Safety Testing and Type Approval for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

WAV Testing

Brotherwood® Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles undergo a strict safety testing and approval regime before being offered for sale. There are many different routes to achieving approval for WAVs, each with different test requirements and procedures, and not all conversion companies will test to the same levels.

Find out what Type Approval means to you, and how it can provide peace of mind for you when purchasing your next WAV.


European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA)

This testing process ensures that Brotherwood® vehicles meet all relevant environmental, safety and security standards. As part of our development process for new WAV models, a final production vehicle is built and tested, being representative of that model type. With approval completed vehicles are then produced for our clients.

VCA logoA number of conversion elements will be stringently tested ranging from physical testing of seatbelt anchorages, dynamic testing of seat strength and wheelchair restraint systems, through to exhaust noise tests and fuel tank roll over and pressure tests. To ensure a consistent approach, the test methodology is outlined in the relevant EC Directive / Regulation or UN Regulation, the tests are carried out at an approved testing facility and witnessed by the VCA.

This process means that WAVS with ECWVTA have undergone rigorous testing to ensure high levels of performance and safety, giving you complete peace of mind.

Conformity of Production (CoP) is also an integral part of the ECWVTA approval process. The manufacturing process is evaluated to ensure that each customer vehicle is manufactured exactly in accordance with the approved specification.

ECWVTA Ensures:

 The highest levels of safety and performance from your WAV
 Conformity of Production - every vehicle is built to the tested specification
 Vehicles are suitable for fleet and local authority purposes


Other routes to WAV Type Approval include:

National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA)

Like ECWVTA, one production vehicle is tested, being representative of that model type.

However, the technical requirements to be tested may be reduced, which may have an impact on the quality of the conversion, and the Conformity of Production (CoP) requirements are also less stringent.

This makes NSSTA a lower cost route to Type Approval, whilst the requirements that each WAV has to pass to gain approval may be lower. NSSTA allows a maximum of 75 vehicles to be registered, in the UK only, in any one year. 


Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA)

Unlike ECWVTA and NSSTA, Individual Vehicle Approval is a one-off visual inspection of each vehicle conversion.

Whilst this is the lowest-cost route to vehicle approval for WAVs, it is by far the least stringent. There is also no Conformity of Production to ensure that each vehicle is built to the same specification.