It’s not like we are against car modification but there always are two sides of the story. So while modifying your car has its own advantages (we’ll cover that shortly), let us first look at why you should stick to the original/stock/unmodified form.
Better Resale Value
Usually if anyone is looking for a car, he/she tries to find the stock ones. The major reason behind it is that with a FSH (full service history) it’s easy to know what the car went through. Modified examples fail to retain their value mainly because of the fact that the original body/mechanicals/paint has been altered.
There’s of course an exception to the said rule. If the modified car offers something hugely different from a normal one, there’s a chance that its value in the used car market is better. Whether or not that equals the hard work, time, and money that’s gone in making one, is again a mixed bag.
Also read: Want a great resale value? Buy these cars
No hassles with the RTO
While the fine details are often left out, a big modification needs to be endorsed by the RTO on the vehicle’s RC.
Alloy wheels and simple bodykits might not be an issue, but a change of colour, increased length, width, or height, or any mechanical upgrade (inclusion of a bigger capacity engine etc.) need to be verified by the RTO. In Mumbai and Thane, recently, RTOs have been getting stricter about modified cars.
Not verifying with an RTO can again be problematic, especially in case of an accident. Or perhaps, while driving across districts or states. The RTO in a particular district might not care, but that may not be the case when you drive into the next district or state.
Insurance and warranty
Any deviation from the stock condition (especially in case of the engine) is likely to void the company warranty. Same goes for the electronics – be it the ECU, or the electric wiring. So for any such modification, you need to check with the respective manufacturer.
As for the insurance, if RTO endorses the change, then the insurance is likely to cover it. While the premium doesn’t change in that case, but for anything that’s not endorsed by the RTO and verified by the insurance company, it’s likely to be a loss if there’s a theft/accident.
Automobile manufacturers extensively test their cars before bringing them out in the market. So their cars and corresponding parts are bound to run without any issues. Any deviation generally ends up in a mass recall and the faulty parts are replaced – this also isn’t a regular occurrence.
Modified vehicles are often one-offs, so their parts are generally not tested to as high a degree as the stock units. Also, while high level craftsmanship can ensure the parts are made even better than the stock ones, replacement can again be an issue.
No fear of being ousted from the car lovers’ community
Okay, this might be a tad too harsh, but serious car enthusiasts really hate overdone cars. To each his own, yes, but if a car is distasteful then there’s a good amount of expletives headed your way. Of course, if you want to stand by whatever you have done to your car, then it’s fine. But if you are doing something to look cool, then there’s a chance that like changing fashion trends, this will vanish soon too. And investing in a new body kit every year isn’t a wise decision anyway.
Also read: How NOT to modify your car