Home > Vehicle Defects > Engine/Car modifications

Engine/Car modifications

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 5 Mar 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Car Modifications Modifying Car Modding

When buying a car, you can't always buy the vehicle exactly as you'd want it - lots of people buy an older version of a particular make and model of car, knowing that they will need to make modifications to it to bring it up to the standard they want to see it at.

On the other hand, some car modifications aren't necessary, but are carried out because the car owner wants their car to look or sound a specific way, which they can achieve by 'modding'. We’ve all seen those cars driving along with thumping music blaring, loud exhausts buzzing and neon under car lights shining - and you can guarantee that most of those cars did not look like that when they were delivered to the showroom.

Modifying cars is a popular hobby in the UK and it can be very expensive depending on the type of vehicles you are modifying and the changes you are making. Even changing your car radio or installing a car alarm can be classed as a modification. As such, there is a huge market both in car modification magazines and via internet sites that feature 'How to' guides on the different mods that can be made to vehicles, along with places that provide the necessary tools and required parts.

Things to Consider Before you Modify

However what a lot of people don't realise, is that when modifying a vehicle, you have to be really careful that your modifications are:

First of all, be aware that whenever you make a change to your vehicle, you must make sure that you have informed your insurance company of the changes. If it’s something that improves the security of your car, you might find it brings down your premium. However, modding your car in a way that makes it more ‘flashy’ might make it more attractive to thieves, and push your insurance payments up. Eitherway, if you don’t declare any modifications that you make, then your insurance policy may be invalidated and you could end up losing a packet, not to mention having trouble getting any type of insurance in the future.

If you’re not sure, check first. It’s all very well for someone else to tell you that it is all ‘above board’ but remember that it’s your licence, not theirs, that will be at risk - and you who will pay the fine if it turns out to be against the law.

Things to watch out for

  • If you’ve installed an expensive CD/MP3 player in your car, or just a set of big stereo speakers – remember that it is illegal for you to play your music loudly after 11pm –if reported or spotted by police you can be charged with noise pollution.
  • If you have converted your engine to one that uses Nitrous Oxide, you must not drive it on a public road. You can have a bottle in the car, but it must not appear to be ready for use.
  • If you have a DVD/Console/TV screen in the car it must be somewhere that the driver cannot see it, otherwise it will be considered as a dangerous distraction.
  • When making any changes to your number plates or ordering personalised plates, make sure that you buy them from somewhere reputable, and that the plates you are using have the correct fonts and spacing. If your plates are unreadable, or don't conform to current regulations, then you can be fined, and the police have been cracking down on this recently.
  • If you change Your Tyres and buy bigger ones, make sure they fit properly and don’t stick out more than they are supposed to. If your tyres aren’t right then you can be charged £2,500 per faulty or incorrect tyre.
  • If you have decided to fit tinted windows, check the regulations first. There is a legal requirement for a minimum amount of Virtual Light Transmission (VLT) and the police can stop you and check that your vehicle complies with these regulations. If it doesn’t, you can be stopped from driving your car until the tinting has gone. Also be aware that police are more likely to stop a car that has tinted windows, because of the stereotypical reputation that proceeds them.

So if you are thinking of modifying your vehicle, you need to first of all check if they are acceptable under the Road Traffic Act, how much it will cost you to complete the modifications, and how the changes will affect your insurance policy. It’s also important to remember that you should always get vehicle modifications carried out by someone reputable to ensure that your car remains road-worthy.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
It is NOT illegal to have a nitrous oxide injection kit fitted to a car,connected and even used on the UK roads!!!! Where do the people writing this get their information from???? It should be illegal for websites like this to wrongly provide legal advice!!!!
J - 5-Mar-16 @ 7:53 AM
wsw - Your Question:
Hi.have a jap import performance car.the police have ticketed me for a 'modified exhaust'.how do they know/how can they prove it's a 'modified exhaust' if it's a import?? in fact,how can they tell on any performance car if it has a 'modified exhaust' if they(the police officer) can't tell/give you oem exhaust specifications?? Cheers

Our Response:
Maybe they have information about the types of exhausts fitted to vehicles for use in other countries? If you want to question it then do so, the police will tell you what they use to examine vehicles etc.
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Sep-15 @ 12:59 PM
Hi.have a jap import performance car.the police have ticketed me for a 'modified exhaust'.how do they know/how can they prove it's a 'modified exhaust' if it's a import?? in fact,how can they tell on any performance car if it has a 'modified exhaust' if they(the police officer) can't tell/give you oem exhaust specifications?? Cheers
wsw - 22-Sep-15 @ 6:44 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments