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Old 8 Oct 2008
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Location: Ghana
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UK / EU seat regulations?

Dear all,
looking for some advice regarding seat regulations in the UK, but also EU if anyone knows. Basically what I intend doing is fitting a 2nd row of two seats (forward facing) in my troopy. Now I know (well I think!) that inward facing side seats are illegal (my troopy is the 13 seater variety) and would have to be permanently removed before I put the troopy through an SVA - all this is assuming that sometime in the nearish future I may be registering it in the UK. Now I could get all the relevant part numbers and buy the Toyota 2nd row, but it would probably cost a small fortune. On the otherhand you can get a set of seats designed to make carrying people legal in a van. These look good to me, coming in folding varieties, lockable box varieties etc. I also have a few 3rd row LC 105 seats I could probly use. So, the knowledge I am looking for is:
- In the UK is it acceptable to DIY van seats (they would of course have seat belts and be mounted securely with spreader plates under the floor etc)
- Would such a seating arrangement be a bone of contention in an SVA, being obviously not part of the original vehicle.

In Africa things are a bit different, as a deck chair in a transit van would get like a 5 stars from the Ghana road safety body and putting 25 jerry rigged "chairs" in an Hiace (plus a bit of sitting space up top) is seen as totally normal.
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Old 8 Oct 2008
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Hi Gil,
No first hand experience i'm afraid, but there's a lot of info on the net. Most of it seems to be either incomprihensibly complicated, or a bit simplistic!
If this site is accurate then it sounds like it shouldn't be a problem
SVA regulations

I'm sure there is all you need to know here
Department for Transport - Vehicle imports and single vehicle approval
Unfortunately it may take a while to sift through

All the best
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Old 8 Oct 2008
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Hi Gil,

From importing American cars, and requiring the SVA.


Get the SVA, test done in the UK then do what ever you want to do.

I have heard of a couple of Corvetts, Mustangs etc, that have had after market "stuff" fitted.

They do not pass SVA.
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Old 11 Oct 2008
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Location: UK
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hiya, i could also just point out that failing the sva isnt that big a deal, apart from the test fee, and the hassle of rebooking. i had two failures on the same vehicle a good few years ago , 1st time because oil got onto the front discs somehow, 2nd time because i thought sanding the same pads would make them clean enough rather than buying new pads-stupid. but on each occasion, the tester almost worked with me to get the car through, so all im saying from my experience, if it doesnt pass 1st time you should get all the info you need to pass next time!
this was the test centre in oldham, the one that caterham use near london is a lot busier so may not be as helpful?
as long as you're driving to an appointment at the test centre your insurance should be ok. a new kit car cant be registered until its passed the sva, i got pulled over by the police wondering why i was driving with no plates or tax disc, but since i was insured on the chassis number, and had the test appointment details, he had to check what i was telling him, but then was impressed he'd learnt something new! but i dont think you have to book with the test centre closest to you.
how are you going to drive from point of import until the test though?

good luck!

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Old 13 Oct 2008
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Thanks for the replies folks. To be honest it is pure conjecture at this stage, but assuming I do it I would imagine I would drive it on Ghanaian plates to the SVA, shouldn't be a problem as far as I can tell. I will forget about the seats issue as it is just longer term planning anyhow and only need two seats at the mo'.

Graham - "Please leave the vehicle EXACTLY THE WAY IT LEFT THE FACTORY. NOTHING EXTRA OR REPLACED" Well, that could be a a problem!!! Stock she is not... Thanks for the advice - like I say "safety stuff" like seat fitment etc I will hang on until when/or/if I end up back in blighty!
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Old 13 Oct 2008
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Location: Kent, Uk
Posts: 390

Hi Gil

I would think that if you did have say the LC 105 seats you have fitted it should not be a problem as long as they are well fitted with decently fitted spreader plates etc - as you said yourself.

You could send an email to Foleys - they do alot of vehicle conversions.
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