Insurance, exhausts and the law - mrcur
Opinions please:

If the vehicle exhaust produces more noise than standard then that's an offence under the Construction and Use Regs. Magistrates will accept the opinion of a police officer that the exhaust is noisier than standard, no reference to dB meters, no reference to BSI/EN marks.

The insurers would not intentionally insure a vehicle that did not meet legal requirements. Therefore, insurers would not intentionally insure a vehicle (for road use) that does not comply with the Construction and Use Regs.

The onus is upon the policyholder to declare if the vehicle does not comply to UK law, in this case the Construction and Use Regs.

It is an offence under the Road Traffic Act to make a false statement or withhold any material information for the purposes of obtaining a Certificate of Motor insurance; therefore the only way to obtain a Certificate of Motor Insurance for a vehicle that has a noisier exhaust than standard is to break the Road Traffic Act.

In the event of a claim, the insurer is required by law (Road Traffic Act?) to meet a claim by an injured third party but the insurer can recover from the policyholder any money it has had to pay out to meet such a claim if the vehicle is not "street legal".

I've posted this elsewhere on the internet and received varied replies.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - Dwight Van Driver
Quickly, for its long past my bedtime.

Exhaust: Can be one of two specific offences under CU Regs. One -failing to maintain exhaust and silencer in good working order and not altered so as to increase noise. Tech evidence accompanied by Officers opinion re the later on noise. The other leg is for the system to go beyond the noise decibel levels prescribed for which a meter is required.

Re Insurance: Will depend on what the Questions are on the proposal form and as to what is given in the reply to come within the gambit of false information etc.Self explanatory. May stand to be corrected on this but if Certificate Issed under false details it remains in force until made void by Insurance Co.IIRC

If a certificate Issued then Insurer cannot wriggle out of payment to third party as this is proscribed under Road Traffic Act as to the condition of the vehicle (Section 148 RTA 1988). But if yours is an unroadworthy vehicle does not stop civil action for Insurers to claim their costs back of you.

In a rush but you get the gist.


Insurance, exhausts and the law - martint123
Not forgetting that if the exhaust is loud because it's a 'sports' exhaust then that is another getout for the insurance companu if there is any performance enhancement.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - THe Growler
What about straight through totally unsilenced Vance & Hines or similar drag pipes on a motorcycle? These are available to buy.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - DavidHM
Simple answer is that, in pure contract law, any unroadworthiness would in theory entitle the insurer to repudiate the claim.

However this is unlikely to happen because of the various provisions under contract(s) signed with the Insurance Ombudsman and possibly other trade bodies.

Where the insured knows about a risk and the risk is material to the seriousness of the insured event giving rise to a claim, either causing or aggravating it, then the insurance company has a fair chance of getting its money back.

However (and I'm afraid I cannot point to specific provisions) if there was a breach of MoT requirements for something like emissions that weren't specifically performance modifications, or the performance of the car wasn't an issue, then it is likely that provisions in other contracts could be invoked and the insurer would be estopped from enforcing its strict contractual rights.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - Dwight Van Driver

Every veh propelled by an ICE shall be fitted with an exhaust system including a silencer and the exhaust gases from the engine shall not escape into the atmosphere without first passing through the silencer. Reg 54(1) MV(C & U) Regs 1986.

Reg 57A goes to great lengths and pages on exhaust systems for motor cycles which for those first used after 1.2.96 have to be marked and comply with EEC Reg 89/235 etc etc etc.

Plod cracking down over here on special ops due to motor cycle fatalities. (already passed last years total in N Yorks) and are booking riders for fitting race cams (dont ask me but I gather are those exhausts only for race tracks and street illegal) instead of standard ones.

Oh for the days of the B31 BSA when the missing baffle plates were rectified by stuffing brillo pads up the spout and Plod carried a 6ft retractable metal tape to try and push through.


Insurance, exhausts and the law - THe Growler
Couldn't live without my Straight Shots. that crackle on the over-run and the 12" jets of flame you can get at night waiting at the lights.......Plod here only has wheezy little KMX 125's so no worries about getting nicked.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - mrcur
The advice I've been given by a traffic law instructor is that a police officer's opinion regarding a noisy exhaust is sufficient for a magistrates court, no dB meter needed. What legislation are the N Yorks police using to book riders of bikes fitted with race cans?

The police now have the power to seize vehicles with noisy exhausts that are creating a nuisance under the Police Reform Act.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - Dwight Van Driver

re Para 1:

Legislation, as I understand it, is the MV (Con and Use) Regs which brings various EEC Regulations into UK law and which stipulate that exhaust systems have to be specifically marked. As a result, as I understand it, Race Cams can be quickly identified. I was discussing this with two bikers last week and they showed me the markings on their exhaust.

re Para 2.

