If you are thinking of making any modifications to your car, you should consider certain things, both for the sake of law and your car insurance.
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Vital Non-insurance Considerations before Making Modifications
First off, before you add something or change anything in your car, you should make sure whether what you are planning to do is legal.
All vehicles being driven on the Australian roads should be something called “street-legal”. There are chances that the changes you want to make may affect the street-legal status of your vehicle.
Always inform your relevant licensing body before making any changes to your car.
Visit Dazmac which is a great source of information on a variety of vehicles.
What if the Changes are Illegal?
Typically some of the following things can happen if your changes are illegal:
- You’ll incur a sizeable fine
- Your car will be impounded
- Your car will be de-registered
- You’ll get a defect notice
How to Know if Your Changes are Legal?
As per Australian laws, modifications to your vehicle should be approved by your territory or state’s motor vehicle licensing department and they should comply with the following:
- ADR or Australian Design Rules
- Road rules and regulations
- NCOP or the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification
Types of Changes that are Typically Allowed by Law
Changes that are allowed by law include but are not limited to:
- Roof racks
- Alarm systems
- Stabiliser bars
- Additional lighting
- Badge bars
- Air shock absorbers
- Body markings
- Air conditioning
- Single tone air horns
- Stereo systems
Types of Changes that are Typically Illegal
- Dark window tinting
- Loud exhaust systems
- Non-compliant changes to the tyres, engines, suspension or chassis
Insurance Considerations Regarding Changes
Once you understand the legal side of this, you should learn about the insurance side.
Do You have to Inform Your Insurer?
Yes, without fail! Not informing your insurer of any modifications could result in voidance or cancellation of your policy and rejection of any claims you may make.
In certain situations, failing to inform your insurer about the modifications may even result in voidance of the warranty of your vehicle.
Types of Modifications that will and will not be Covered
While insurance policies vary between insurers, when it’s about modifications, all “mainstream” insurers will typically cover the following:
- Radio and stereo systems
- Bicycle racks
- Chrome exhaust systems
- Bull bars
- Alloy wheels
- Alarm systems
- Driving lights
- Changes that mainstream insurers normally don’t cover include:
- Roll cages
- Roll bars
- Hydrogen or nitro fuel-equipped engines
- Racing harnesses
- Supercharged or turbocharged engines
- Custom paint work
Do Modifications Affect the Price of Insurance?
Yes! While certain modifications are considered quite harmless and won’t make any changes in the premiums, some other changes may affect your insurance costs positively or negatively depending upon the type of modifications.
If you have added an alarm system to your car, that reduces the risk of theft or added certain safety features, that lessens the chances of an accident, your insurance premium will in fact be lower.
However, modifications that influence aesthetics and performance normally carry increased accident risk and so, will incur a higher premium.
Other modifications that increase the value of your vehicle like custom parts and stereo systems also heighten its appeal to burglars, and so, will incur increased premiums.
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Will Being Young Affect Your Insurance Prospects if You Make Changes to Your Car?
If you modify your car (especially those related to higher speed and engine capacity) and you are under 25 (and particularly if you are a male), you may become uninsurable, irrespective of what kind of insurer you want to deal with.
While considering making changes, some changes are compulsory to make e.g. cleaning asbestos from your car. Get Dazmac Logistics to clean asbestos in old cars.
All in all, make modifications to your car after doing thorough research so that you can really enjoy those changes.