise

Exterior Projections
This was a tough section. He really got stuck in with his radius too and metal ball thingy. Basically anything “sharp” above the bumper line was uncool. He picked me up on a couple of things (even though I thought I’d been thorough) these included:
1. Edges of front suspension housing
2. Edges of the mirror mounts
3. Some of the chassis tube where it didn’t have a 2.5mm radius (where I hadn’t used the grinder enough)
4. Edges on the rear shocker mounts
5. The edge of my speedo (but not rev counter as this was more than 200mm from the edge of the buggy – he measured)



New member
Speedometer and Reverse Gear
He checked the speedo on a RR

Statutory Plates
I had an inscribed plate on the steering column and I stamped the number into the frame on the passenger side. Fail – Should have been drivers side!

Seat Belt Anchorages
He had a bit of a look and I explained that I had copied Lotus and mounted the belts onto the seats – he was happy.

Installation of Lights
He checked they all operated. He didn’t measure them particularly. He said I could adjust my headlights on the day with his test rig. He requested that I either cut off some “bonnet” or space the headlights for easier adjustment (as mine touched the bonnet)

Retro Reflectors
Mine not visible enough – fail.

Direction Indicators
Not visible – side repeaters – fail. As the buggy is less than 2600mm they can go nearly anywhere on it. He suggested front mudguard would be best.

Rear Fog Lamps
I put it on the wrong side (dummy) – Fail.

Wheel Guards
He got out an enormous protractor type instrument.
My rear guards did not go low enough at the back – Fail.

Masses and Dimensions
He weighed the buggy quite extensively. It came up 222 axle one, 376 axle two. I wrote a gross design weight of 740 KG onto the application – It weighed in at a calculated weight of 748kg – Fail.
He suggested using 300 axle one, 500 axle two, 800 gross for the retest.

He had a bit of a look to make sure they were e-marked (I think)

General Construction
He commented that my tie bar bolts didn’t have nylocks and that one locknut on my adjustable suspension wasn’t tight enough – Think that may have been a fail too.

So that basically concluded the test. I think if I was to do it again, I would definitely get a 2.5mm radius tool and a 100mm sphere for the sharp bit test.


Great post Wagon I think a few people on here will be reading your post very carefully . Good luck for the retest based on your experience now it should go through without a hitch




New member
No problem man!

Think I would also sit and go through each point in the manual before the test. I did this but ages ago and got confused about a couple of things (position of fog and stamps for example) :)


Now that is a useful read. Well done that man. This is the bit that scares me more than the build lol

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mini Mad Max

Active member
Thanks for all the detail. Really helpful. Would you hire yourself out as a pre IVA scrutineer? :p Haha. Good luck with the retest.


New member
if I take lots of pics of mine after is passes that'll give you an idea of the "Spec" Max.

I'd get yourself a 100mm ball and something with a 2.5mm radius - and pay attention to what side things go on!

Mini Mad Max

Active member
Oooh handy, I'll put them on my shopping list. I think the DVLA centre is pretty close to the IVA test centre in carlisle. When you retest you could possibly get it registered just after? :)


New member
Mini Mad Max":169tf8ut said:
Oooh handy, I'll put them on my shopping list. I think the DVLA centre is pretty close to the IVA test centre in carlisle. When you retest you could possibly get it registered just after? :)

Yep - just up by asda. Going to try!!


New member
couple of snaps for you guys - places to watch out for...

Sharp edges:

"why?" you say?


and here

and here (tube ends)

And anywhere 200mm in from side as its open frame - except control mechanisms (ie pedals and key)

The cage tubing is OK (think Mark asked?)

Hope they are of some help to somebody. Maybe you should save these pics Danny for future ref?


New member
Very Useful I think I will keep my freestyles for the field as I just dont have the time for all the detail!!


New member
Very usefull write up.

I have a radius tool and have started checking alot of the edges and parts to see if they are ok. I know i am going to have a few problems with some parts but hopefully most bits should be ok. Luckily on mine the nosecone hides alot of the front sharpe edges. Great to see one finally got through the dreaded IVA test, hopefully the start of many. ;D


New member
Have just been thinking what a nonsense this test is.....

My buggy is now safe and road worthy after being through it's IVA test. Yesterday I found my rear nearside castlated nut 75% undone because it had no split pin in it!

That could have been exciting!

At least there are no sharp edges on my speedo ::)


Staff member
So true, I seem to remember me having exactly the same issue, I was lucky that I was running discs on the back, that & the caliper was the only thing stopping the wheel going it's own way.