At the moment, Aston Martin has its cars certified by Britain’s Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), which has the authority to sign off cars for Europe, but the European Commission has said that the VCA will no longer have any jurisdiction in Europe when Brexit happens next March. As a result, Aston Martin is now looking at having its new cars certified by a European agency.
'If it remains as it is and it’s not negotiated that the VCA can approve, then everybody that’s currently using the VCA has to get approval elsewhere and we’ve already started doing that,' Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told Reuters on Monday. 'Because of the lack of clarity we have to take the safest scenario and consequently we’re homologating outside of the UK.'
It is hoped that a transitional deal to maintain free trade until 2020 will be agreed next month, but there's no word yet as to whether any potential deal would include the mutual recognition of regulators. However, the UK government has promised to align its automotive regulations with those on the continent.
Such a situation is causing headaches for manufacturers, with car makers potentially having to obtain two different clearances from two different regulators, which could prove to be costly. Is it a likely scenario that manufacturers could be faced with two different authorities? 'That is a very good question but probably the answer is yes,' said Palmer. 'And regrettably I have to answer with "probably" because nobody really knows.'