Is Automobile Alteration in India Legal or Illegal?

Is it okay to modify your vehicle in India or, is it illegal? Are there any modifications you’re allowed to do? All these questions are answered here.

car modification in india

Have you recently purchased your 1st car? Well, congrats on that! Buying your 1st automobile, whether it’s a brand new or used vehicle, is usually a memorable experience. Isn’t it true that your automobile now has to fit your tastes and preferences? So, why not get it a little tweaked to make it seem a little nicer and distinct from the rest? Wait a minute before you go ahead and alter it into something you’ve always desired. Before you get your automobile customized in India, there are a few things you should know.

Is it unlawful to drive a customized automobile in India?

In January 2019, the Supreme Court of India declared that “no motor vehicle in India can be modified or altered in such a way that the data about the vehicle differs from the modified version of the vehicle”.

In layman’s terms, you can’t mess about with the car’s ‘structural characteristics’ in any way. Any modifications to the car’s chassis or engine are likewise prohibited. As a result, going above and beyond with your creativity and depicting it on your automobile may now get you into serious problems.

Which modifications to automobiles are prohibited in India?

Any alteration that is not in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications is illegal:

  • The vehicle’s width and length: Everyone desires a limo or an SUV, but not everyone can afford one. As a result, individuals go to great lengths to make their automobiles appear to be a Limo or an SUV. That, too, is not permitted by the government.
  • Engine conversion to a higher-capacity model: While replacing your engine with a more powerful one improves horsepower and efficiency, changing the engine to something other than the manufacturer’s specs is also prohibited.
  • Tinting the windows: Car window tinting is illegal in India, according to a Supreme Court of India’s judgement. It is prohibited to apply any VLT grade window tint on the windscreen or side windows.
  • Tyre width: This is a no-brainer; wider tyres look nice on your automobile, but extending the width of the tyre to the point where it protrudes from the car’s body is unlawful.
  • Loudness of the horn: While changing the sound and volume of the horn is fashionable these days, the government has mandated that horns be no louder than 100 decibels in order to prevent noise pollution produced by automobile horns.
  • Varied alloys can offer your tyres different appearances, but the government has made it illegal to change your alloys such that the lip of the alloy protrudes over the tyre edge.

In India, what are some permitted automobile modifications?

All common automobile modifications in India, as well as the installation of basic car accessories or anything connected to your vehicle’s safety, are still legal. Let’s take a look at what’s permitted and what may be changed:

  • Engine modification: Engines can be modified, but only with the approval of the RTO (Regional Transport Office). Failure to adhere to the RTO’s regulations might result in the revocation of a vehicle’s registration.
  • Minor changes: Minor modifications to the automobile, such as door protectors, decals, and rain shields, are permitted.
  • Alter the colour of the car: You may change the colour of the vehicle. The only stipulation is that the colour is one that has been approved by the RTO.
  • Engine fuel change: If your automobile is a petrol or diesel, you may get a CNG kit installed.
  • Suspension modification: For a better ride, the car’s suspension can be upgraded to a high-performance version. A few inches of variation from the stock suspension is not at all prohibited.
  • Modifications to headlights and taillights: LED inserts and auxiliary lighting are safe to install and have not been declared illegal by the authorities.


Following extensive investigation and proposals, the Supreme Court and the Government of India developed these laws and regulations.

Modifying a car is a difficult task that necessitates certain expertise, but only when done correctly and safely. The Supreme Court’s decision is undoubtedly a good shift against those who, for a little fee, modify vehicles and motorcycles, posing safety and, to some extent, an environmental hazard. This move will undoubtedly benefit companies and organizations that adhere to the specified protocol when modifying a vehicle, thereby preserving the vehicle’s soul.

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