In January 2019, the Supreme Court of India made vehicle modification illegal. However, not all kinds of alterations to your car is against the law. You can make some changes to your ride, without being an outlaw. So here let us take a look at some vehicle modifications that are de jure.
Upgrading the Tyres
You are within your legal rights to upgrade your tyres as long as the new set of tyres comply with the stipulations of the manufacturer. But, while upsizing tyres, you should get ones with the same or higher speed rating and load index than the stock tyres. If the new tyres have a larger section width, you will have to decrease the sidewall height. Also, you can get different type and compound of tyre for your vehicle.
Repainting (Changing the Colour)
You are allowed to repaint your car in the colour of your choice. But it is necessary to get the pain modifications approved by the RTO. Your vehicle’s RC book should reflect the changes you make to vehicle colour. However, refrain from getting your car painted in Army Green. India reserves Olive Green for military use only.
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A Body-Wrap will not do any damage to your car’s paint job. In contrast, a vinyl wrap can protect the factory paint. This car modification might cost you anything from 10,000 to a lakh rupee. But if applied well a body wrap can last more than 5 years.
Vinyl wrapping your car is perfectly legal. Besides, you don’t even need to get it pre and post approved by the RTO like in the case of a veritable paint change.
You can get a better suspension for your car which would enhance the quality of your drive. But lowering the car too much can be a problem. So would increasing the ride height by several inches.
Modifications like installing anti-roll bars can reduce body roll while making turns. This means a more stable ride. You can also upgrade to coil overs and aftermarket shocks which improve suspension, increase stability and reduce body roll.
In 2012, the Supreme Court of the country banned heavily tinted windshield and vehicle windows. Since tinted glasses makes being inside a car in summer more tolerable, they become more or less indispensable. Therefore, most of us look for ways around this law. Also, cars like Maruti Suzuki Baleno, come with UV tinted glass as stock.
It is still permissible – according to the Motor Vehicles Act of 1998 – to use tint that let more than 80% of light through (to be on the safer side). You should stay away from darker sun films that do not comply with this.
Modification for the Differently-Abled
Acclimatizing vehicles for those who are differently-abled would let them drive on their own and be self-reliant. Fitting adapted mirrors, wheelchair lifts, automatic or hand-operated clutch, accelerator or brakes and similar customizations can make a vehicle suitable for them. Any car, from Alto, Swift and many others can be modified to fit folks who are physically challenged.
All this means you can make a lot of customizations to your car and still be within the bounds of the law. Therefore, you can do a lot with your car and make it your own as long as you are not turning into say, 230 inches long Batmobile.
All jokes aside, you can get minor enhancements to transform your car and give it an all-new look. As long as you keep the structure of the vehicle intact you are within your legal rights to do this. If in doubt be sure to check with your local authorities. But any modifications you make might affect the car’s warranty and insurance. Therefore, inform your insurance company about changes.
So yes, go ahead and get tinted glasses for your car. And don’t forget that batman Bumper sticker.
Looking to accessorise your car? Read: 10 Most Popular In-Demand Car Accessories Trending Right Now