Legal vs. Illegal: What You Need to Know About Car Modifications in Australia

Nowadays, owning a car is more of a necessity rather than a want. An efficient transportation system to go to work, bring kids to school, or even drive yourself to where you need to go is very important. That’s why many people are now opting to buy a car. But aside from its usefulness, most owners just love to spice things up a bit.

Owners love to modify their cars according to their preferences or convenience. These car modifications allow their vehicle to have a distinctive appearance, improve its performance, and add updated features. Some choose to modify their vehicles to be better suited for a specialized purpose. However, these modifications also have limits.

Most car enthusiasts may already be aware of the do’s and don’ts. Still, the average driver might not be familiar with some common modifications that are not allowed, especially in Australia. To help you with that, listed here are some of the legal and illegal car modifications you should know.

Approved Modifications

There are many ways to have your vehicle feel like it reflects your personality and makes it the most enjoyable version of itself. But first, it must be an approved modification. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your money on that mod.

Here are three of the most popular legal modifications you can do in your car.

Exhaust System Changes – One approved modification in vehicle standard codes is an exhaust system alteration. Believe it or not, upgrading your exhaust system can help improve your vehicle’s performance.

For example, when the amount of exhaust your engine creates increases, you have to increase your exhaust diameter to allow more gas flow and reduce restriction.

Also, modifying your exhaust system is a sure way to go if you’re the type who likes your car to have a roaring sound. Of course, you should only trust the experts to build these exhaust systems for you.

For one, you can try and check out Manta Exhaust Shop and work with their team of experts for better performance exhaust.

Tire Upgrade – Another famous upgrade for your car’s overall performance is changing its tires. Modifying the tires gives a lot of benefits. This is especially true if you want to go into turns at high speed, accelerate your driving speed, and even slow down efficiently.

All of these can be achieved if you have good traction. Meanwhile, it is also true that you might have to spend a few hundred dollars if you want to upgrade your tire. But, it’s a worth-it investment.

After all, there’s no use spending your money on a big brake kit if the brakes’ force is too much for your tire to handle.

Sway Bars – A sway bar is an essential part of the car’s suspension. A larger sway bar must be located in front since this is where the engine is usually located. Rear sway bars are most often narrow, and having an improved one can help in reducing body roll and lean, thus minimizing understeering.

Furthermore, this helps make your car feel more stable, safe, and agile. A rear sway bar can give you more confidence, especially in tight turns.

Avoid at all costs

Of course, while the idea of modifying your car is exciting, you also have to be aware of what you should avoid doing. This is for you and others’ safety as sometimes, a modified car reduces safety, depending on the complexity of the modification.

Nonetheless, some mods may not seem illegal, but they actually are, such as:

Certain Window Tints – Window tints are an important addition mainly because they help minimize the temperature inside the vehicle, especially during summer road trips. Once upon a time, car owners could buy any adhesive tinting strips.

But the laws have been changed, and now, the legally accepted luminance transmittance (LT) is set at 35%. Anything darker than that, and you will not be able to obtain a Safety Certificate Inspection.

Seat Belt Changes – Countless road accidents have proven how necessary a seatbelt is when driving. However, there are also specified requirements for seat belts that you need to follow.

For example, modifying your seat belt to a race seat belt harness is not allowed, as it is impossible to obtain a modification plate for race seat belt harnesses to be legally fitted in any everyday-use car.

Big Rims – While big, flashy rims make a car attractive, it is not very advisable under the law. Furthermore, big rims are purely aesthetic and aren’t usually safe. Rims as big as 28 inches can easily make the tires flat.

Legally, it is accepted to have a rim that is 2 inches higher or lower than the factory standard size. Anything lower or higher than that, well, you know what will happen – you can’t obtain a certificate for safety.


It is exciting to own a car and have the means to modify it according to your style or for special purposes. However, you should see to it that you are not breaking any law for that. This ensures everyone’s safety and that nobody gets hurt just because of your car modifications. Thus, it is best to know the national standards first to avoid trouble.