Many people like to modify their vehicles. But not all car modifications are legal – and some are downright dangerous. So before you decide to customise your car to suit your tastes, here are some guidelines as to the legal aspects of modifying a vehicle.
Too many modifications, or modifications which are not carried out in a safe manner, can make your car unsafe to drive and legally prohibited from being on the road. For this reason, it’s important that you consult with an experienced mechanic before making any of your own mods. If you decide to get your car customised in a garage, check the credentials of the mechanic before you take your car in.
All modifications will have legal aspects. Some may be more important than others, but violating them will mean your car is unfit to be on the road.
- Lights and Reflectors – your car must have either white or yellow headlights and red rear position lamps. You must not tint or obstruct your rear reflectors in any way.
- Wheels and Tyres – changing these will impact your car’s road behaviour. Make sure your tires have been approved by the manufacturer of your car before fitting them.
- Brakes – your car brakes must not be modified, except by a qualified engineer.
- Exhaust – the exhaust on your car must not be louder than the exhaust which was originally fitted. Be careful about removing or changing your exhaust or silencer.
There are many other modifications which can be made to cars, which may potentially contravene the legal guidelines for customising a vehicle. If you’re in any doubt about the mod you wish to make to your vehicle, always check with both your mechanic and the DVA beforehand.
If you car has been modified, you have a legal obligation to inform your insurance provider. This is because all cars are assessed according to type, before being placed in an insurance group. If your car has been modified, it will need to be re-assessed in order to accurately determine your insurance costs and needs. Some providers offer specialist car insurance for modified vehicles. If you're looking for insurance for your customised car, you may be interested in finding out more about modified car insurance from Sky Insurance. This type of insurance is perfect for people who want to give their vehicle a bit more pep, without compromising on safety.
The Penalties for Illegal Modifications
If you’ve modified you car in such a way that is no longer complies with the law, you may be in line for a pretty stern penalty. Aside from incurring a fixed on-the-spot penalty for driving a car which isn’t roadworthy, you may also be required to appear in court and pay a fine. In some cases, your vehicle may be confiscated.