Introduction

Since the 29th of April 2012 a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is required to be type approved. This legal requirement comes directly from the European Framework for the type approval of motor vehicles, Directive 2007/46/EC.  NSAI, the Irish Type Approval Authority has since been issuing IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) certificates for passenger vehicles which have been adapted and are now classified as a SPV.

As a result of this, certain adaptions to vehicles for disabled drivers (and passengers) now change the classification from “M1” to “M1 Special Purpose Vehicles”; hence requires an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) Certificate from NSAI. 

NSAI has developed a system of approval that will allow Approved Adaptors to apply for IVA's for adapted vehicles.  Vehicles can only be adapted by an Approved Adaptor and any application from a person/company that is not approved cannot be accepted.  Approved Adaptors and the vehicles they adapt will be subject to inspection on an on-going basis and must be adapted in line with the NSAI Guidance Document.

From our experience to date, a typical adaption would be installing hand controls for brake and accelerator function and/or modifying seats to allow them to swivel 90 degrees.  However, there is a range of adaptions that also require an IVA. For further details on adaptions that do and do not require an IVA, please see the Guidance Document.

WAV - Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

In order for vehicles to allow safety and comfort for a wheelchair occupant, a vehicle must undergo specific modifications to be converted or constructed for M1 SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) WAV.

A WAV is a type of M1 SPV and is defined as a vehicle of category M1 constructed or converted specifically so that they accommodate one or more persons seated in their wheelchairs when travelling on the road.

For a vehicle to be compliant as an M1 SPV WAV it must comply with the relevant sections of ISO standard 10542 and EU and National legislation.

For calculation purposes, the mass of the wheelchair including the occupant shall be assumed to be 160 kg.

Learn More

How do I become an Adaptor?

How to become an Adaptor

As previously stated only Approved Adaptors are permitted to apply for IVA’s.  If you would like to be become an Approved Adaptor you will need to follow these steps:

  • To become a Approved Adaptor, please complete and submit the Approved Adaptor application form to NSAI.
  • Once the application form has been received you will be contacted to schedule a workshop assessment
  • On receipt of the application, an application fee of €150 will be invoiced.
  • The fee for the assessment will be €950 and this will also cover the annual licence fee for the first year
  • In subsequent years an annual licence fee of €950 will be invoiced

Adaptor Information

Please find below links to key adaptor documents:

How Can I Apply for an Adaption?

What is an adaption?

An adaption is a modification made to a vehicle or addition of a device to a vehicle to meet each individual’s specific requirements.
There are a number of adaptions designed to meet each user’s needs.  Please find below a list of modifications that require an IVA:

  • Hand controls
  • Swivel seats (driver and passenger)
  • Seat rail extensions (driver and passenger)
  • Seat risers
  • Left foot accelerator
  • Pedal extensions
  • Wheelchair/person hoist
  • Wheelchair storage system

This is not an exhaustive list and adaptions other than those specified above may be granted an IVA. In cases other than those above, the approved adaptor should contact NSAI prior to carrying out any work.

Who is an adaptor?

Adaptors are the Approved NSAI installers of the adaptions.  Vehicles can only be adapted by an Approved Adaptor and any application from a person/company that is not approved cannot be accepted.

If you are unsure as to the exact adaption you require or you have any query regarding the adaption, the adaptors will have no issues answering your questions.

Please follow the link below to find the contact information for the Approved Adaptors.

Scheme for persons with disabilities

For information regarding Scheme for persons with disabilities please contact revenue or Click Here

FAQ's

What is the difference between a WAV and a Vehicle Adaption for Persons with Disabilities?

Both of these are special purpose vehicles require and IVA and their differences are based on the modifications carried out on the vehicle.  Examples of these are shown below.

A WAV is a vehicle converted specifically so that they accommodate one or more persons seated in their wheelchairs when travelling on the road.  Modifications to the vehicle might include:

  1. removal of seats to accommodate wheel chair
  2. wheel chair lift
  3. lowering of floor
  4. addition of electric wheelchair lifts which have increased the mass of the vehicle in running order by more than 5%
  5. Installation of certified floor system (converting from category N commercial to M passenger e.g. addition of approved seats)
  6. Restraints for wheelchairs

The Vehicle Adapted for Disabled Drivers Scheme is similar to a WAV but differs with regard to the modifications to the vehicle. An IVA shall be required for the following modifications to the vehicle:

  1. Hand controls
  2. Swivel seats (driver and passenger)
  3. Alterations to the vehicles pedal controls e.g. plate extensions, raising of pedals, left accelerator pedal… etc
  4. Alterations to manual transmission controls
  5. Wheelchair/person hoist
  6. Extension of seat rails
  7. Wheelchair storage device which is located on the roof of the vehicle

An IVA shall not be required for the following modifications to the vehicle:

  1. Portable ramps / simple mechanical ramps
  2. Child restraint seats eg child seat for disabled child which is attached to ISO-fix anchor point or safety belt
  3. A removable harness for restraining a special needs passenger
  4. Exterior kit for storage of wheel chair e.g similar to a bike rack connected to tow bar at rear of vehicle
  5. Swivel cushions
  6. Step access to vehicle
  7. Steering ball

What vehicles does the Adaption of Vehicles for Persons with Disabilities apply to?

  • The Adaption of Vehicles for Persons with Disabilities is only applicable to new vehicles of category M or N.  A new vehicle is defined
    • as unregistered vehicle or,
    •  a vehicle which is less than 3 months old when reckoned from its first entry into service or which has travelled less than 3,000 kilometres*.

*as per section 133 of the Finance Act, 1992

How long does it take to be refunded VAT?

  • For more information please contact revenue or Click Here

How to become an adaptor?

To become an Approved Adaptor, please complete and submit the Approved Adaptor application form to NSAI.

Once the application form has been received you will be contacted to schedule a workshop assessment.
On receipt of the application, an application fee of €150 will be invoiced.

The fee for the assessment will be €950 and this will also cover the annual adaptor fee for the first year.
In subsequent years an annual adaptor fee of €950 will be invoiced.

For further information please contact:

Carl Moore
E: carl.moore@nsai.ie
T: 00 353 1 807 3898