Project: Single Vehicle Approval: Seat Anchorages.

Reference: S0040/VA

Last update: 03/12/2003 14:52:54


To investigate the seat to floor fixings on M1 minibus type vehicles and to provide documented evidence on the suitability of different designs/installations. A final report setting out the tests undertaken, the results, conclusions and recommendations is to be submitted at the end of the investigation. Draft guidance notes to supplement the instructions given in the SVA Manual will be drafted once the final report is completed.


An increasing number of vehicles that are taxis, ambulances, wheelchair-accessible vehicles or mini buses with 8 or less passenger seats are being submitted for Single Vehicle Approval (SVA). These vehicles may be fitted with seats that were not installed by the original vehicle manufacturer but were produced by, or for, the vehicle converter, possibly being of the type used in larger PSV's, e.g. having a tubular frame design (generally incorporating separate bolt-on legs) onto which the seat belts are mounted.

Seats of this type (i.e. incorporating a seat belt) may have been tested to the standards applicable to M1 vehicles (up to 8 passenger seats and the category eligible to SVA), M2 (>8 passenger seats up to 5 tonnes, ) or M3 (>8 passenger seats > 5 tonnes). However, seats tested to M2 standards are subject to approximately half the load required for the M1 category. Consequently seats tested to these standards are not likely to satisfy the requirements for an M1 vehicle.

Presenters of vehicles for SVA tests incorporating seats of this type which were not part of the original vehicle manufacturer specification are asked to provide evidence of compliance with European standards for M1 vehicles in respect of seat strength and position. Where the evidence provided relates only to the seat being tested, and not the structure to which it is attached (e.g. the vehicle floor), it is necessary for examiners to give consideration to the seat mounting as a belt anchorage point.


Department of Engineering & Technology, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M1 5GD
+44 (0)161 247 6242

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £2,600.00

Actual start date: 01 December 2000

Actual completion date: 31 March 2001

Summary of results

  1. A variety of single and double seats, all with integral belt anchorages, were tested against the requirements of the Directive. Each was secured to the sheet steel floor of a Ford Transit by different means. There is a very great difference in the floor loadings imparted by single and double seats. This difference is such that while it is a relatively straightforward matter to secure a single seat into a sheet steel panel van using rudimentary load-spreading plates, it is extremely unlikely that a double seat with either two or three legs can be effectively secured into a similar vehicle using simple reinforcements only.