Are You Allowed to Modify a Vehicle in BC?

Vehicle Modifications in Vancouver, BC

Yes, you can definitely modify a vehicle in the province of British Columbia. However, there are certain requirements regarding any sort of modification that involves something other than the lip and spoiler on a car.

Generally, modifications that are done at home or through a professional car modification company do not require a vehicle inspection. However, depending on what you are modifying, as well as how many modifications you are doing, your car may be subject to a BC vehicle inspection before it can be driven on and insured for BC roadways.

When modifying a vehicle, anything that impacts the overall structure of your car will require a BC vehicle inspection. The purpose of this is to keep all vehicles under the same guidelines, but also to protect yourself as well as other road users.

Even when modifications are done by professionals, when there gets to be several modifications or ones that do change the structure of a car in anyway, the vehicle will need to be checked over at a registered vehicle inspection facility to ensure that it complies with British Columbia regulations.

We highly recommend checking the BC vehicle inspection manual before planning or considering any extensive modifications on your car. You can find more information on this HERE.

What Vehicle Modifications Require an Inspection in British Columbia?

Modified vehicles BC

As we touched on a moment ago, any modifications made to a vehicle that impact (or can impact) the general structure of it, require a vehicle inspection. However, how do you know if what you want to modify will alter the structural integrity? It will typically fall under one of the following 5 categories and are pertaining to either alteration or replacement of any of them.

Vehicle Modifications that Require Inspection Include:

1. Chassis

This one is number one on the list because the chassis of any vehicle is quite literally its framework. When you tamper with the framework, you run the risk of compromising the overall structural integrity of the entire vehicle.

In fact, whenever there is any bend in the frame of a vehicle, ICBC will usually write the car off. There are exceptions to this depending on where the damage to the frame is, how severe it is, and the age and condition of the vehicle itself.

As a professional car buyer that has been buying cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, and motorcycles throughout the Lower Mainland for over 30 years, we have truly seen it all. There are many vehicles that get haphazardly modified and become undrivable, uninsurable, and unsellable as a result.

Fortunately, for anyone that has been in the predicament of having a vehicle with a compromised chassis, you can still sell your car to Cash For Cars BC. We buy vehicles from $100 – $100,000+, regardless of age or condition. From scrap cars to Supercars, we buy them ALL!

2. Fuel Type

Busting the gas myth - Are all gas types the same

For anyone who grew up in the 1980’s, you may remember when propane trucks were all the rage. It offered better gas mileage in theory, but because propane tanks are typically heavier than gas tanks, it hindered the vehicle’s performance.

With the added weight of a propane tank, many of the vehicles in the 80’s that ran on propane had slower reaction time when braking, compromised torque, and overall were not as good as they were first thought to be. Hence why the propane fad died out shortly after it started.

Nowadays, it is less common to see a vehicle that has been converted from one form of fuel to another, but it does still happen. Before converting any vehicle from gas to propane, or gas to electric, the vehicle must be inspected before and after any alterations. Failure to pass the inspection will result in it being uninsurable. Thus, undrivable in British Columbia.

3. Suspension

It’s no secret that British Columbians love their 4×4’s. Particularly anyone living in Meto Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island. We rely heavily on SUVs, 4×4 trucks, and Jeeps to navigate our ever-changing weather and terrain. Because let’s face it, when you get hit with sun, rain, hail, and snow all on the same day, owning a vehicle that can handle whatever you throw at it is critical.

Furthermore, while many of us spend our workweek in the city, we spend our weekends in the mountains. And what better way to tackle mud slides, falling rocks, and everything in between than lifting your vehicle?

Unfortunately, you can’t make major modifications to your vehicle’s suspension without having it inspected before putting it back on the road. There are limits to how much lift a vehicle can have, depending on the type of vehicle, and what it’s built for.

Lifted Modified Truck

So, if you are thinking about jacking up your SUV, truck, or Jeep, consult Division 25 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations manual to ensure you are complying with British Columbia safety standards.

4. Engine or Power Train

Naturally, when you are replacing an engine, or altering any of the vital components involved with your power train, a vehicle inspection must take place. Improperly installed engines pose a huge risk for public safety. This is not only because of how the engine itself could operate incorrectly if not done right, but also because it poses a big engine fire risk.

Additionally, power train modifications can greatly impact the way a vehicle handles. If modifications are done incorrectly, and an accident happens as a result, you are liable for any and all damages that were caused by the improper replacement or alteration.

Hence the mandatory inspection that is required at a registered facility after repairs, alterations, or replacements have been completed.

5. Steering or Brake Systems

Cash for cars

For much of the same reasons that an inspection is required after power train alterations, there is also one needed after serious steering or brake system alterations or repairs. If you modify your braking system or steering system, and it hinders your vehicle’s ability to stop or react properly in an emergency situation, it could surely cause an accident.

Usually when our vehicle needs brakes, we simply take it to our local brake mechanic, like the great people at Budget Brake and Muffler Auto Centres on East 2nd in Vancouver. However, when switching from one type of braking system to another (like non-ABS to ABS) or altering the way your brake system is structured, you must have your vehicle inspected before putting it back on the road.

Cash for Cars for Vehicles that Failed Inspection

car buyers Mission

Any alterations or replacements of the above vehicle systems, or any components relating to them, generally will be subject to inspection. This is why it is so important to have major alterations that are made to your vehicle done by a licensed, insured, and professional mechanic or car modification specialist to avoid any serious liability on your part.

