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It seems the EU has struck again and this time their meddling fingers are pointing towards everyone who owns a modified car. There are rumours of a new EU law being bought in that would ban people modifying their cars – meaning if your car is already modified it will no longer be road legal… making it effectively redundant until you had stripped it of anything that wasn’t standard.

Luckily this law is only just entering the proposal stage so nothing is set in stone and it will have to go through a long, drawn out negotiation stage before anything is definite – but if this law did come to pass, what would it mean for the ‘modified’ cars?

Well if it comes in with the full force that the proposal intends it to do, it could mean big problems for a lot of car owners. The EU basically wants to change the definition of the roadworthiness test so that all the components of the vehicle must comply with the characteristics at the time that it was first registered.

Taking it to the extreme, this would mean that your car would fail its MOT if it had something even as insignificant as a tow bar! The Association of Car Enthusiasts (ACE) says that the law would mean that aftermarket wheels or stereos would cause your car to fail. So all those young people who have saved up their hard earned pennies to buy a clapped out Fiesta or Micra but put in an aftermarket head unit so they didn’t have to spend hours transferring their mp3’s on to cassette or listening to an ancient radio that played more static than music wouldn’t get through their next MOT!

How Viable is it?

It’s highly unlikely that the law would ever be passed being so incredibly strict as it would take a huge majority of cars off the road. Some people believe even if the law was tamed to only include parts that affect a car’s performance or emissions, it’s still totally unviable. Classic cars are a casing point; if you want to keep your cherished VW Beetle on the road for example, it’s best for everyone involved that you upgrade the brakes from drums to disks! Also seatbelts… the seatbelt legislation didn’t come into force until 1983 meaning many classic cars aren’t fitted with seatbelts as standard; following the EU law, your car should technically fail its MOT because seatbelts aren’t standard, so the proposal could do with some tweaking.

Is It All Bad?

There’s probably a large majority of people who would love to see an end to the boy racer cars flying round our streets with a spoiler that’s larger than the car, horrendous body kit and re-sprayed to such a hideous colour it looks like Lady Gaga threw up on it!

In this respect the law might not be all that bad, but on the other hand, car shows would literally become redundant. All those people who have dedicated years to modifying their prized VW Camper Van or making their Fiat 500 Abarth edition looking great, would no longer be able to travel round the country showing off their car at all the top car shows. Although many people could probably do without the heavily modified ‘chav’ cars, there is something special about a unique car that stands out from the crowd.

What about the Insurance Companies?

It’s debatable as to whether the car insurance companies will back this new law or not. They make a huge amount of revenue through insuring modified cars. Just a simple thing like lowering your suspension a few inches can cause your insurance premium to double in price. So it may be that the insurance companies won’t be so keen on this law if it means they will no longer be able to charge extortionate annual premiums to anyone who dares modify their car.

The Silver Lining

As the law is only at proposal stage, there is plenty of time for it to be scrapped. Another thought to hang on to is that the Department of Transport is against anything that would have major cost implications for the government, the industry and even us as car owners.

All in all the idea is pretty absurd, but only time will tell…

This article was written by Meredith Watts on behalf of Insure4aDay; the perfect place to go for your short term car insurance to cover you when you’re using a car for a short period of time.