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Motorist Warning: Avoid Flashy Illegal Car Modifications 


Motorists are urged to think twice before making flashy modifications to their car, as they could be breaking the law. Number plate experts urge Brits to avoid changes which could land them in trouble.

They have looked at some of the most common modifications, including noisy exhausts, neon lights, tinted windows and fancy fonts on their number plates.

Experts stress to check all regulations and laws before making any significant changes to a vehicle, as expensive modifications will need to be removed if they are not road-worthy.

Jake Smith, Director of Absolute Reg, said: “Many motorists and car enthusiasts like to improve their motor with modifications.

“There are many entirely legal modifications, including sound system upgrades, light window tinting and adding a personalised number plate.

“However, overly tinted windows, non-compliant number plates, loosely attached spoilers, and neon lights are all modifications which could land motorists in hot water.

“Before making any changes to your vehicle, we urge you to do your research and ensure you stay within the law. This way, you can drive safely and avoid costly fines or consequences.

“It is important to remember car ownership can affect your ability to make modifications. To change a car bought with finance, you must check in with your finance provider first and get written permission.”

Here Is Absolute Reg’s Guide to Car Modifications:

  1. Neon or Tinted Lights

Regular headlights replaced with neon lights cause a distraction to other motorists and are a safety hazard. Modifying the colours of front and rear headlights or having excessively bright lights will land you in trouble with the law. If you are changing your car lights, they cannot be dimmed more than 50% to maintain visibility on the roads.

  1. Tinted Windows

Your front windscreens and front side windows are only allowed to be slightly tinted, but the rear windscreen and rear passenger windows are exempt from this law. Rules specify vehicles should let 75% of light through front windscreens and let 70% of light through the side windows. If your car is found to be disobeying the law, you will receive a prohibition notice stopping you from using your vehicle until you have the tint removed. You may even receive a penalty notice or court summons.

  1. Non-Compliant Number Plates

It is essential always to follow number plate guidance and laws. Number plates must be displayed on the front and back of the vehicle at all times. All letters and numbers on the plates must always be visible, so you must ensure nothing obscures them. Spacing regulations say number plate characters must be 79mm tall, spaces between characters must be 11mm, and characters must be 50mm wide. All registrations should be spaced in the legal format shown on your V5C. UK number plates must use the mandatory font specified in the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001.

  1. Noisy Exhausts

Motorists must not make any modifications to make exhausts noisier. Exhausts that exceed the noise limit of 74 decibels are against the law. As they produce both noise and emissions, exhausts are subjected to Individual Vehicle Approval standards before being sold to ensure they comply with regulations to avoid causing noise and environmental pollution.

  1. Spoilers

While spoilers are not against the law, clearly modified spoilers will gain attention from authorities. Spoilers deemed unsafe and not road-worthy are loosely attached to the car, with sharp edges that could cause damage and oversized spoilers. If caught with a modified spoiler, you may receive a fine and be made to remove the spoiler instantly.

  1. Engine Modifications

The engine is highly technical, and motorists looking to modify it could end up in hazardous situations. If you make changes such as the popular modification to increase cylinder pressure using nitrous oxide gas you could be putting yourself in danger and breaking the law.

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