Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

Which automotive modifications are authorized within the UK?

Should you’re considering of modifying your automotive – maybe with a brand new exhaust or tinted home windows – you’ll wish to be assured the modifications you select are going to be protected and authorized. However after we surveyed the general public on automotive modifications, we realised there’s nonetheless a whole lot of confusion round which mods are authorized and which aren’t.

Right here the modified and customized automotive consultants at Adrian Flux shed some mild on automotive modifications, figuring out which of them are authorized and which can land you in hassle with the police.

What are automotive modifications?

Modifications are alterations, new tools and fittings that change the specification of a automotive from what was initially fitted by the producer. Most individuals modify their vehicles to enhance the way in which they appear, however some modifications – comparable to upgraded brakes or ECU chipping – are designed to enhance the automobile’s efficiency and dealing with. Learn our weblog to search out out extra about automotive modifications in 2022.

Which automotive modifications are authorized?

There are a whole lot of guidelines governing the adjustments you may legally make to a automotive within the UK, so you need to analysis the diversifications you’re planning to make to make sure your automotive stays highway authorized. Notice that any apparent automotive modification might entice further consideration from the police, so that you might need to count on extra frequent inconvenient stops. 

Earlier than you begin, be sure to learn our weblog on learn how to keep away from frequent risks and pitfalls concerned with modifying your automotive

Right here, we’ve explored the legality of among the most typical automotive modifications.

Alloy wheels

Alloy wheels are the preferred automotive modification and possibly the simplest job to do. Alloys are completely authorized. 

Learn our weblog to find out about the highest 10 automotive modifications to personalise your wheels.

Engine swapping

That is if you change a automotive’s unique engine with one other, primarily for efficiency causes or to get an outdated automotive again on the highway when its engine has failed. 

There are two sorts of engine swap: a like-for-like alternate the place the substitute engine is constructed to slot in a sure automotive, and a non-factory-specific swap which can imply it’s essential to make modifications to get the brand new engine to suit and work.

An engine swap is authorized, however you will want to let your insurer and the DVSA know.

Tinted home windows

It’s completely authorized to switch your automotive with tinted home windows. Many vehicles have tints as customary, so they could be a good addition – offered they aren’t too darkish and so they’re not added to the fallacious home windows.

There are restrictions on the kind of tints you may legally add to the entrance home windows and windscreen. A minimal of 70% mild should be capable to get via the entrance home windows, and this rises to 75% for the windscreen.

This legislation is in place to keep up visibility and guarantee your view isn’t obscured. There aren’t any restrictions on the tinting of rear home windows. 

When shopping for window tints, be sure they’re from a good vendor and are authorized for the home windows you wish to tint. 

Incapacity diversifications

Some individuals want to switch their vehicles to assist them drive as a result of they’ve a incapacity or somebody with a incapacity must be carried as a passenger. 

Incapacity diversifications are completely authorized. Learn our weblog to search out out about automotive modifications for disabled drivers via the ages

Air filters

Folks seeking to get extra energy out of their automotive’s engine usually improve their air filter. It’s a reasonably easy mod that often solely takes a few minutes and you will note an on the spot enchancment in efficiency.

It is because aftermarket filters are often bigger than manufacturing facility fitted ones in order that they enhance the airflow into the engine and enhance energy supply. 

The substitute air filter could also be a bit of extra noisy however it’s fairly authorized, except it’s so noisy that it’s deemed a nuisance.

Non-standard paintwork

A respray is a fast strategy to customise a automobile. An alternate is automotive wrapping, which is a printed vinyl movie utilized to the floor of the automotive. You’ll be able to respray or wrap your automotive legally, however should you change the color from that which is recorded in your V5C logbook, you’ll have to notify the DVLA in addition to your insurer.

Lowered suspension

You gained’t be breaking the legislation in case your automotive’s suspension is lowered correctly. Nonetheless, if adjustments to the suspension aren’t completed correctly, your automotive might fail its MOT. Make sure the work is finished by an expert. Should you’re doing the work your self, get an expert to verify it on completion.

