Sva And Registration

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This page needs updating by someone who has been through the IVA…. please!!


This page is not intended to be a complete guide to the process of SVA and registering your car. A great site already exists for this and so this page is really just an overview of the process and covers the SVA1 form specifically for the Pilgrim Sumo.

For lots of info on the process check out this site: TotalkitCar

Preparing for the SVA

Get a copy of the SVA manual and read through it, it seems massive but lots of the sections aren't relevant so can be skipped. (draft copies can be downloaded from the internet and are perfectly good as a guide)
Get some local cobra builders to come round and go over the car, write a list of all the things they point out and fix each one.
Browse through the Cobra Club Forums and look at as many posts as you can on other peoples failure points. Most of the model specific forums have sticky posts on the common SVA failure points.

The SVA Kit page gives some info on parts supplied by Pilgrim to help prepare for the SVA.

SVA Application Paperwork

Filling in the SVA application paperwork can be a bit daunting for many people.
There is a service run by an ex DVLA employee called Paul Jepson who will do all this for you and the registration paperwork for about £35, this is certainly good value if you want to avoid any hassle, but if you want to save yourself £35 (which we all do after a long expensive build) and have the experience of doing all yourself below is some help on the process and filling in the forms for yourself.
Pauls details are here.

SVA procedure:

1. Call up your local SVA station to request an SVA application form, SVA1. A list of stations is available here SVA Stations See below for example answers to the SVA1 form questions.
2. Complete the form and return to them.
3. They will then send you details of the appointment date/time and may request further information from you, such as photographic evidence that the car has been built by you. You will also have to sign some declaration paperwork and send this back.
4. Attend the SVA appointment, once passed you will be given a MAC certificate.
5. Enjoy a beer and relax you've done the hard part.
5. Take a photo copy of this certificate as it's a real milestone as you will have to give it to the DVLA to get your car registered.


Once you have your MAC, before you can drive the car on the road you must register and then tax it. To do this you will need to complete 2 forms and send them off or take them to the DVLA office. It's best to do this before the SVA to avoid a length delay after you've passed.

Watch out, the DVLA charge a fortune for calling them on the 0870 numbers and keep you on hold for ages. When you call them you will only get through to a central office. To avoid this complete con, try using this site SAYNOTO0870 to find an alternative number for your local office.
As a starter, the non 0870 number for the general DVLA switchboard is 01792 782341. :)

Also as part of the registration you will need to have the car inspected by the DVLA. It seems different DVLA local offices have different ways of doing this, some will happily inspect your car before you have passed the SVA (as long as all the main parts/chassis number/engine number are in place), some will even come to your house to see the car. Other offices may insist you trailer the car to them only after you have a MAC in hand.

The forms that need to be completed are:
V627/1 - Apply for a Built Up Vehicle Inspection Report (V627/1) available from here V627/1

V55/4 or V55/5 - the V55/4 is for cars built with all new parts you wish to get a new registration plate for. The V55/5 is for builds using an age related plate, most likely for amateur sumo builder. When you send this off you need to send some other stuff with it, such as utility bill, proof of ID etc, more info available here.

SVA1 FORM - Sample answers

To save me typing I've summarised the questions, please feel free to expand anything here I've not explained well:

Q1 - Veh ID or chassis number - this is the number you can make up, 17 digits seems to be the norm and Pilgrim suggest you put "PS" - Year - your phone number.
E.g PS200801792782341

Q2 - Make - Pilgrim
Q3 - Model - Sumo Mk III
Q4 - Presenter - you
Owner - you
Q5 - Station - put the local or most convenient station to you.
Q6 - Date of test - choose a date you can get the car ready for.
Q7 - Time - up to you.
Q8 - Type of Veh - Passenger
Q9 - Class of Veh - Tick A - Amateur-built.
Q10 - leave blank
Q11 - current year
Q12 - Engine type - probably petrol, non-turbocharged, the rest you'll know.
Q13 - Max road speed - used to check the tyres are rated suitably, 100mph should do it.
Max engine power - this is used to determine the RPM the engine will be set at to test the noise level. The lower you put here the less likely you will be to have a problem with this test, but watch out as the SVA inspector isn't daft. For a Rover 3.5 a value might be 3600 RPM. If you have dyno sheet you may want to present this, or you may not ;)
Q14 - ABS - probably not.
Q15 - This question is only relevant for goods vehicles, but the figures are:

