With nearly 13,000 cars involved, number plate modifications are the most common illegal car update.


With nearly 13,000 cars involved, number plate modifications are the most common illegal car update.

According to recent research from Compare the Market, number plate modifications are the most common illegal vehicle modification seen on UK cars.

Last year, more than 13,000 drivers were caught driving with tampered license plates than any other illegal update. The 13,720 offenders accounted for 56% of all driver concerns about modifications.

Changes to a vehicle’s headlights were the second most popular change, affecting nearly 5,700 drivers.

Last year, more than 3,000 cars had illegally tinted windows, accounting for 17% of all illegal alerts.

Finally, Compare the Market identified alterations to the exhaust system as a serious issue.

Under 776 drivers were captured with illegal exhausts, accounting for only 3% of total unauthorized modifications.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request to local police forces, Compare the Market was able to obtain the information.

Any unauthorized alterations, according to Dan Hutson, Head of Motor Insurance at Compare the Market, risk “invalidating” insurance.

He has urged drivers to conduct their homework before installing a new part and to notify a supplier as soon as possible if something changes.

This is due to the possibility that legal alterations could “increase car insurance premiums” since the vehicle will be considered a bigger risk.

“Modifications tend to fall into two categories: performance and cosmetic,” he explained.

“However, any change, no matter how little, should be disclosed to your auto insurance company.

“Legal modifications might raise auto insurance costs, so check with your provider before making any alterations, and some carriers specialize in modified cars.

“Unlawful modifications are likely to void any form of car insurance policy, so do your homework ahead of time.”

Compare the Market’s new data also identified the UK’s top hotspots for illegal alterations.

Gloucestershire was at the top of the list, with an average of 1,452 offenses per million people.

With 1,251 offenses per million persons, Norfolk came in second. Northern Ireland and Suffolk came in second and third, respectively.

With a total of 9,373 offenses reported in the previous year, London came in fifth.


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