New tyre tips to stay legal when you modify your vehicle
In my last article, “Should you check your speedo when you fit new tyres?”, I explained how fitting the wrong-sized new tyres on your vehicle could lead you to break the speed limit even though your speedometer tells you otherwise. This isn’t the only problem you may have if you want to supersize your tyres.
Why you might want larger tyres
If you want extra power, there are many things you can do to your vehicle. You might decide to refit the engine and have it tuned especially for the job your vehicle needs to do. You might fit a supercharger, upgrade the suspension, or replace the turbo.
None of these upgrades will help your vehicles grip on the road. All the power in the world will add up to nothing if you can’t get traction. So, naturally, you’ll look to new tyres. Bigger is better, right? Especially when it comes to grip on the road. A tyre with a wider diameter will give you that grip. It could also void your insurance.
Stay legal with larger tyres
Whatever new tyres you have fitted, they must comply with the law. If you are modifying your vehicle in any way, you must do so in line with the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (NCOP) Vehicle Standards. Regarding new tyres, this code is clear that:
- New tyres fitted to 4WD passenger vehicles must not be more than 50mm wider in diameter than the tyre size designated by the vehicle’s manufacturer
- New tyres fitted to off-road passenger vehicles must not be more than 50% wider than the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended widest tyre
You’ll find the manufacturer’s recommendations on the tyre placard on the door jamb, or in the owner’s manual.
Whatever modification you make, you must also ensure that no part of the wheel or tyre touches:
- Any part of the body of the vehicle
- The chassis
- The steering mechanisms
- The braking system
- The suspension
Also, when aligned straight, the wheels must be housed within the bodywork – they cannot stick out from the side of your vehicle.
Modify your vehicle legally
If you are modifying your vehicle, and there are many reasons why you might wish to do so, the chances are that you’ll need to consider what to do with your wheels and which new tyres to fit.
A larger-diameter tyre will improve clearance if you do a lot of off-road driving. Increasing the diameter of your tyre will give you the added traction you need to benefit from increased power and retain safe braking distances.
However, by modifying your wheels incorrectly you run the risk of the modification being illegal. If you get into an accident and this is the case, your insurance will be void. You could find yourself with a huge cost to pay.
Modifying your vehicle and fitting new tyres without the technical know-how and legal knowledge is not a smart thing to do. Instead, bring your vehicle into our tyre shop in Darra. We’ll help you decide on the best modification and the best tyres to get the most from your vehicle while staying legal and ensuring your insurance covers what you believe it does.
For a professional and personal tyre service that you can trust, contact Darra Tyres today.
Keeping your family and fleet safe,