Axle 1 Axle 2 Gross Train
600kg 650kg 1250kg 1750kg

Q16 - Can leave blank.
Q17 - Year of engine manufacture - state year/date and if possible attach proof of engine date.
Q18 - Can leave blank.
Q19 - Can leave blank.
Q20 - Can leave blank.

That's it. Sign, date etc and send off with a cheque made payable to "VOSA", the fee amount is detailed at the back of the form.

V55 - Sample Answers for age related plate:

1. Leave Blank
2. Leave Blank
3. 12 Months (assuming you want tax for 1 year)
4. Leave blank
5. Pilgrim
6. Sumo
7. Sports/Convertible
8. 2 axle Rigid
9. Your colour
10 - 15. Leave blank
16. 2 seats
17 - 21. Leave blank
22. 0
23. Leave blank
24. Leave blank
25. Date your donor was first registered
26. Date your donor was first registered
27. Leave blank
28. Leave blank
29. Petrol (probably)
30. Your made up 16+ digit VIN
31. Your engine number
32. Engine size in cc.
33-41. Leave blank
42. The current year
43. the first half of your home postcode.
44-46. Your details
47. Leave blank
48. Leave blank
49. Tick 2No"
50. current odometer reading

sign date and send off.

What to expect at the SVA test

Your visit to the test centre will probably be controlled by nerves , but it is a good frame of mind to expect a fail simply because a pass is a bonus and the fail will give an indication of what is needed to get your MAC certificate.
The testers are normal folks like you and I, but they have a job to make sure the car you built is in a roadworthy condition in a series of high profile tests. The 1st job may be the speed calibration test making sure the gauge conforms to the actual speed or 10% thereof. The emissions will be tested at this point also making sure they conform to required levels or below.
The ramp will be the next destination where the examiner will check throughout the car, inside and out checking all radiuses levels and general rules that comply with regulations, the ramp will then be lifted and the underside checks will take place including steering/footbrake and handbrake checks. The lights will be the next issue where all lenses and workings will be made to ensure they are marked with the 'E' European standard mark and are in working condition etc.
Once satisfied the examiner will conduct the brake tests which include a pressure pad on the pedal to make sure enough pressure is on the pedal whilst braking, and a series of tests where the engine is and is not running.
The last stage will be the db test which will see if your exhaust noise level is below the level set, the examiner will then briefly drive the car checking general items like self steer.

What to take

Make sure you take some refreshments because it is not a short test, probably 4/5hrs. But some important things are as many different photographs of the build (like behind the fuel tank where the seat belt anchor points are) and the build manual. I also took the Haynes manual for the donor cars engine criteria which is classed as official. But the most important things are tools and spare fixings like cable, ties spare bulbs etc.

How to get there

It is always a good idea to trailer the car to inspection because some testers require the car in a cold state, and make sure you arrive at least 1hr before appointment time giving enough time to off load the car and checking things before testing… Enjoy

DVLA and registration

After the car has passed you will receive a MAC certificate and will need to send this to the DVLA office along with relevant paperwork. Normally it will take 3/4 weeks for an appointment date to arrive but it all depends on how busy they are so you may get lucky.
The man from the DVLA may come to you to do the inspection of the car, but it may speed things up a bit of you take the car to the office. The car should be taken by trailer to and it will just be a case of an inspector checking the engine/chassis numbers making sure they are true to your car, remember to leave the car as it was when it passed the sva.
Once satisfied they will offer you an age related plate if relevant and issue a tax disc, both normally within 1hr.

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