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Staying Ahead: How to Align Your Garage Services with DVSA and PAAA Regulations

As a responsible and trusted engine remapping service, we are committed to understanding and following the various pieces of legislation and regulation to make sure we’re complying with the law around modifying vehicles.

All garages are  – or should be – aware of guidelines set by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Professional Automotive Aftermarket Association. Both organisations advise the UK government on what can and can’t be done to alter the on-road performance of all vehicles.

As with most legislation, the devil is in the detail. Under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (Regulations 61(7) and 61A(3)) and the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 42) it is ‘an offence to use on a road a vehicle which has been modified in such a way that it no longer complies with the air pollutant emissions standards it was designed to meet.’

eco tuning ramp


Furthermore, under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 75) it is ‘an offence to alter a vehicle in such a way that the use of the vehicle on a road would be unlawful. A person altering the vehicle (if they knew or believed that the vehicle would be used on the road) could be found guilty of an offence under the Act.’

That said, the Government acknowledges that there is ‘a long tradition’ of owners modifying their vehicles to suit their specific requirements. However – and particularly relating to laws on emission standards – the authorities also warn about the unintended consequences of modding vehicles for performance reasons, especially those which then make that vehicle illegal to drive. And if you haven’t told your insurance provider that your car has been modded, you could be in even deeper trouble and the potential penalties are huge.

So with this in mind, we’ve put together a list of questions frequently asked of us relating to subjects including Cat Deletes, DPF Deletes, Adblue Deletes and EGR Deletes. If you’re considering making modifications, our aim is to make you – as a driver or garage operator –  aware of the legal aspects and how changes might affect a vehicle’s performance and warranty.

Dyno rolling road extended

What you should consider before modifying your vehicle?

Question Answer
Can we legally fit a decat pipe? No. You cannot fit a full CAT delete on a road-legal car. You can fit a “sports cat” if it has been approved and conforms to all legal requirements.
Can we legally remove a DPF, AdBlue, or EGR? No. Removing any emissions-based system from a road-legal car is illegal.
What if the customer has already removed the DPF and just wants the software altering? If you alter the software to remove CAT, EGR, DPF, or AdBlue, you are technically in the chain of removing it and would be liable to prosecution.
What if the customer delivers and takes away the vehicle on a trailer to prove it’s not a road vehicle? Even if a vehicle comes and goes “off-road,” it could still be used on the road. If the vehicle has number plates and a child seat in the back, it likely will be used on the road. This argument would not hold up in court, and you’d be liable for prosecution due to lack of due diligence.
What if I get caught? You’d be liable for a fine of £5,000 or more, with possible damage to your reputation and/or business.

Performance Enhancements: Balancing Compliance and Environmental Responsibility

While we completely understand that performance enhancements are desirable, they should never compromise legal compliance or environmental responsibility. So it’s important for all customers and garage businesses to be fully aware of what can and can’t be done.

If you’re considering a modification and don’t know how best to proceed, why not contact us here or give us a call on 01934 318784. We will do our best to answer any further questions you might have and explain more about our services.

Book your remap at our South West HQ today!

Ready to experience the full potential of your vehicle? Book a remap with MET today!

Based in Weston Super Mare with easy access from J21 of the M5, we are well placed to serve car enthusiasts in Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Wales. Take a look at what MET can do for your vehicle, and book a remap now!

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