Type Approval

What is Automotive Type Approval?

Automotive Type Approval basically is the confirmation that Production samples of a Design will meet specified performance standards. The specification of that product is then recorded and only that specification is approved. This may be a Whole Vehicle such as a Trailer, Goods vehicles (Small and Large Trucks), Buses and Coaches or Passenger Cars and Motor Cycles.

You may be a converter of these vehicles such as a Multi Stage Builder of Vans or Small Trucks or converting vehicles for Motor Homes or Camper vans or Horse boxes; you may be the Manufacturer of Trailers such as Boat Trailers; Catering Trailers to name a very small selection.

Type Approval may apply to components on the above vehicles if you are a Component Manufacturer; examples such as Lights, Tyres, Certain types of Electrical equipment and Glass to name a few.

Type Approval also applies to additional components such as Crash Helmets and Child Seats.

You may be a Retread Tyre Manufacturer and need to comply with the Relevant Automotive Type Approval Legislation.

Techy Stuff!

Since 2009 (Before that date for certain categories of Vehicles) up to the final date of October 2014, there has been a sliding timescale for the requirement for a range of Vehicles including; Cars, Trailers (Large and small Trailers) such as Boat Trailers, Catering Trailers as examples, Buses and Coaches, Motorcycles, Goods vehicles (Including Multi Stage Build Manufacturers such as convertors of Small trucks to Tippers, Flat Beds or Van conversions to Camper Vans or Mobile homes to name a few; to comply to some form of Approval.

This may be to the overriding Directive Framework 2007/46 (as last amended) ; European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA), National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) or Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) or the Enhancement Scheme for relatively minor modifications to certain categories of Small Goods Vehicles.


See Vehicle Categories (More Techy Stuff)

Vehicle Categories taken from 2007/46/EC (as last amended by 2015/166)

Vehicle categories are defined according to the following classification: (Where reference is made to “maximum mass” in the following definitions, this means “technically permissible maximum laden mass” as specified in item 2.8 of Annex I of the above Directive.)

Category M: Motor vehicles with at least four wheels designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers.

  • Category M1: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat.
  • Category M2: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, and having a maximum mass not exceeding 5 tonnes.
  • Category M3: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, and having a maximum mass exceeding 5 tonnes.

Category N: Motor vehicles with at least four wheels designed and constructed for the carriage of goods.

  • Category N1: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass not exceeding 3,5 tonnes.
  • Category N2: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass exceeding 3,5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes.
  • Category N3: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass exceeding 12 tonnes.

Category O: Trailers (including semi-trailers).

  • Category O1: Trailers with a maximum mass not exceeding 0,75 tonnes
  • Category O2: Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 0,75 tonnes but not exceeding 3,5 tonnes.
  • Category O3: Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 3,5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes.
  • Category O4: Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 10 tonnes.



There are two fundamental requirements that have to be met for achieving Type Approval; As above the Vehicle or component firstly needs to meet the Technical and Administrative requirements according to the legislative requirements.

The second aspect for gaining Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA or NSSTA) is achieving Conformity of Production (COP) to ensure that once the Vehicles or components (Regulations or Directives as required) have been Tested and complied with the relevant Legislation that subsequent vehicles or components are then produced to exactly the same standard and specifications as the first vehicle tested and approved. (See the COP section for more information.)

You require COP alongside Type Approval in order to comply to the Type Approval requirements for ECWVTA, NSSTA and the Enhancement Scheme.


How can we assist you?

• We can translate some of the Jargon! (or negotiate our way through the Techy Stuff).
• We can advise and discuss which is the most relevant Type Approval route for your company.
• We can advise Vehicle Type or Category.
• We can advise the steps required to achieve Type Approval and COP (See COP Section).

• We will liaise with the relevant Type Approval Authority (VCA in the UK or equivalent) or Technical Service.
• We will assist with the Annex documents and advise what Technical documents are required.
• We can review relevant supplier documents and advise if they are what is required.
• We can submit the relevant documents to the Type Approval Authority (VCA in the UK or equivalent) or relevant authority.
• We can assist with the relevant Legislation.

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Why choose us?
We have direct experience within the Type Approval and COP sector and we can advise what’s required and assist with the implementation of the Annex 1 Documents where required.
We know what you need to do for Type Approval and COP.
We work Globally so have vast experience in the UK but also have experience of working in many Countries.

Please contact us to discuss your needs and we will be able to focus on the area that you require and give more Technical information where required as applicable.


Ongoing support and guidance
As with all of our Management systems consultancy services, we will provide you with as much or as little support as you need.

Contact us on 07910 018398 or email angiebissett@copqualityconsultants.co.uk