Modifications to Cars which are Permissible
Owning a car is an expensive affair. Most car owners think of making some modifications to it. However, be cautious. Before you decide to modify your vehicle into something that you desire, it is essential to go over the rules related to car modifications in India. In January 2019, the Supreme court of India ruled that we must not alter the motor vehicles in a way that makes the specifications of the car different from the specifications made by the manufacturer. Section 52, The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, definitely is a speedometer for your dream car. In simple words, you should not be playing with the structural features or the original design of the car, if you want your vehicle to be legal. But, is even a single modification not allowed? No, car modifications are not all illegal in India. Here, we present a list of permissible and illegal car modifications in India. Keep these in mind to avoid roadblocks in creating your dream car. Permissible Car Modifications in India: Lights: Headlights and tail-lights can be modified or upgraded. You can change or install LED bulbs or auxiliary lamps. It is not considered illegal by the government as long as you are not fiddling with the OEM wires. Tyres: Tyres of a car are allowed to be modified. These range from base variant to the top model variant as the car manufacturers usually offer different tyre specifications. You can replace steel wheels with alloy wheels of the same rim size with the original parts. Colour: The colour of the car can only be changed with the permission of Regional Transport Office (RTO). Engine Fuel: You can fit a CNG kit if it is a petrol or diesel engine. However, that should be endorsed by the Regional Transport Office on the RC copy. Engine: Only with prior permission from the RTO, you can modify the engine. Adjournments: For a high-quality ride, a car is allowed to have a few inches’ difference from the stock suspension. Seats: You can change the Seat covers from fabric to leather or a different material. However, the covers should not be blocking the side airways. Music System: The music system is an integral part of any car. It can be installed without much fuss. The only thing that you should bear in mind while installing a music system is to avoid cutting any wires. The best way to do it is to run new wiring separate from the Car’s OEM wiring. Windows: Coloured windows are legal with certain conditions. It would be best if you did not make them too dark or tint the wrong windows. The front and rear windows should let through a minimum of 70% of light. Side windows must ensure 50% clarity. This rule is the most disregarded one in the country as people do not follow the conditions. Minor Upgrades: Minor Modifications like rain guards, door protectors, and decals can be added to the car without any legal problem. You can apply small stickers on the car body as well. Illegal Car Modifications in India: Fancy Horns: Factory fitted horns come with a decibel limit, which is under the prescribed limit. Elaborate horns like sirens and pressure horns are illegal and punishable with hefty fines. Extra Lights: Car bulbs must adhere to the prescribed colour theme. Unusually bright lamps may blind cars on the opposite side of the road. It is also illegal to have lamps mounted to the roof of a car. Lamps cannot be more than 1.5 metres from the ground. Loud Exhausts: Just like horns, there is a predefined decibel rating for exhausts. An after-market exhaust with louder noise levels can get your vehicle seized. Also, these exhausts are more likely to fail the PUC test due to higher emissions. Designer Number Plates: Fancy number plates can also get you in trouble. New cars should have IND embossed safety plates. Letters should have a legible font and should meet all the guidelines set by the government. Engine Upgrade: Putting a more powerful engine or a new one is illegal. It is also a concern for vehicle safety. There are some other car modifications which are illegal. Before making any changes to your vehicle, go through the relevant acts passed by the government. Conclusion: The rules and laws have come into effect after thorough research to bring in more safety and to maintain the standard quality for all vehicle. Moreover, these unwanted modifications do not do any good for the resale value of the car. So, hit the road with the law-abiding vehicle of your dream.