DVLA could 'ban cars from the road' under little-known driving rule

Even alterations to the exhaust system need to be reported to the DVLA and potentially tested
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

The DVLA could take cars off the road and demand inspections under a stringent, lesser-known driving regulation, motoring experts have cautioned. Specialists at car insurance comparison site SimplyQuote have issued a warning that any modifications to new cars "must be reported" to the DVLA without delay.

This requirement covers any enhancements made to the vehicle's chassis, exhaust system, or number plate, as well as changes to the colour of the bodywork. Experts have raised the alarm that the DVLA might call for an immediate inspection of the vehicle, with the power to prevent the car from being driven.

For those who enjoy customising their vehicles and improving essential parts, this could pose a significant risk on safety grounds, reports the Express. SimplyQuote.co.uk explained: "Drivers are required to register significant modifications to their vehicle with the DVLA, updating their V5C registration and providing necessary evidence."

"Modifications that must be reported include changes to the chassis or body shell, alterations to the exhaust system or number plate, or if the vehicle has been wrapped in a different colour." "The DVLA may request an inspection of the vehicle to verify its roadworthiness following these changes."

"If it is necessary to conduct tests and the vehicle fails, it may be prohibited from being used on the roads until corrective actions are taken. Additionally, owners may face fines or even a court summons if the modifications do not meet regulatory standards."

The latest alert has been issued by Compare the Market, highlighting that not reporting car modifications could lead to hefty financial repercussions. The comparison specialists have pointed out that failing to disclose three specific vehicle enhancements might result in fines exceeding £5,000 and accrual of nine penalty points on a driver's licence.

Illegally lowering suspensions and installing oversized spoilers are among the alterations that could see motorists facing fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each offence. Additionally, drivers could be handed a £60 fine just for tinting their car windows. Beyond informing the DVLA, experts insist that insurance providers must also be informed about any modifications.

This is crucial as any changes can significantly alter a vehicle's safety profile and its attractiveness to thieves, which in turn impacts insurance premiums. Keeping quiet about modifications could therefore lead to insurance being voided at the time of a claim.

Julie Daniels, a spokesperson for car insurance at Compare the Market, advised: "If you decide to modify your car while you have an existing insurance policy, you need to notify your provider about the change."

She added, "Ideally, you should check with your provider before altering your vehicle to find out how it might affect your premium or if there will be any amendment fees involved."