Norfolk Constabulary have recently released some helpful guidance on car modifications. Below is our handy summary:
It is an offence to show a red light to the front of a vehicle (including a reflector, and whether mounted inside or outside) or a white light to the rear unless reversing; this carries a £50 non-endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice. This includes neon lights fitted under or on the side of a vehicle and red LED windscreen washer jets. Green lights can only be fitted on Medical Practitioners vehicles and only emergency vehicles can display blue lights; this carries a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice and/or you may be reported to court.
Tyres must be inflated to the correct pressure given by your manufacturer’s handbook, be free from any lumps, bulges or tears, and have tread marks above the minimum depth permitted (see our previous article on tyre treads). Stretch tyres are illegal, attracting a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice and three penalty points or being reported to court.
The vast majority of large or big bore exhausts are illegal for use on public roads as the sound will exceed that of the vehicle’s Type Approval. The police only need to be of the opinion that the system is not standard and that it is noisier than a normal vehicle of the same specification. Sale of these exhausts is legal.
75% of light through the front windscreen and 70% of light through the side window on the front doors is allowed. Rear door glass and rear windows have no tint limits. Contravention carries a prohibition notice, Fixed Penalty Notice from £50 to £100 with 3 penalty points, or a report to court.
Number plates must conform to current requirements in relation to size in terms of the plate, characters, spacing, format and font. You must not misrepresent the characters. Fonts including italic, bold and shadow are all illegal.
Number plates must be white reflective to the front and yellow reflective to the rear and the characters have to be black, unless the vehicle is registered prior to 31 December 1972.
A £100 Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued and/or the DVLA can be notified of the offence.
You must inform your insurance company of any modifications or changes to your vehicle.
We have not attempted to cover all the obligations or legal requirements that may arise. Expert advice should always be sought for specific matters.