Q&A - Modifying a Vehicle Exterior

Q&A ImageQ: I have a question about legality around modifying the exterior of my car. I have seen many modified (often lowered suspension as well) cars with front lip spoilers/splitters and I was wondering around the legality of them for a street car. Do you know if they are they legal to have or would they affect insurance in any way to have one if I were to be in a front end collision, either with another car or pedestrian?

I'd also appreciate it if you could tell me which section of the law detail out whether it is allowed or not?

A: You have actually asked a fairly complicated series of questions. Let's look at them individually:

You can modify the exterior of your car. Cosmetic modifications like the lip and spoiler do not require a vehicle inspection. However, if you modify the structure of the vehicle in doing so you will need a pass from a designated inspection facility before you can legally drive it on the road.

I strongly suggest that if you are making structural modifications that you pick the facility that you will use for the inspection and work with them. No sense in making the changes and then finding out that they won't pass.

One common problem with cosmetic modifications and some suspension modifications is insufficient ground clearance.

The vehicle inspection manual used by the facilities should be available for you to read at your local library if you don't want to buy a copy. That will also give you some idea of what can or cannot be done.

The Motor Vehicle Act Regulations is the law with regard to vehicle equipment.

Now that we've seen how to decide on modifications we can move on to insurance.

First, save all your receipts from the project so that you can prove the value for an insurance claim should it become necessary.

Visit your Autoplan Agent and detail what you have done. Have them verify that your insurance coverage is adequate or suggest what you need in order cover any extra value. You may have to purchase supplemental insurance to cover modifications.