A automotive sitting nearer to the bottom could have different implications for you and your automotive, which can influence the way in which you drive:

  • Decreased floor clearance – velocity bumps, potholes and kerbs can grow to be a difficulty should you decrease the suspension.
  • Altered automotive dealing with – dropping the suspension impacts how the automotive handles, so you could want to regulate your driving type.

Exhaust modifications

Giant bore exhausts are designed and fitted to make a automotive louder so it sounds prefer it has a high-performance engine. The legal guidelines round exhaust modifications are difficult as they rely in your automobile class. As a normal rule, most exhaust modifications are authorized so long as they don’t make the automobile louder than its sort approval permits.

Drivers who don’t adjust to these guidelines can obtain an on-the-spot fantastic of £50 and an official order to take away it. Should you don’t comply, the penalties can enhance quickly.

Sound system upgrades

Many younger drivers add upgraded sound techniques to their vehicles, with boot area being sacrificed to accommodate subwoofers and different tools. 

It’s not unlawful so as to add aftermarket sound techniques to your automotive, however you might be in hassle if somebody complains that your loud music is a public nuisance. The police can seize any automobile inflicting a noise-related public disturbance. 


Spoilers can be found for many sorts of vehicles and are designed to offer a sporty look whereas, in principle, enhancing the automotive’s dealing with and efficiency.

It isn’t unlawful to mount a spoiler in your automotive, however there are situations. The spoiler must be securely mounted, with no sharp or harmful edges uncovered and it shouldn’t obscure your rear view.

The police have the appropriate to order you to take away a spoiler in the event that they assume it is likely to be harmful.

Neon lights

It’s authorized so as to add neon lights to the underside of a automotive offered they’re solely used whereas parked, maybe at a automotive present. Nonetheless, the neon tubing should not be seen. In regular driving situations, neon lights are unlawful. 

Nitrous oxide conversion

Using nitrous oxide is just not unlawful however it may be harmful. Including nitrous oxide to your engine will increase acceleration nevertheless it additionally will increase cylinder strain. If the engine can’t deal with the elevated stress, it might be broken.

The engine will also be broken when there’s an excessive amount of oxygen and never sufficient gasoline within the engine. The wrong ratio and added cylinder strain might trigger the engine to blow up.

LPG conversions

LPG is liquefied petroleum fuel and is a flexible low-carbon gasoline that can be utilized to energy the engine of most vehicles. You’ll have to match a conversion package which can flip your automobile right into a ‘dual-fuel automotive’ that may run on LPG and petrol.

The LPG conversion is authorized and it might prevent some huge cash with ever-escalating prices of diesel and petrol. 

Are you able to legally modify a automotive purchased with a PCP or on finance?

Round 8 out of 10 new vehicles are purchased on finance, and most of those are purchased via a private contract buy (PCP).

With a PCP contract, you don’t personal the automotive, so making important adjustments will put you in breach of your contract. In some instances, finance firms could search to reacquire the automotive early if the modifications have altered the retail worth.

If you wish to modify a automotive purchased on finance, you will want to get written permission from the finance supplier. Modifications might be made, however not past these permitted by the finance firm.

The place can I discover smart insurance coverage for my modified automotive?

Adrian Flux is a specialist modified automotive insurance coverage dealer that takes pleasure in insuring the “uninsurable”. We realise that should you’ve spent money and time modifying your wheels, you’re in all probability going to take further particular care of it, making you much less of a danger so your mods gained’t essentially influence the price of your insurance coverage. In some instances, they might even decrease your premiums. That is usually the case if you match a dashcam, a towbar, or parking sensors. 

Discover out extra concerning the large automotive insurance coverage financial savings that may be made by declaring modifications in your automotive. 

For a swift and smart quote name 0333 300 4445. 79.5% of all prospects receiving a web based quote in July 2020 might have obtained a less expensive quote over the cellphone, primarily based on the knowledge they offered. 

You too can e book a callback to speak to considered one of our modified automotive insurance coverage consultants at a time that fits you.

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