The UK’s Hotspots for Illegal Car Modifications
The number one county for illegal vehicle modifications is Gloucestershire which has a population of 637,100. In 2020, The county’s car owners committed 925 unlawful modification offences, which equates to 1,452 per million people. Next up was Norfolk with 1,241 offences per million, followed by Northern Ireland with 1,179 offences per million people. The county with the fewest modification offences was Gwent in Wales with just four cases, which equates to seven per million people.
The figures are according to 36 police forces across the country that were responding to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from Compare the Market.
Altered Personalised Number Plates Head the List of Dodgy Modifications
Altered, obscured, and missing number plates might be a fairly common sight on the UK’s roads. But police forces that responded to the FOI request said they had fined 13,720 drivers for dodgy number plates in 2020. That accounted for 56% of all illegal modification offences.
The next most popular offence was Illegal alterations to headlights with more than 5,700 drivers caught. Illegally tinted windows accounted for 17% of offences with 3,000 cases, while 776 motorists were caught with dodgy exhaust modifications, making up 3% of offences.
Head of Motor Insurance at Compare the Market, Dan Hutson said, “Modifications tend to fall into two categories - performance or cosmetic. But any modification, no matter how minor, should be reported to your car insurance provider.
“Lawful modifications can increase car insurance premiums, so it’s best to check with your provider before making any changes and there are some providers who specialise in modified cars. Modifications which are against the law are likely to invalidate any type of car insurance policy, so do your research beforehand.”
Dodgy Number Plate Offenders May Face Heavier Penalties
Drivers with personalised number plates are often caught for altering the spacing of characters or using strategically spaced black screws to spell out names or specific words. However, there are specific rules for the size and spacing of number plate characters. Other drivers, often with criminal intent, alter their plates with reflective coatings or obscure them to avoid ANPR cameras.
Currently, drivers with illegally modified, or even dirty plates can face a £100 fine, while repeat offenders can be slapped with fines of up to £1,000. However, under a private member’s bill presented to the House of Commons, drivers who display illegal plates could receive three points on their licence on top of a fine, which would act as much more of a deterrent.
CarReg is an Accredited Personalised Number Plate Supplier
CarReg is a trusted registered DVLA number plate supplier and we’ve been established for over 30 years. You can be assured that, when you buy personalised number plates from us, they will conform to all legal standards and you can display them with pride and no fear of prosecution. As long as you don’t alter them of course!