Kit 3, First IVA attempt

Edge Devil Kitcar outside the IVA Test Centre

With the rolling road complete I applied for the IVA. I wanted the rolling road to confirm things were working and the engine didn’t blow up; it didn’t so it was time to get in and let the VOSA check the car out.

The application is simple but requires a step by step approach and both photos and documentation to support the request. This lands with the DVLA who then evaluate he request and reply back that things are in order and you can then pay and book your appointment. The docs passed the check and I was invited to cough up the cash and book my appointment for an IVA at the Norwich testing centre, December 7th 2020 at 09:30.

My brother was excited to come along so we took the car on a trailer to the Tesco’s just south of Norwich where we unloaded the car and drove the last 5 miles to the test centre, in the rain. We made it and the car didn’t break down although I did struggle to see where I was going as my helmet visor kept misting up.

At the IVA once again, docs were checked and then Ian and Duncan (The testers) made us feel very much at ease at the testing started…..

When I had unloaded the car it had developed a misfire which could impact the emission test, I crossed my fingers that it was intermittent and would pass. The car was left to idle with the engine cover off and when they were ready we drove the car in for the first test; emissions. The car was flawless and passed both the idle and high speed test against the 2020 norms… I started breathing easier here, any failures outside of the engine I reckoned I could handle.

Next the car was placed on the ramp and the tester walked around checking construction, clearance and operation. We hit one issue here and this was the hand brake cable just touching the sump when the handbrake was applied. This was the first failure, but minor so cool with me (I did not expect a first time pass).

Off the ramp and now lighting and measurements of things such as the cycle wings. Second failure here, 5mm, yep that’s it. Because the rear tyres were bigger(245) than normal(205) on this car it meant the outside edge of the brake lights were 45mm from the outer edge, 5mm too much. This was not a big issue as I was using a concentric brake/side light set up with the stop light being the inner light and the side light the outer; the side lights were fine. Measurements were also made of the cycle wings, sharp edge etc. I had made the assumption that only forward facing edges had to be rounded, this was wrong; the rear edge of the spoiler supports on the back of the car were not rounded/protected and created a sharp edge failure.

We also had a failure here with the steering lock, unfortunately I had left a bit of slack in the steering column which meant the steering lock wouldn’t reliably engage; failure 3.

From the measurement test we rolled forward to the brake tests. They way they test is to measure performance and then calculate against the weight of the vehicle etc so you don’t actually know you have passed until the end.

Now here is the failure that made me laugh, the speedo measurement is taken from the front left wheel. This wheel is not driven and I chose it to have the most accurate measurement (ignore wheelspins etc). The speedo rollers at Norwich are not powered so we couldn’t test the speedo. To resolve this I either needed a document confirming speedo operation from a recognised test centre, or move the tester to a driven wheel.

Next the tester took the car for a drive around the test area, I think he enjoyed it, then onto the weighbridge followed by a mirror test and finally the dreaded sound level test. At 4200RPM we hit 98db, absolutely perfect!

I knew I had failed on a few points, I just wanted to know the brake test was good; while we loaded the car back onto the trailer the tester went into his office and worked it all through finally coming out with the failure report of all the above issues, the brakes being fine.

I did not expect to pass first time, and I saw the number and type of failures were successful failures. I went home ecstatic knowing a 30 minute appointment was all that was needed to get through the IVA.