How Brexit Is Affecting The Safety Rules Of Vehicles In Europe

Sat 24th Mar 2018

The UK used to be the standard for car vehicle safety in Europe, but more and more manufacturers are to stop seeking safety approval from the UK due to Brexit.

The UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), used to be the standard for approving cars for sale across Europe, but the VCA will no longer be valid on the continent when the UK leaves the European Union in 2019.

Skoda are the latest manufacturer turning their back on the VCA, with their three latest vehicles, the Karoq, Kodiaq and Citigo all now getting approval from the Ministry of Transport in the country of origin, Czech Republic.

It’s not just European manufacturers that are jumping off the VCA bandwagon, even in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover are questioning the need for a separate regulatory body once Brexit is complete.

'It only adds costs for admin and red tape, ‘ said JLR’s Ralf Speth.  ‘It doesn't bring civilisation forward, it doesn't give us new solutions for technology, it doesn't help us in making the environment better. Sorry, I'm an engineer.'

McLaren is hoping a common sense approach will see the VCA teaming up with its European equivalent. 'We are in discussions actually with the VCA at the moment who are considering having a partnership with a European agency,' CEO Mike Flewitt told Reuters recently. 'There may be a route there. I don't want to walk away from the VCA if I can possibly help it.'

With an 18-month approval process, it’s understandable that European manufacturers are now withdrawing their support. There is no reason to go down the long VCA route only to find it not valid with Brexit on the horizon.

There is no suggestion on either side that vehicle safety is at risk due to these changes to the safety approval procedures.