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Modifying Your Mini Without Falling Foul Of The Law


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#1 Ethel

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 07:55 PM

New EU regulations that will take effect in 2012 will prohibit the modification of new cars, this won't effect your Mini as it's already on the road.

There are other regulations that already apply that you should be aware of:

If you repair or modify a vehicle that already has a registration number then, in order to retain the original registration mark:
CARS AND CAR-DERIVED VANS MUST USE:
• The original unmodified chassis or unaltered bodyshell (i.e. body and chassis as one unit – monocoque); or
• a new chassis or monocoque bodyshell of the same specification as the original supported by evidence from the dealer/manufacturer (e.g. receipt)
AND two other major components from the original vehicle – see list below
• Suspension (front & back)
• Axles (both)
• Transmission
• Steering assembly
• Engine


If you use a second-hand bodyshell for a rebuild
, the vehicle must pass an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) test; after which a “Q” prefix registration number will be allocated.


If you build an extensively modified car based on one that's already registered it may be classed as a RADICALLY ALTERED VEHICLE
This covers vehicles which are substantially altered from their original specification, but which are not kit conversions.
In these cases the vehicle components used from the original vehicle will be given a numerical value and, in order to retain the original registration mark the vehicle must score eight or more points.
If less than eight points are scored or a second-hand or modified chassis/frame or an altered monocoque bodyshell is used an IVA certificate will be required to register the vehicle and a “Q” prefix registration number will be allocated.
The following values will be allocated
to the major components used:
• Chassis or bodyshell – monocoque (original or new)*........5
• Suspension (front & back)............................................2
• Axles (both)...............................................................2
• Transmission..............................................................2
• Steering assembly.......................................................2
• Engine.......................................................................1
*Direct replacement from the manufacturers

These regulations are enforced by the DVLA, they can oblige you to submit your car for an inspection to check that it complies with any that are relevant to your car. That might be because of a roadside spot check or because discrepancies between the car and its details recorded on your V5 registration or the DVLA database are noted at an MoT test. DVLA have the power to withdraw your V5, putting your car off the road. You could appeal against the decision to withdraw your V5 if you could prove your car did meet the criteria, but you wouldn't be able to swap a few parts and ask for another inspection.

If the V5 is withdrawn the only way to get it back on the road is to put the car through an IVA inspection.

IVA's are designed to ensure cars produced in small numbers and by amateur builders (kitcars etc.) are made to a minimum safe standard. The inpections are conducted by VOSA, the same organisation that administers MoT tests. The test would be conducted at a VOSA test station and is much more thorough, and expensive than an MoT.

DVLA guidance leaflet - Inf26

IVA Information

IVA inspection Manual


#2 Ethel

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 08:18 PM

I've put this topic together as a summary suitable for pinning.

Please make suggestions if you think it needs altering or adding to. but bear in mind it needs to be concise and as factual as possible . Perhaps the easiest method would be to edit the existing text using a different colour for any alterations you suggest. - Or write a short reply if it's a commentary or 1st hand report on dealing with the issues.


Thanks again to Craig and Garrett who've done the real work on this.


#3 Ethel

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 12:09 AM

I agree with everyone else, its concise and explains everything it should.

Althought a few examples of what is and isnt a substantial change. ie, would fitting a rear beam axel be considerd as a suspension or axel change, or both?

Mabe thats just something the law needs to clear up rather than your description. these things can be very misleading at times.


id say both...

and cheers ethel! great job


I don't think you'll get a precise answer without a DVLA inspection - when they'll have to make a judgment to stand by. My hunch is you won't have any issues with bolt on mods but alterations to the shell, especially ones that alter the Mini shape, or perhaps an engine swap that isn't A series might earn a closer look from the DVLA.

Hopefully it won't come to it, but if anyone does have dealings with the DVLA or VOSA a write up in this topic will be a big help so we can check that the rules are applied with some consistency - that is consistently in our favour :)

#4 mike.

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 12:40 AM

Well that points system works pretty well then for the majority of mini owners.

Like my plans for example, won't involve touching the chassis, steering or axels. So that still leaves my free to do whatever i want with the engine, brakes, suspension and transmission.

The only people i can see this effecting badly would be the engine conversion people. Seeing as though your average VTEC conversion involves a new front chassis assembly whilst at the same time altering suspension and transmission etc, you've lost a huge amount of your points there...

Unless you lose points judging by how many mods have been made in the area. For example a front engine conversion doesn't alter the shell massively so do you lose all of the 5 points.

Also with the points system, am i right in thinking that all Z cars will need an IVA and be on a Q plate?

#5 garrett3

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 08:49 AM

Well that points system works pretty well then for the majority of mini owners.

Like my plans for example, won't involve touching the chassis, steering or axels. So that still leaves my free to do whatever i want with the engine, brakes, suspension and transmission.
The only people i can see this effecting badly would be the engine conversion people. Seeing as though your average VTEC conversion involves a new front chassis assembly whilst at the same time altering suspension and transmission etc, you've lost a huge amount of your points there...

