Modifying cars for Beginners
Before modifying your car, find out which modifications are allowed and which ones are prohibited to avoid problems.
What you should know
The SAAQ is responsible for ensuring that all vehicles used on the road are safe and comply with the Highway Safety Code and its attendant regulations.
Passenger vehicles may be modified to change their appearance or improve performance. However, modifications must comply with the law in order for the vehicle to be authorized for road use.
Before modifying a car
Contact us to find out which modifications are allowed and which ones are prohibited.By mail:
Direction de l'expertise et de la sécurité des véhicules
Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
Case postale 19600, succursale Terminus
Québec (Québec) G1K 8J6
Parts – Use parts that are specifically designed for the vehicle and issued by recognized manufacturers who certify their compliance with road use.
Remember:Modified vehicles are intended for use on the road, not on a race track or on uneven terrain. Some modifications would have very good results on a race track, but can reduce vehicle stability under certain road conditions (rain, bumpy surfaces, etc.). A police officer who has doubts about the safety of a vehicle can order it to undergo a mechanical inspection, even if the SAAQ had already deemed the vehicle in compliance, because it might have been modified again since the initial inspection. A mechanical inspection certificate is not proof of compliance that lasts forever! It only proves that the vehicle was compliant at the time of inspection.
At any time, police officers may:
If the agent notes that modifications hinder the vehicle's braking ability or stability, the vehicle's owner must produce a modified vehicle record and make the necessary changes. This is the case for all vehicles that have been lowered or lifted.
In some cases, we can request an engineer's report indicating that the vehicle's safety has not been compromised.