Month: December 2015

A Rant about Modified Cars and their Owners

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I’ve been wanting to vent about this for some time but with Christmas almost upon us, seeing one more damn post on Facebook about people not declaring their car mods to their insurance companies really grinds my gears.

I’m a member of a few motoring groups on Facebook, and one that really stands out to me for immature, inappropriate and in several cases down right dangerous behavior is the Corsa C | UK group. Obviously by the type of car, these are popular among the teen and younger/inexperienced drivers or anyone on a budget. There are countless posts bragging about the modifications these people have done to their cars and all the comment threads lead to one thing – that people are happy to openly admit that they have not declared their mods to their insurance company just to save a bit of money.

Don’t get me wrong I like a tastefully modded car, I’m all for it in fact, it makes your car unique, stands out from the crowd and if done right it can look down right awesome. What I’m against though, is these hot headed teenagers who have just passed their test who spend thousands on souping up their motor in all kinds of garish ways while not giving any consideration to how it will affect their car’s safety and handling. It’s like they live in a bubble where they feel it’s OK to openly flout the laws and regulations, ask if things are legal or not (come on, if you feel the need to ask then it’s probably not), to not give a crap how them saving a few pounds on insurance can affect other people around them and it makes them feel like the big guy to boast about their accomplishments on Facebook.

At such a young age they seem oblivious to vehicle safety, constantly pushing their cars beyond their limits, changing suspension here, brakes there and stretched/banded tyres all over the place. Sure some of them might look nice, make your car feel nicer or more sporty to drive and give you buckets of street cred when you’re chatting up underage girls at your local Tesco car park. Some of these mods in themselves are down right dangerous, stretched tyres being my biggest pet peeve of them all. They look hideous, and when you take that corner too fast trying to beat your 0-60 high score that thing is gonna pop right off the rims and send you flying into who knows what is along side you.

If you want to drive a race car, do it on a track, not public roads.

Car manufacturers invest millions if not billions of pounds into research & development, design, testing, analysing flaws/faults, more testing and the safety aspects of all cars. Not to mention they have got billions more £££’s to spare in the unlikely event that their product fails they can pay compensation where it’s due, and also analyse what went wrong and correct it or do a recall if necessary to prevent the same fate happening to others. If one acne-clad goon decides to buy and install new suspension or brakes on their car costing £30 from a dodgy Chinese eBay seller, by following a 2 minute YouTube tutorial, then cannot afford the premium if they were to declare it on their insurance policy then they should not be allowed on the road. Insurance is there for a reason, it’s expensive for a reason, because you are asking your car to behave in a way it was not designed to, using parts that have not had the same budget spent on safety testing, because you’re only 17 and decide to turn your bog standard cheap-to-run matchbox into a hot hatch with little to no driving or mechanical experience and you then become even more of a danger to other road users than you previously were. You’re ruining it for us responsible drivers who abide by the law.

Thankfully, I don’t personally know anyone who has died from a road traffic accident although I do know some people who have come very close to it. Insurance is not a laughing matter, the simple solution is to know what you’re getting into, do your research on how it will affect your insurance premiums, if you can afford to go ahead then at least have an experienced mechanic fit the parts for you. Declare your mods to the insurer and pay any increases necessary, after all, you did research all this beforehand, right?

If you fail to declare modifications to your car, the best case is you WILL get caught, have a few points put on your license for driving without insurance (after all, you are NOT insured if mods are undeclared, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on in this case). Worst case scenario, you kill someone (God forbid a child), you’re standing there in court being charged with manslaughter and going in the slammer for a few years along with an unlimited fine, you look up and see the tears on the face of the family who you’ve taken a life away from, a “sorry” won’t cut it here kiddo. Your pretty young face (and backside) won’t last seconds in prison.

You’re an adult now, it’s time to start acting your age rather than your shoe size. Take responsibility. Drive sensibly in public places at all times. Disclose EVERYTHING about your car to the insurer. Pay the premium. If you can’t afford it, get off the dole, get a job and earn the privilege to drive the car you want. Nothing in this life is free nor will it ever be, if you want privileges such as driving a modified car you’re gonna have to earn it, ‘fam’.

Don’t put innocent people’s lives at risk, it’s not worth it.

(Note: The image above is from a The Times news article, currently awaiting permission for use. Should the copyright holder wish it to be removed please do get in touch via the comments section below).