Unless you lose points judging by how many mods have been made in the area. For example a front engine conversion doesn't alter the shell massively so do you lose all of the 5 points.

Also with the points system, am i right in thinking that all Z cars will need an IVA and be on a Q plate?



Altering the brakes, suspension and tramsmission will all effect the points system so you have to just be carefull to have enough points left to ensure the car is still original enough to retain its registration.

If you elongate the front of the shell to fit a larger engine then yes it will count as a mod to the chassis/monocoque construction, also alot of vtec/honda engine conversions have bulkhead mods so they can fall foul too not to mention the points on the engine, transmission, steering, brakes etc that you have lost by doing the conversion.. Alot of these cars "may" need an IVA. I know this may not seem clear but it comes down to each car and what the mods are present on each vehicle. one car may fall foul and another may not but alter the body at your risk.

Z cars are a prime tartget yes

Edited by garrett3, 31 July 2009 - 08:51 AM.


#6 Ethel

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:25 AM

The points can't be split, if the body is judged to be modified you'll lose all 5. I suppose the gist is you can build something like a Minus (with a new but not original body) and retain the registration of the donor. You could use a different engine, but either way you'd need an IVA certificate.

The grey area seems to be defining a structural modification to a monocoque - that's where some "case law" from anyone who goes through the process will help us.

Can we try not to turn this in to another discussion thread. By all means raise points that you think need clarification, and offer an answer if you think you're sure of the facts. The objective is to build an informative guide

Suggested Q & A format:

post your question in Arial font, when answering copy the question into your reply and answer in Book Antiqua - that way we can easily edit them into one Q&A post.

I'm going to cut holes in my floor so passengers can propel it like the Flintstones, in order to improve my urban mpg. Will I need an IVA?
Fred
Yes, and it would fail!
Wilma


#7 Ethel

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 10:07 AM

If my mini hasn't been finished and on the road by 2012 will it be a problem?
(gregh55)
It shouldn't be, as long as it already has a registration number. The law will only effect cars first registered after 2012, we'll be able to continue modifying any older ones
(Ethel)


Add the next question by replying to this post and typing a new paragraph above this line - put your username at the end :)

#8 Ethel

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 10:27 AM

If my mini hasn't been finished and on the road by 2012 will it be a problem?
(gregh55)
It shouldn't be, as long as it already has a registration number. The law will only effect cars first registered after 2012, we'll be able to continue modifying any older ones
(Ethel)


My mini already has a Q plate, I don't need to worry about modifying it further do I? it's not like I can get a Q plate again....though it will come in with the very modified category
(mini93)
That could be one of those grey areas, there's nothing that says Q plates are exempt, but how would they know what modifications are new? IVA would be more relevant than the DVLA worrying about trading standards things.
(Ethel)


With my Mk1 I'm going to struggle to keep it on the road on its original plate on this points system as I only have the steering, axles and suspenson along with the original unaltered shell. I work that as 11 points?
I was going to make it a fast car with uprated brakes and suspension. I think thats going to take it under 8. But how is an MOT station realistically going to know whats been done to the car?
Basically my question is...will altering the brakes, and suspension take the points under? I can't see how much they are worth in points.
The car is currently SORN and will not be finished before 2012...if that makes any difference.
(Mk1)
If a tester reports anything, it's only likely to be discrepancies between the V5 and car; chassis/engine numbers, colour etc. An unmodified body and original gearbox score 7 so you'd only need 1 more point anyway. If you were unlucky enough to get reported it might be worth swapping a few bits back before the DVLA inspect it. Too few points won't put you (permanently) off the road, they'll lose your registration number and earn you an IVA to reregister it
(Ethel)


#9 miniman_78

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 07:52 AM

With my Mk1 I'm going to struggle to keep it on the road on its original plate on this points system as I only have the steering, axles and suspenson along with the original unaltered shell. I work that as 11 points?

a new chassis or monocoque bodyshell of the same specification as the original supported by evidence from the dealer/manufacturer (e.g. receipt)
AND two other major components from the original vehicle see list below
Suspension (front & back)
Axles (both)
Transmission
Steering assembly
Engine

It won't affect your car.

Edited by miniman_78, 16 August 2009 - 07:52 AM.


#10 Tupers

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 10:56 PM

So if I tubbed and turetted my rear arches and fitted coil overs would my car have to be reregistered on a Q plate? >_<

#11 Ethel

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:55 AM

We can't say that's impossible, though unlikely.

#12 suvla

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:19 PM

i honestly think that moving to austrailia and getting the mini shipped there is a better option , begin the saving!! i dont like these rules the way i see it imho it just ruins peoples fun

#13 scoticus

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:36 PM

does this effect flip front minis?

#14 miniQ

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 07:10 PM

so if i buy a zcar mini in lets say 2013 and i want to register it as a new car will i not be able to? im a minor atm and get a bit confused with all this stuff :thumbsup:

Edited by miniQ, 19 November 2009 - 07:12 PM.


#15 CMcB

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 04:53 PM

Z-cars should put the car through its IVA so it should be fine. If in doubt speak to Chris at Z-Cars, he will know all the ins and outs about getting his cars past the test.




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