Regardless of what you have modified on your vehicle, or what condition it is currently in as a result, Cash For Cars BC will buy your car. We purchase vehicles that have failed inspection, have structural damage, and even cars with collision damage. Part of being Vancouver’s best used car buyer is being flexible when it comes to the type of vehicles that you buy!

And don’t worry, if you have a vehicle that has been legally modified and want to sell that too, Cash For Cars BC will absolutely offer you the MOST cash for that too! We love rare finds, unique and customized vehicles of any make, model, or year. NOBODY Pays More!

Can You Sell a Vehicle that Has Been Illegally Modified in BC?

Yes, and no. You can’t sell a vehicle that has illegal modifications for the purposes of being driven on BC roadways. Plus, even if you did try to sell one to someone who intended to insure it and drive it, they would never be able to insure it.

Selling any vehicle that does not comply with the Motor Vehicle and Safety Act in British Columbia is against the law, unless the vehicle is being scrapped. This is when using a trusted, licensed, and fully insured professional car buyer like Cash For Cars BC will be vital.

As mentioned before, we purchase vehicles in absolutely any condition. This includes vehicles that have failed the BC vehicle inspection. That also includes vehicles that have not yet been inspected, but have received a Box 1, 2, or 3 Notice & Order.

Modified cars and trucks for sale

Generally, when we purchase a vehicle that cannot pass inspection, it is for the purposes of scrap. The car will more than likely be broken down and disposed of. Because we are buying a scrap vehicle, we do not require an in-person appraisal to make you an offer on your car. We can give you a quote right over the phone or by text!

What Vehicle Modifications are Prohibited in BC?

Sell My Car Vancouver

As far as illegal modifications go, Cash For Cars BC has also seen many of those over the years. We know that when someone who loves their car and has an idea wants something, sometimes they go for it, despite British Columbia law.

In fact, there are so many people altering their vehicles across the province that police actually have a hotlist of illegal items to look out for. If you’ve been making “adjustments” to your ride in anyway without first consulting the Motor Vehicle & Safety Act, be aware that you may be ticketed and end up with a hefty fine.

The 5 Most Common Illegal Car Modifications in BC:

Tinted Windows

1. Illegal vehicle suspension and excessive lift kits

2. Illegal headlamps or headlamps height (non-regulated colour, placement, trajectory)

3. Improperly sized mudflaps (for all our Mission residents who are driving duellies with mud flaps, this means you! lol)

4. Illegal window tint (too dark, improper colour, tint on front windows)

5. Illegal license plates (obstructing covers, illuminated with LED that hinders visibility of the numbers/letters, not displayed in the proper place)

What Happens If I Don’t Get My Vehicle Inspected After Modifications?

We all see many vehicles driving around with what looks like excessive lift, darker than they should be windows, and with body kits that are definitely not intended for the vehicle that it is on. However, while some people may fail to properly register their vehicle after making modifications, their time will most definitely come.

Cash for cars

If your vehicle is from another province, you will be subject to a vehicle inspection before it can be insured with British Columbia insurance and given BC license plates. And if that car has been modified in its originating province, it will definitely be under more scrutiny.

For many BC locals, renewing insurance doesn’t involve a whole lot of investigation on the Autoplan broker’s part. Especially when you have been renewing insurance on the same vehicle for many years. While you may not need to show proof of inspection to renew your insurance, you will at some point be ticketed, fined, and even issued a Box 1 or 3 Notice & Order.

The CVSE, local Police, and the RCMP are always on the lookout for vehicles that do not comply with BC’s safety regulations. If you don’t want a ticket, make sure that you follow the steps for modifying a vehicle in British Columbia as outlined in the Motor Vehicle & Saftey Act Manual.

What Types of Vehicles Do We Buy?

Cash for cars that are modified

Anything and everything that you can imagine! In fact, you’ll never find a more accommodating used car buyer than Cash For Cars BC. From junk cars to sports cars to motorcycles to boats; we pride ourselves on being the MOST flexible used car buyer in the Lower Mainland.

We Are Always Looking to Buy:

  • Passenger cars
  • Sports cars
  • Exotic cars
  • Imports
  • Station wagons
  • Trucks
  • 4×4’s
  • Jeeps
  • SUVs
  • Crossovers
  • Vans
  • Hybrids & EVs
  • Motorcycles
  • Powersport vehicles such as quads, ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes
  • RV’s and campers
  • Buses
  • Boats
  • Scrap cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans

Call Cash For Cars BC & Sell Your Car for the MOST Cash


No matter what type of vehicle you’re selling, or what condition it’s in, Cash For Cars BC has you covered. We’ll make you an instant cash offer on any scrap vehicle right over the phone. And for anything that is not a scrap car, we can usually arrange in-person appraisals for the same day.

Our dedicated team of used vehicle buyers always come to you, not you to them. So, we can come to your home, school, work, or anywhere else that works best for you. We provide this service entirely free, and it is available 7 days a week between 8:00 AM-10:00 PM. We even buy cars on many statutory holidays.

If you want a quick and easy way to sell your car, truck, SUV, van, or motorcycle, sell it to Cash For Cars BC. We handle all the paperwork, we come to you, and NOBODY Pays More!

Have vehicle-related questions? Enter what you want to learn about in the search bar below

Share This Post With Your Friends, Choose Your Platform!

About the Author: cashforcars

Cash For Cars BC is a Vancouver based used car and truck buying service. We make the process easy to sell your vehicle. We come to you and we do all the paperwork. We always offer the most cash and pay on the spot. GIve us a call, text or email today to see how we can help you sell your car in Vancouver for the most possible money.