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DVLA, Modifications and Insurance


4venom4
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Hello guys, first time on this forum and first time i'm gonna buy a motorbike in UK, I am from Spain so sorry in advance for my english, hopefully don't bother you.


I have plenty of doubts about legal stuff and I keep reading and learning lots of things about how the things works in UK but i struggle with some information about the modifications on the bike, my questions are:


1. What happen if I don't declare the modifications to DVLA?

2. What happen if I have an accident and I declared the modifications to my insurance but not to DVLA?

3. I see many advertisements about bikes with modifications like exhaust, wheels, cosmetics etc and when i ask nobody declared nothing, why?

4. What happen if I have an accident, the bike have some minor modifications like the exhaust, colours or wheels and I didn't declare to my insurance?

5. What happen if I have an accident, the bike have major modifications like engine or cc upgrade but they are not visible until you really investigate the bike with a mechanic, do i should declare that or is ilegal?

6. If i want to declare any modification to DVLA or my insurance, do I need any certificate about the modification of the bike? if is yes, how can I get that?

7. How I know after modify anything I can pass the MOT without problems?


And I think that's all, so sorry for so many, the reason why is because I'm looking for a DRZ 400 and all of them out there have some changes, some of team just the exhaust, hand guards or the front light and others with a lot of stuff like 3x3 mod, cilinders etc and I'm very confuse.

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So far as I'm aware the only modifications you need declare to DVLA are a change of colour. Or frame. Or engine. Or converting an outfit. (Sidecar)


You should declare major modifications to your insurance as they will usually affect the value of the bike. For instance a replacement shock absorber can cost £1000 and that will need to be factored into the bikes actual value. Same goes for hard luggage. Exhaust and so on. Minor additions needn't be declared. But it's always best to ask, just to be on the safe side. There are no legal ramifications for most modifications that are commonly done. You are not legally obliged to declare them unless specifically requested to do so. But... Any added value will be ignored by the insurer in case of a claim.


The main thing to consider for the MOT are the terms.. Road legal. This is the main thing to consider for parts that are examined by the tester... Lights, for instance. Or exhaust.

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So far as I'm aware the only modifications you need declare to DVLA are a change of colour. Or frame. Or engine. Or converting an outfit. (Sidecar)


You should declare major modifications to your insurance as they will usually affect the value of the bike. For instance a replacement shock absorber can cost £1000 and that will need to be factored into the bikes actual value. Same goes for hard luggage. Exhaust and so on. Minor additions needn't be declared. But it's always best to ask, just to be on the safe side. There are no legal ramifications for most modifications that are commonly done. You are not legally obliged to declare them unless specifically requested to do so. But... Any added value will be ignored by the insurer in case of a claim.


The main thing to consider for the MOT are the terms.. Road legal. This is the main thing to consider for parts that are examined by the tester... Lights, for instance. Or exhaust.

 

One of my colleage told me, if you have an accident and you made modifications to your bike not declared to your insurance, specially if was your fault, you can be involved in huge problems, not only because you gonna have to pay everything, if the other person have serious damage or even die you are done. I honestly very afraid about all the legal stuff.


I never had an accident in my life and i've been riding motorbike since long time ago, but you never know, many times is not under your control.

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One of my colleage told me, if you have an accident and you made modifications to your bike not declared to your insurance, specially if was your fault, you can be involved in huge problems, not only because you gonna have to pay everything, if the other person have serious damage or even die you are done. I honestly very afraid about all the legal stuff.


I never had an accident in my life and i've been riding motorbike since long time ago, but you never know, many times is not under your control.

 

It would first have to be proved that the modifications caused the accident!


At worst you are looking at the insurance company refusing to cover you in the event of an accident and not paying out for your bike they would still pay third party claims but could claim the money back off you which is unlikely unless the modifications caused the accident!


You will find that most insurance companies are not interested in things like fairing changes and braided hoses etc etc and are already on the list of standard items covered


They would be interested in exhausts brakes and engine modifications!


