Once upon a time in Britain there was a growing industrythat provided kits for converting rusting relics to fun and exciting 30's-style roadsters and many other forms, using GRP body tubs and a host of replica 'period' fittings and accessories. Building these cars provided enjoyable involvement and spare-time occupation for thousands of people, and driving them around on summer weekends was a fun activity that harmed no-one.
Every car built had of course to pass an MOT test, that ensured that it was mechanically safe and met all statutory requirements regarding lighting, seat belt anchorages, structural strength etc. etc. Then about 10 years ago, for no apparent reason at all, the DVLA introduced the 'Single Vehicle Approval' process for all kit-built cars, involving conformity with a host of ridiculous reguirements about 'minimum radius' edges, BS approved steering wheels and so on, that it isvirtually impossible for any period-style kit car to meet. Almost overnight, a useful and fun British industry was killed, and thousands of long-term builders were left with part-complete vehicles they could never hope to get on the road. Now the regulations are being even futher tightened to bring all those existing kit cars that are 'incorrectly registered' – that is, still retain the base 'donor' car identity – into the net, even if they have been on the road perhaps for years, been taxed and MOT'd etc..
There is simply no need for these laws. Kit cars can never meet regulations designed for mass production vehicles – they are lightweight 'specials' generally used for low-mileage weekend fun driving by their dedicated owners. They can never be as 'safe' for the drivers as the steel tanks produced by the car industry, but are safer for both driver and pedestrians than road-legal motorcycles, trikes or cycle/sidecar 'combos', by a very wide margin. There is no history of any particular problems associated with kit cars – on the contrary, insurance premiums are typically low, because kit cars tend NOT to be involved in accidents.
To revive a quirky British industry and to restore the freedom to have a bit of fun to all those who own or would like to build a kit car, the requirment to go through an SVA/IVA test should be abolished and replaced by an extended initial MOT test carried out at a local garage, to ensure build standard, general safety, and conformity with all statutory requirements, but no more.
Why does this idea matter?
This law is typical of all those apparently minor ‘regulations’ that limit the freedom of ordinary people to enjoy themselves in a contructive way, with no harm to others. There was no demonstrable problem, so no new legislation was required. This regulation simply represents control for the sake of control, and should be repealed at the earliest opportunity.