The SMMT (the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders) has declared that it has managed to negotiate a Van Enhancement Scheme which will remove the need for UK manufacturers and van bodybuilders to need to seek Type Approval on vehicle modifications.
A Potential Bureaucratic Nightmare
N1 vehicles (from April) and N2 vehicles (from October 2014) would have had to seek something called Whole Vehicle Type Approval, or WVTA. This would remove the requirement for things like racks, ply lining, certain bodywork modifications and so on, to be approved.
SMMT Defending Trade Industry
SMMT Commercial Vehicle Manager Mr Nigel Base said that the SMMT had “worked hard to achieve this crucial Type Approval change that will avoid unnecessary paperwork and save UK businesses thousands of pounds every year.. “we have found a solution that works for all parties while maintaining safety standards for those converters making basic modifications to panel vans. This sort of administrative burden could have forced some firms out of business, but thanks to close collaboration with industry partners and government, this will now be avoided.”
Cooperation and Consultation
This move is critical when considering Van Quote Direct blog’s previous articles regarding the success of a Luton-style van modifier amongst others. SMMTs work will help the small companies concerned a great deal, given that small companies form the bread and butter of the British economy. It also comes as commercial vehicle insurance companies are starting to include certain modifications (within reason) in their policy quotes.
The new scheme shows that consultation between organizations such as the SMMT and the Department for Transport can indeed work. It also heralds future consultations to protect the industry and ultimately, individual tradesmen and companies, whilst at the same time upholding manufacturer standards.