No More Modified Cars In India: Supreme Court

Shahram Warsi
Shahram Warsi Jan 17 2019 - 3 min read
No More Modified Cars In India: Supreme Court
The Indian automotive industry along with the manufacturing component is predicted to cross the mark of Rs 18.18 trillion by the end of 2026.

The Indian automobile industry is among the fastest and most popular business segments nationally and globally. The love and craze for owning cars (affordable or luxurious) have been constantly increasing that has resulted in the industry to boom drastically over the years.

The Indian automotive industry along with the manufacturing component is predicted to cross the mark of Rs 18.18 trillion by the end of 2026. Meanwhile, the two-wheeler segment is assumed to grow by 10 percent by 2019.

Supreme Court Banning the Car Modification

India recently witnessed a major move that might not please numerous car enthusiasts and people belonging to the after parts market. The Supreme Court of India banned the process of car modification stating clearly that no motor vehicles are allowed to be altered, deviating from what the manufacturer originally made.

The judgment by a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran said in its verdict - "No vehicle can be altered so as to change original specification made by the manufacturer. Such particulars cannot be altered, which have been specified by the manufacturer for the purpose of entry in the certificate of registration." According to the provision of the Act, 'alteration' means a change in the structure of a vehicle.

Quoting an amended provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, the Supreme Court explained that as mentioned in the certificate of registration, no vehicles should differ from what the manufacturer originally designed and specified.

No More Structural Changes Are Allowed

This move has created a storm in the Indian automobile industry that is causing serious problems to several vehicle business owners. The Indian market has a number of car modification brands that catered to car enthusiasts, willing to make structural changes in their vehicles, enhancing the look and power of their machines.

But the banning of car modification has created a buzz for such business owners. Though, coloring the cars of one’s choice and minor fitments are allowed, but no structural changes in cars are permitted.

 In fact, for replacing a car’s engine with the same capacity, owners need to take permission from the registration authorities that could lead to the cancellation of the registration.

What it implies?

The ban is emerging as one big shock for the Indian car modification business owners. According to the law, modifications such as big alloy wheels, wider tyres, and louder horns that could deviate from the original manufacturer specification are not allowed.

The judgment about altering of the tyres said, “Amended with the purpose to prohibit alteration of vehicles in any manner, including change of tyres of higher capacity, keeping in view road safety and protection of the environment".

Major Challenge

One of the biggest challenges that are haunting the modified car owners and manufacturers is that “will the new law be applied to new vehicles or even the existing vehicles?”

If it also applies on the existing vehicles, what would happen to the vehicles having wider tyres followed by other structural changes?

What Could Be Modified in Vehicles?

There are certain things that could be modified according to the Supreme Court of India.

  • Changing the color of the vehicle is allowed.
  • Minor fitments like door protectors are permitted.
  • One could change the tyres in affordable cars if the manufacturer offers different specified tyres.
  • The engine could be modified that requires permission from the RTO.
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