it might be useful to include a section on SVA testing and vehicle registration.
My experience of both these processes is mixed, SVA was not the most pleasant
experience I'd ever had yet registration was particularly painless.
a chassis number is required before booking an SVA test so I'll cover
- Contact your
local vehicle registration office (find it in yellow pages) and ask
for one of their inspectors to come and inspect your car and allocate
a chassis number. The car needs to be substantially complete though
not necessarily road ready.
- Make sure you
have all receipts to hand and the registration document for the vehicle
which supplied the running gear.
- The inspection
carried out is very basic and the registration number you will ultimately
be given is determined by the age of the donor vehicle (if all parts
came from 1 vehicle) or how many new parts are used. 'Q' registrations
are not now the norm for kit cars unless the parts used come from
a number of different vehicles thus making it too difficult to determine
the age your car.
- In my case I
bought the full kit from Ginetta including the mechanical package.
The inspector decided that I had used enough new parts to be allocated
a new registration (W reg in my case).
- If he had decided
that I had not used enough new parts then I would have been allocated
an age related plate. This means an old 'Y' registration as the Ford
Sierra the engine came from was a 'Y reg'.
- If you're not
bothered about what registration number your car gets, it can be an
advantage to retain an age related plate. If the donor car was old
enough you could find your shiny new kit car is tax exempt on the
grounds of age. Also some classic styled kits look better and more
authentic with an 'old' registration.
- the inspector
will allocate you a chassis number on the spot which means you can
then book your SVA test and arrange insurance for driving to and from
- After a successful
SVA test it's a simple job of turning up at your local vehicle registration
office with the test certificate, insurance cover note and a wad of
cash. You'll get your tax disc straight away and your registration
document arrives in the post later.
with a chassis number you can book your SVA test through the DVLA at Swansea.
They will book a test for you at the station of your choice but if the
appointment isn't suitable, maybe your car wont be ready in time for the
date you anticipated, I found that by phoning the test centre direct they
are very helpful.
given here is based on my experience of putting a Ginetta G27 through
the SVA test at the Beverley test centre in May 2000. Variations may be
experienced using a different test centre or testing a different model
- Turn up at the
test centre with an almost full tank of fuel, this is required for
determining the laden weight of the car.
- The centre catch
on the hood fastening above the windscreen would not pass SVA so I
attended the test without the hood. You will see as this story unfolds
that the car can only be tested as seen, so the watchword is "If
you think a component might fail, leave it at home!".
- Rear view from
a door mounted mirror is difficult on the Ginetta as the rear wheel
arch seriously restricts your view. Use a clamp on mirror high up
on the 'A' pillar to gain maximum rear view.
- Acrylic headlamp
covers will distort the beam, leave them at home and fit them later.
- A fancy steering
wheel may not pass the test, use the donor car item and swap it later.
my car failed first time around.
- Item 6 - Interior
Fittings. The heater control knob protruded more than 9.5 mm from
the dashboard. As it's mounted in the centre console it is outside
the exclusion zone around the steering wheel.
Pull off the standard mini control knob and bend the lever over by
90 deg. Cover the lever with a piece of plastic tubing.
6 - Interior Fittings. Though well hidden by the dashboard the
dashboard support frame brackets and the wiper motor (in the passenger
footwell) were deemed to have exposed sharp edges.
Cover offending items with offcuts of interior carpet.
9.3 - Aim of headlamps. I had checked that I was allowed to carry
out the relevant adjustments at the test centre though I could have
attended a local MOT station to carry out alignment beforehand.
14 - Protective Steering. The torsional rigidity of my steering
column was not up to standard. Talking to the examiner, simply stiffening
the under dash area where the column bolts through would not be suitable
as this would then fail on not allowing the column to break away forwards
in case of an accident.
A bar was laminated under the dash between the centre console and
the outside edge of the dashboard. Where the column is bolted up I
cut slots facing forward instead of simply drilling holes. This allows
the column to break away forwards in case of an accident.
15.1 - Vehicle Design and Construction. On both the clutch pedal
and the rear shock absorber mounting bolts there was not enough thread
showing through the nyloc nuts.
Fit 1/4" longer bolts.
15.2 - Vehicle Design and Construction. The wiring to the rear
lights in the boot was deemed as being inadequately protected against
snagging. The irony is that I had left the carpet out of the boot
to show him what a good job I'd made of the wiring. (Remember, tested
Fit the boot carpet.
16.5 - Brake Performance. No non slip brake or clutch pedal rubbers
were fitted. I simply forgot.
Solution: Fit rubbers
16.5 - Brake Performance. Brake performance criteria not met with
regard to front/rear bias. This is a dodgy one as you have no means
of setting this up without their test gear. The test consists of weighing
and measuring the car, strapping a load cell to your foot to determine
how much pressure you apply to the pedal, testing brake efficiency
on a rolling road then feeding all the data into a computer. Unlike
the examiner the computer does not listen to your protestations and
spits out one of two words.....Pass or Fail.
Fairly easy on the Ginetta by adjusting the bias bar on the pedal
assembly. But note that if you chooose to use an inline regulator
valve to adjust brake bias it must be able to be made tamper proof
17 - Noise. The exhaust system as fitted failed the noise test.
Ginetta supplied a replacement but this was also unsuitable.
Burton Power supply a decibel insert which reduces the noise to an
acceptable level but you pay the price in slight loss of performance.
21 - Design Weights. Ginetta supplied the design weights to enter
onto the application form. Actual weight was outside the tolerance
- Sign a declaration to say that I made a mistake when originally
filling in the application form and give the new weights based on
their weighbridge figure.