Understanding The Background Of Car Modification In India| Legal vs illegal

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford luxury cars.  But that should not stop you from transforming your existing one into something special.  With just a few modifications and upgrades, you will be able to improve the style or performance of your wheels. 

Have you bought your own first car?  Well, thank you for that!  Buying your first car is always a special feeling, no matter whether it’s a brand new or second hand car.  It will always remain ‘special’ for you.

Now, your car has to match your taste and preferences, doesn’t it?  So, why not modify it a bit and make it look a little better and different than the rest!  Well, you can always modify something you want before holding it straight.  Here are some things you need to know before modifying your car in India.

Few Risks Of vehicle Modification In India

In January 2019, the Supreme Court of India ruled that no motor vehicle in the country could be modified or replaced, which is why car data differs from the modified version of the car.  In the language of the general, you can’t play with the ‘structural features’ of the car in any way.  Any changes to the chassis or engine of a car are called illegal.  So, going above and beyond with your imagination and painting it on your car now can get you into some serious trouble.

This kind of car modification is illegal in India.

Any modification that deviates from the manufacturer’s specifications is not legal.

Tire Width: This is no problem, larger tires look better on your vehicle but increasing the width of the tire to the extent that the car’s body is stretched is illegal.

Horn Noise: Changing Horn Noise and Harshness Today’s trend is to reduce noise pollution caused by car horns.

Alloy width: Different alloys may give your tires a different look but modify your alloys, where the government forbids the alloy’s lip to protrude from the tire edge.

Vehicle width and length: Everyone wants a limo or SUV but not everyone can afford it.  Therefore, people tend to disrupt the length of their cars to look like a limo or SUV.  Also, the government has not sanctioned it.

Modification of a higher capacity engine: Changing your engine better will give you better horsepower and efficiency, but it is also prohibited from changing the engine to manufacturer specifications.

Paint windows: The Supreme Court of India has ruled that painting a car window in India is prohibited.  It is illegal to use any VLT (Visual Light Transmission) rating window tint on the windscreen (front and rear), side windows.  Painted windows are allowed directly from the car manufacturer with certain conditions.

Also read: Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2019

These are some of the legal car modifications in India.

Well, all the popular car modifications and addition of basic car accessories in India or anything related to the safety of your car is still allowed.  Let’s see what is allowed and can still be modified –

Engine modification: Yes, the engines can be replaced, but this requires the prior approval from the RTO (Regional Transport Office).  Failure to comply with the protocols specified by the RTO can result in cancellation of the vehicle registration.

Tire modification: Car manufacturers can usually choose to change car tires in the range allowed by offering a variety of spec tires from the base variant to the top model variant.  For example – if you have a mid-range model you can go and choose the tires that are available on the same car.

Minor modifications: Small fittings such as door protectors, decal and rain guards can be added to the car without any irregularities.

Colour Modification – You can change the colour of the vehicle.  The only condition is that the colour approved by the RTO must be the same.

Engine Fuel Change: You can get CNG kit fitment if your car is petrol or diesel.

Suspension Modification: The carโ€™s suspension can be modified to high performance for a quality ride.  A difference of a few inches from stock suspension is not illegal.

Modification of headlights and tail-lights: LED inserts and auxiliary lamps are safe to install and are not illegal by the government.

Car vinyl in India

The law of vinyl wrapping in India is quite vague.  The Supreme Court bench, headed by justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran, said nothing about the vinyl cover on the car.  It is always advisable to consult with the RTO of your area to make sure, before making any kind of modification to the colour of your car.

In addition, it is true that vinyl wrapping does not change the colour or design of the vehicle as mentioned in the registration certificate issued by the company, making it illegal.


The Supreme Court and the Government of India came up with these rules and regulations after thorough research and consultation.

Vehicle modification involves precisely hard work and some skills but only when done properly and safely.

The Supreme Court ruling is certainly a welcome change against roadside moderators, altering cars and bikes to a lesser degree, thus putting safety and the environment at risk.

This move will definitely benefit companies and organisations that follow a specific protocol in modifying the car and therefore keep the carโ€™s spirit alive.


Why is vehicle modification illegal in India?

It is illegal to install fancy and loud aftermarket exhaust pipes in India under CMVA Rule 120.  This is because they can cause more air and noise pollution.  In addition, such exhaust pipes are not eligible to perform a pollution control (PUC) test mandatory for driving a vehicle in India.

Is Car Roof Roofing In India Legal?

Noticing such a difference would attract fines and seize the vehicle on suspicious grounds.  However, it is true that if the vinyl envelope does not change the colour or design of the vehicle as stated in the company’s registration certificate, there is no point in calling it illegal.

Is Car Roof Roofing In India Legal?

Noticing such a difference would attract fines and seize the vehicle on suspicious grounds.  However, it is true that if the vinyl envelope does not change the colour or design of the vehicle as stated in the company’s registration certificate, there is no point in calling it illegal.

Is bike modification legal in India?

Before you begin to modify your bike, you must understand why over-modification of bikes is illegal under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

Is vehicle modification allowed in India?

According to the Supreme Court’s 2019 ruling, vehicles cannot be modified to significantly alter manufacturers’ original specifications.

What car modifications are illegal in India?

Here is a some of illegal car modifications in India

Fancy number plates. 

Pressure horns or Stress Horn.

Loud Aftermarket Exhausts.

Dark Sun Film (Window Tinting).

Illegal HID.

Cutting the roof.

Engine swap.

Bull bars / crash guards.

Extra wide tires.

Body Lifting Kits.

What are some legal car modifications in India?

Here is a list of legal car modifications in India

Updating the tires.  Get performance tires for your car.

Repaint (change colour) car repaint.

Body wrapping.  Car wrapping.

Suspension renewal.  Aftermarket coilover suspension.  Window tinting.

Modification for the Disabled.

Is remapping legal in India?

It is illegal to customise a vehicle in any form by changing the look of the vehicle or putting a different body on it.

Is vinyl wrapping illegal in India?

In India, it is not legal to drive a vehicle in a different colour vinyl than the one reported in the RC book.

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