There are two main types of modification that can be applied to a vehicle; those that boost performance and those that are mainly applied in order to enhance the aesthetics of the vehicle. If you’re new to the world of car modification then there are a few things you need to think about before you rush in:
Get to know your car – It’s important to understand your car’s capabilities and limitations. Certain modifications won’t work on certain cars; so it’s important to understand how different modifications affect your car’s performance to save you wasting time and money on unnecessary parts.
Do your research – Find out as much about a part as you can before you part with any cash. Check the measurements to make sure the part will actually fit your car, and use forums to ask for advice and opinions on your proposed modifications.
Plan properly – Work out how you want to modify your car, what your budget is, and what order you’ll do everything in.
Safety – Some modifications may void the warranty on your car, and some may even lower the safety of your vehicle. For example, a racing steering wheel may look good but it means that your car wouldn’t be able to accommodate a front airbag which is both unsafe and illegal.
Insurance – Check with your car insurance company before you go ahead as some modifications can increase your insurance premiums. It’s worth checking this before you go ahead in order to ensure you can still afford to insure and drive your modified vehicle.
There are a variety of ways in which you can modify your vehicle, and they fall into three broad categories – minor, medium and major modifications as follows:
Minor modifications: This includes things like paint re-sprays, tinted windows, alarms, tracking systems, immobilisers, new/re-upholstered seating. Minor modifications generally won’t increase your insurance premiums but it’s still worth informing your insurer as some security modifications are likely to actually reduce your premiums!
Medium modifications: This includes aesthetic changes such as front or rear spoilers, alloy wheels, side skirts, neon lighting etc. These types of modifications enhance the appearance of the vehicle making it more appealing to thieves. A heavily modified car is more expensive to repair or replace so insurers usually charge higher premiums for their cover.
Major modifications: This includes anything major which is done to the bodywork or the internal workings of the car in order to enhance its performance. For example to make a car go faster some people install turbochargers to boost the engine, or they might lower the suspension so that the car handles better during driving. Any modification that enhances performance and makes a car go faster puts it at higher risk of accident so this will certainly increase your insurance premiums. It’s definitely worth discussing your modification plans with your insurer before you go ahead to make sure they can still cover you.