Aftermarket parts to be made illegal, says Department for Transport

No data was found
Aftermarket Parts

As part of the Department for Transport’s ‘Future of Transport’ review, there has been proposals to ban any kind of ‘tampering’ with ‘a system, part or component, of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road.’ In short, the government want to stop us modifying our bikes (or any of our road vehicles), with aftermarket parts.

One of the main driving forces behind the proposed changes is vehicle emissions. Road tax categories, low emissions zones and various other road charges are based on the emissions data of a standard vehicle. Obviously, if you’ve binned off your standard exhaust, with its umpteen catalytic converters, lambda sensors and charcoal filters, your bike’s not going to be as ‘green’ as it was when it rolled off the production line.

There is also concern that, moving forward, when autonomous vehicles become a genuine thing, faffing with their systems could cause havoc. But self-driving cars of the future are a little bit different to Joe Bloggs’ GSX-R750.


So what happens then, when the government ban us from fitting any aftermarket parts to our bikes? Does every motorcycle and car have to remain absolutely and completely standard for it’s entire life? When our tyres wear out, do we need to replace them with exact matches of the OE spec rubber? What about other consumables and wear parts? Chains, sprockets, brake pads, clutches. Will we have to pay top-dollar and buy everything direct from the OE parts list? What about parts that don’t affect performance, safety or emissions? If my bike doesn’t come with heated grips, can I not retrofit any? Would that be breaking the law? And what if the manufacturer doesn’t supply a part I need? Will the insurance company have to write off a superbike for the sake of a cracked mirror glass, if I can’t get hold of a ‘genuine’ one?

And what’s going to happen to the thousands of aftermarket parts manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers etc. that rely on people blinging their vehicles up with the latest kit? It’s a massive industry. Huge. They’d be effectively closing it down. Thousands would lose their jobs.

It’s an absolute nonsense. The people who suggest these ridiculous changes obviously haven’t thought it through. Either that or they don’t live in the real world. Or both. Because it’s not the first time changes like this have been suggested. They were talked about back in 2012, when they were writing the rules for Euro4. But obviously, and quite rightly, they were strongly opposed by anyone with a braincell or two, and nipped in the bud.


But they’re having another go. Not for the first time, the government seem desperate to tell us what we are and aren’t allowed to do with our own property. And I’m getting sick of it. There are already enough rules in the world, let’s not confuse the job with even more.

With a short eight week consultation (rather than the usual twelve), if you want to have your say, you’re going to have to be quick. The DFT’s survey can be found here, should you wish to tell them exactly what you think.


7 Responses

  1. Great article but can someone with more brains than me translate the consultation document to English, I think thats going to stop a lot of bikers filling it in. I’m semi literate and I wouldn’t bet you a quid that I’ve filled it out right.

  2. So now they expect the village idiots who work as traffic cops to know the difference between stock and modified for every vehicle on the road? Good luck with that. Those clowns are lucky if they get their shoes on the right feet in the morning.

  3. Genuinely reckon it’s worth you gents doing one of your fine videos on this as it needs as much kick off as possible. It effed me off so much I looked through the proposals and it’s more sinister than just fkin over bike mods – buried in the guff it says the thieving charlatans in power want the right by law to access the various monitoring devices fitted to modern cars/bikes, for, and I wish I was making this up, ‘surveillance’!! How long will it be from there to having an auto fine issued for doing 60 in a 50 do you reckon? Big brother coming to a garage near you!

  4. What they are proposing could be considered intrusive under current data protection law.

    I can’t get how they will enforce this….maybe an enhanced MOT?

    Who foots the bill for un-modifying(sp) all the existing modified vehicles? Or will it apply to only new vehicles from a set date?

    It’s an awful idea dreamnt up by uninformed individuals and hopefully its 20+ years away

    I’ve completed the survey, if anyone is struggling to complete it or wants a nosey at my responses I’m more than happy to share.

  5. I wonder what would happen to all the classic bikes or older models?! Especially if you can’t get OEM parts for them anymore. Would they all end on the scrap heap? Our little business is built on aftermarket and reproduction parts, this would be the end of us…

  6. I live in Luxembourg these days and sold my motorbike before I moved here as I had very little paperwork to cover all the mods I had made for it. It sounds like they would go down the European approach so you need to show the product or modification is safe via a certification scheme or individual testing ie more high skilled jobs 😀 Here technically ANY modification needs papers and to be registered against the vehicle. Obviously when I take off the pegs, change the indicators, add crash protection I don’t bother, I just return it to stock for the annual test, the police don’t know the difference or care.. Having got my modified 1987 bmw successfully registered here I confirm it is bloody expensive to go the route without papers but it can be done, things like emissions and noise really won’t be tolerated if out of spec, but other stuff seems to be looked on generously. So here we are going down a more European / paperwork driven model post Brexit, you can’t make this shit up.

  7. This is just ridiculous change your seat for a comfortable one your nicked mate put stickers on your wheels your nicked mate come on what’s the world coming to who’s going to reimburse all the thousands spent on non performance upgrades ie carbon parts etc 100s of ponds worth could be on one bike play the game

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related COntent