It’s a “fine” city indeed. No, not just for litterbugs, jaywalkers, and idiots who like to push the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) emergency button – but for drivers as well.
Yes, many drivers know about the fines for things like driving in the bus lane. But what some drivers don’t know about are the fines that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) levies against car owners with “illegal” modifications.
What vehicle modifications will have LTA fining or imprisoning your ass ($1,000 fine or 3 months in prison to be exact)?
Read on to find out:
1. Modifying Your Vehicle’s Lamps
Believe it or not, more than half of the illegal modifications LTA will penalize you for involve vehicle lamps. It’s a shame because most of the mods that’ll get you in trouble actually look pretty cool on your car.
Looking “cool” isn’t what concerns LTA though, as it has the opinion that certain vehicle lamp mods create glare that can distract other motorists and cause accidents.
Here’s a rundown of the vehicle lamp mods you should avoid:
- Aftermarket Daytime Running Lamps (DRL): Installing aftermarket DRLs that are brighter/more powerful than your factory-installed DRLs not only distract other drivers, but act as a huge “fine me” sign to LTA officers.
- Aftermarket Head Lamps: Installing aftermarket head lamps, specifically High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps or other comparably bright head lamps is a huge no-no because the glare can distract drivers (and attract LTA).
- Spot Lamps: Installing spot lamps on your vehicle isn’t enough for LTA to fine you – but using them on Singapore’s roads will. If you have them, keep them covered.
- Decorative Lamps: Installing “cool” lighting fixtures to your vehicle such as wiper LEDs, interior neon lights, or any kind of “distracting” decorative lights will get unwanted attention from LTA.
- Tinting or Masking of Vehicle Lamps: LTA won’t just fine you for ultra-bright lamps. It’ll fine you for having lamps that are not bright enough due to tinting or masking.
2. Installing a Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) System
Are Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) systems a cool vehicle modification to have? Hell yes! Anyone who has seen the Fast and Furious series KNOWS this.
Does LTA want you to have a Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) system installed in your vehicle? No.
LTA’s stance on this issue is that adding a “highly reactive” substance to your vehicle’s combustion might lead to engine damage and failure, which is a road safety issue that can cause accidents.
If that happens, you’ll get found out, and fined – talk about adding insult to injury.
3. Modifying Your Vehicle’s Engine Capacity
Ok, so adding a Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) System to your vehicle is out of the question. But if you think that making “sneaky” little engine modifications to improve its performance won’t get you in trouble – you’re wrong.
Increasing your vehicle’s engine capacity and performance with modifications such as enlarging the cylinder bore of your engine is a huge no-no.
LTA will fine you for the simple reason that such modifications can cause engine failure and increase your vehicle’s COs emissions.
4. Installing a Tow Hook on Your Vehicle
I can’t say I’ve seen many Class A or B vehicles hauling trailers or towing other passenger cars in Singapore – and now I know why.
Because a tow hook is considered an illegal vehicle modification according to LTA.
LTA’s reasoning for not allowing you to install a two hook on your car is quite simple. It believes that any motorcyclists unlucky enough to crash behind a car with a steel tow hook will probably be injured worse than if they slammed into fiberglass – and LTA is right.
5. Installing a Crash Bar on Your Vehicle
Chances are you’ve seen “crash” bars on trucks and SUVs during your travels outside of Singapore.
Yeah, a crash bar looks badass. But it has a very practical reason for being there – it prevents major damage to a vehicle’s chassis if the car slams head-on into a deer or kangaroo. As you’d expect, this is a standard modification for people living in rural areas.
In Singapore, there is no wildlife as large as a deer or kangaroo. But if your vehicle slams into the rear of another vehicle or worse, a pedestrian, it’ll cause major injury to those on the receiving end.
Do you think the penalties for these modifications are too strict, or do you think these mods are dangerous and unnecessary? Tell us what you think on Facebook! For even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!
Personal finance tips delivered to your inbox!
Receive news, subscriber-exclusive promotions and guides on how to become smarter with money.
We promise never to spam you!