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What are the Different Types of Illegal Cars?

By Keith Koons
Updated May 23, 2024
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There are many types of illegal cars and trucks that are banned from being used in many regions. Any vehicles that do not have a windshield or other types of mandated safety equipment are considered illegal cars because they put the driver and other motorists at risk. Other classifications of illegal cars are those not properly registered in the region due to mechanical issues, vehicles with improper titles, or cars used in a theft. Some areas also consider a vehicle to be illegal if it does not meet emission standards.

The largest types of illegal cars on the road are those that have not been brought up to local codes and regulations. This may be because they were involved in a serious accident and are awaiting repair. In other instances, the vehicle's owner may have made modifications to improve factors like speed or fuel economy. All vehicles are required to have a windshield, a front and rear bumper, a horn, headlights, and turn signals. They should also be equipped with a proper braking system, tires that are approved by the region, and a frame that can withstand moderate impacts.

Another type of illegal car is one that does not have proper documentation. Many regions require drivers to register the vehicle with the local court system so that it can be taxed and monitored, and items like license plates, insurance, and a driving permit are also necessary. Several types of illegal cars are on the roadway because the drivers can not legally obtain this type of documentation. In some cases, these illegal cars involve prior driving incidents that resulted in the owner's revocation of privileges, but in other scenarios, the vehicle may be stolen or too damaged to receive a title.

Many types of illegal cars are also banned from roadways due to improper emissions. Each region has a testing method to monitor carbon emissions, and if a vehicle produces excess exhaust, then it will be banned from being used until it is properly repaired. Some drivers modify their vehicles intentionally to make them illegal because they like the loud sounds from the engine or slight increases in horsepower. These types of illegal cars are often seized if they are seen on several occasions.

In many parts of the world, authorities issue warning citations when they spot one of the types of illegal cars on the road. This document allows the motorist a period of time to make the necessary repairs without penalty. If the modifications are not completed within a certain time limit, authorities often charge a fine, and repeat offenses could cause the authorities to seize the vehicle and destroy it.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Feryll — On Sep 13, 2014

I don't hear anything about this anymore, but at one time some types of window tinting was illegal. I knew several people who paid to have their windows tinted and then found out the tinting was illegal because of how dark it was.

You would think the people doing the tinting would know not to make illegal modifications to cars, but that was not the case. There were a lot of unhappy people when they found out they had to remove the tinting and they didn't get refunds from the people who did the work. Live and learn I guess.

By Drentel — On Sep 12, 2014

My friend Doug from high school was the first one of us in our circle of friends to get a car. It was an old used car. It didn't look like much, but the car ran most of the time, and his father bought it for him from a car dealer he knew, so the price was right.

Even though his father had bought the car, Doug was responsible for paying his own insurance and keeping the car in running order. We drove all over the place in that car, never sure if it would actually get us back home before it stopped running, but usually we reached our destination without any problems.

At one point, the muffler on the car rusted out and when we would ride down the street the noise was like a pack of motorcycles coming at you. We grew up in a small tow, so on the weekends most of the high school kids cruised the streets and hung out at the car wash. Everyone knew when Doug was in town because you could hear the car from a mile away, and I'm not exaggerating much.

He drove the car like that for about a year before the chief of police stopped us one night and told Doug to get a new muffler or get a new car. In a larger place, the car probably would have ticketed.

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