There is a simple solution though and that is to just declare all modifications

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It would first have to be proved that the modifications caused the accident!


At worst you are looking at the insurance company refusing to cover you in the event of an accident and not paying out for your bike they would still pay third party claims but could claim the money back off you which is unlikely unless the modifications caused the accident!


You will find that most insurance companies are not interested in things like fairing changes and braided hoses etc etc and are already on the list of standard items covered


They would be interested in exhausts brakes and engine modifications!


There is a simple solution though and that is to just declare all modifications

 

You right, I would like to do that, the problem i'm finding is all the bikes I find, they have modifications, wich is pretty normal, but they didn't declare anything, also, still don't know why i should declare to DVLA how do i get the certificate of the modification if the last owner haven't.


Problem is if I have to pay for the bike, pay for the insurance, pay for declare to dvla, pay an extra for declare to my insurance plus pay for get certificates of the modifications is just crazy money.

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It would first have to be proved that the modifications caused the accident!


At worst you are looking at the insurance company refusing to cover you in the event of an accident and not paying out for your bike they would still pay third party claims but could claim the money back off you which is unlikely unless the modifications caused the accident!


You will find that most insurance companies are not interested in things like fairing changes and braided hoses etc etc and are already on the list of standard items covered


They would be interested in exhausts brakes and engine modifications!


There is a simple solution though and that is to just declare all modifications

 

You right, I would like to do that, the problem i'm finding is all the bikes I find, they have modifications, wich is pretty normal, but they didn't declare anything, also, still don't know why i should declare to DVLA how do i get the certificate of the modification if the last owner haven't.


Problem is if I have to pay for the bike, pay for the insurance, pay for declare to dvla, pay an extra for declare to my insurance plus pay for get certificates of the modifications is just crazy money.

 

you only have to declare frame changes colour and engine modifications to dvla nothing else!

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And the only extra payment you might have to make is when you declare modifications to your insurer that might impact your premium. I have made several changes to my bike including new wheels. I haven't told the insurers, though I should. I decided to wait until next time when my insurance is renewed i also changed the exhaust and have just added a new luggage system. Total spend has been £3,800


If I were to do anything to the bike that DVLA needs to know about, like a respray. This costs nothing.

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And the only extra payment you might have to make is when you declare modifications to your insurer that might impact your premium. I have made several changes to my bike including new wheels. I haven't told the insurers, though I should. I decided to wait until next time when my insurance is renewed i also changed the exhaust and have just added a new luggage system. Total spend has been £3,800


If I were to do anything to the bike that DVLA needs to know about, like a respray. This costs nothing.

 

Can I ask why you didn't considering could be worst in economical terms if you suffer an accident?


Btw, thanks so much to you guys, very useful information, i really want to know absolutely everything about legal stuff for don't do nothing wrong, specially since is not my country and the consequences can be even worst.

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You only need to declare a change of colour, engine or frame number to the DVLA. They don't care about most other mods.


Insurance is a different matter. They probably wouldn't pay you if they find undeclared mods after an accident. They would still have to pay the 3rd Party but they could only pursue you for the costs if they could prove that the mods caused or contributed to the accident.

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The other thing to bear in mind is that insurers can be sensitive to the number of mods on a bike. I've not had a problem with bikes with three or four mods - say, screen, heated grips, hugger and braided brake lines - but I had one bike that had been modded to oblivion - all those plus wavy discs, end can, a notch out of the rear sprocket etc. etc. - and I ended up skipping over some just to get any quotes at all. These days, which I'm looking at bikes, I'm put off ones like that.

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So what modifications have you done ?

 

I think he's looking to buy a bike but all the ones he's seen have been modified. That's how I read it.

 

You right, still looking for a good one and that's why I wanted to know more about all this things. Knowing that right now i'm gonna start avoiding bikes with a lot of mods, specially engine even if sound sweet. I found a DRZ upgraded to 470cc with 50-60hp but i prefer to take the easy way and buy one normal as possible then i will decide if I change something by myself.


Anyway, thanks so much to all for the replys

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