Modifying Your Car? What You Need To Know
Car modification has increased in popularity considerably within the last two decades. Larger exhausts, tinted windows and excessive spoilers have become popular choices when it comes to modifying a car. The loud noises and impressive colours that come with modified cars has proved to be desirable for car owners who are looking to change up their vehicle. But what is a modified car, how would you go about doing it and why would you want to?
What Is Car Modification?
When a change is made to a vehicle that aims to enhance its appearance or performance but isn’t part of the original manufacturer’s design or specification, this is classed as a car modification. Generally, it’s obvious when a car has been modified, however, some changes can be so subtle that they’re barely noticeable. This is something to look out for when buying a second-hand car.
It’s important to note that failure to disclose a modification to your vehicle can invalidate your car insurance. So always notify your provider if you’ve made a change to your vehicle, or if you’ve bought one which has been modified by the previous owner.
Modifications That Can Be Made
Bigger/Louder Exhausts – although considered to be a public nuisance (depending on the level of noise the exhaust produces), this is a popular car modification. Done to boost the sound of the car’s engine, it’s a relatively easy change to make. However, drivers with an excessively noisy exhaust can receive an on the spot fine of £50 and have their car confiscated until the exhaust has been removed and replaced. Turbos and filters are permitted, although the car must pass the emissions test on its MOT.
Tinted Windows – these are legal if certain criteria are met, so ensure they aren’t too dark or a strange colour. These restrictions only apply to the tinting of front seat windows and windscreens, but they don’t apply to tinting rear windows or windscreens. Front windows have to let a minimum of 70% light through, with the minimum through the windscreen being 75%. Failure to comply could serve you with a prohibition notice, meaning your car will be confiscated until the tints have been removed.
Spoilers – These are added for aesthetic reasons mostly, although it’s claimed that they improve handling at high speeds. The spoiler must be secured properly to the bodywork and not have any sharp edges or be so big that it obstructs the driver’s view.
Low Suspension – A car can be lowered to a point where it doesn’t affect the headlight height or interfere with steering the vehicle. Suspension modifications should always be carried out by a qualified mechanic to ensure components aren’t cut or welded together. It’s important to note that a low suspension car may struggle to get over speed bumps which could cause damage.
Things To Consider Before You Modify Your Car
1. Determine Your Goal – what are you trying to improve? The handling, speed and aesthetics of a vehicle can all be enhanced with safe car modifications
2. What’s Your Budget? – determine a budget so you don’t get carried away
3. Update Your Insurer – it can invalidate your insurance if you don’t disclose to your provider, the work you’ve had done to your vehicle. If you’ve made expensive modifications to your car, you want to make doubly sure that the vehicle is covered against theft, fire and damage
Here at Wyatt Auto Services, we supply Barnsley and the surrounding area with quality tyre fitting, MOT testing and car servicing and repairs. We have a fully qualified, highly trained team of expert mechanics who are committed to ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy once again. Is your car still under warranty? Not to worry, our skilled team of specialists will work tirelessly to repair or maintain it. We also provide free, no-obligation quotes. For more information about the products we sell and the services we provide, call us today – we’re always happy to help.