Commercial vehicle specialist David Spear explains who needs COIF certification in light of the latest IVA scheme rules

Photo Caption: David Spear & General Manager Geraint Yeo & Workshops Manager David Gill inspect a vehicle during the PDI inspection process

Any type of commercial vehicle legislation can be a minefield for drivers and without the right knowledge regarding the most current guidance and regulations, drivers and owners of light passenger and goods vehicles could be at risk of breaking the law.

Thanks to their wide selection of used, new and nearly new commercial vehicles, leading dealer David Spear Commercial Vehicles makes it their business to stay up to date with the latest legislation and guidance affecting their customers. However, the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme is one area that is still a cause of confusion for many. Here the experts at David Spear reveal just who needs a COIF or COC under the scheme and why.

“In short, any vehicle that has more than 8 passenger seats and is used to transport people for profit will need a Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) or must have been approved and a Certificate of Conformity (COC) granted as a result. Under the vehicle approval scheme, vehicles needing a COIF must also either be registered outside of the UK and built before the type approval scheme was introduced or registered in the UK and not hold type approval as a passenger vehicle with more than 8 passenger seats,” said Owner David Spear.

The scheme also details certain approval implementation dates, which can cause further misunderstanding for drivers of commercial vehicles. These start dates vary depending on whether your vehicle is a passenger car, light goods vehicle, bus or coach, heavy goods vehicle, or light or heavy trailer. Start dates for the scheme can be found on page 10 of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s Individual Vehicle Approval scheme guide.

Applying for the relevant documentation can be completed via the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Fees for vehicle inspection apply, and the examination will take place at one of the DVSA’s approved test stations after your application has been submitted.

“The use of tachographs is another area that we receive many queries about. Used to record information about driving time, speed and distance, tachographs must be used under EU or AETR rules if you drive a passenger carrying or goods vehicle. There are two types of tachograph, analogue and digital, however as of May 2006 all commercial vehicles registered must be fitted with digital tachographs. Vehicles registered before this time can use either digital or analogue systems. There are specific rules about the logging of driver hours, the use of tachographs for goods and passenger carrying vehicles, and the responsibilities of operators calibrating and maintaining such equipment, and the DVSA provides essential reading across these areas via their website,” concluded David.

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