Police cannot seize a vehicle on noise alone under Police Reform Act 2002 (S 59). There has also to be a contravention of Sect 3 (inconsiderate /careless driving) or S 34 (prohibition of off roading) RTRA 1988 plus the alarm, distress.

Insurance, exhausts and the law - mrcur

In the context of this thread, the key element of the Road Vehicles (Construction And Use) Regs 1986 is ">The silencer ..... shall not have been altered in any way which makes the noise of escaping gases greater<" from applies to bikes and cars.

Exhaust caNs may be altered eg packing removed; the marking is correct but the vehicle would contravene the Construction and Use Regs.

Is "inconsiderate" sufficient or does there have to be an element of "careless" as well?

Don't forget the annoyance

"> alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public,<"


Insurance, exhausts and the law - Flat in Fifth
"If the vehicle exhaust produces more noise than standard then that's an offence under the Construction and Use Regs."

If that is correct, and I would think that in practical terms DVD's explanation of the offence is more correct, how does one find the "standard" noise for a particular vehicle?

I've looked in the documentation for the two of mine where I have all the original docs and can only find reference to "drive by noise" for one of them. That was in the sales brochure, not really a definitive document I would suspect

So where else would one look? Type Approval?

BTW I've read one of your other threads elsewhere and the diversion down the subject of scaffold poles with holes drilled in it was not too helpful was it! ;)
Insurance, exhausts and the law - mrcur

I understand that passenger car noise limits are:

1978 onwards 82dB
1983 onwards 80dB
1990 onwards 77dB
1996 onwards 74dB

The current test is "drive-by" and consists of driving the vehicle into the test area at a speed of 50 km/hr (in 2nd gear?)and then accelerating at full throttle through the test area. A
microphone at a set distance from the line of travel measures the maximum level of noise reached which is then compared to the limit value to determine pass or fail.
The test area is surrounded by an open area to avoid sound reflections and the road surface is carefully constructed to a set standard to ensure consistency of results.

So impractical to retest at the side of the road.

SVA and kitcars are measured statically.

A blunt test could be to place a standard vehicle next to the vehicle-under-test, measure exhaust noise with a dB meter, if the vehicle-under-test produces more noise than the standard vehicle then it does not comply with the Construction and Use Regs.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - Dwight Van Driver

Have a little read of the Explanatory Note to:

and then, as you have youth on your side

Go to:

Council Directives:

Your question is answered amongst all this. As yopu say Type Approval and Brussels Sprout.

Insurance, exhausts and the law - malteser
Many years ago I was selling cars for the Austin distributor for London, (Car Mart - remember?) and at the end of production of the Mini Cooper 1071S we were given the chance to purchase remaing stocks, for private use, at a good discount. (Resale price maintenence meant that discounts were not normally available to anyone!)

Two of my colleagues took advantage - I already had a 970S - and used them as normal untweaked road transport. One day a Plod stopped one of the cars and said:

"I'm nicking you for making excess noise"
"Er but it is a standard nearly new car Officer, thats how they are"
"Now Sir, could you have made less noise by accelerating more slowly?"
"Yes Officer"
"Right then - you ARE nicked!"

Result - a fine
Moral - Plod can do whatever he wants.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - martint123
With ref to bikes plod are looking for either a manufacturers mark with an E mark or a BSAU??? number for an approved after market replacement. Non-approved cans (short for exhaust cannister) shoulf be marked 'not for road use'.
You will get done for a lot more if you stamp a non-approved can with the BS number.
As DVD says, North Yorks (and many others) are using noise as an excuse/reason to stop and investigate further.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - THe Growler
My daughter and I'm sure others would greatly appreciate if the police could spare some of their valuable time currently spent in this mission-critical and vital bureaucratic exercise in ensuring anti-social people don't embark on the roads and imperil ordinary decent citizens by riding motocyles with the wrong number on their mufflers, always of course if it's not too much trouble and they can fit that into their demanding schedule, to deal with the crackheads and illegal immigrant soap dodgers who ensure her walk home at night in Tunbridge Wells an unsettling and scaring experience.

As she says to me, that's what she thought police were for.

Insurance, exhausts and the law - Dwight Van Driver
Sithee Growler, thou grit lummack.

NYP (doff thee cap at'name)- cosset number if komplayn'ts of mottar seekles ganning fast like ant number o'bodies laying aboot t'roads hevving crashed hev to respond ter wants of t'locals fer summat ter be dun ter stop it like. Mekking a din with tin pipes ist leeast wurry duster ken.

Noo, ift lads and lasses on two wheels were ter gan a bit slower end behaved theresens ont rowhad then coppers could spare sum time frum lumnpin bodies tert Morg ter layark ifter the dotter.

Stop nannyfudging wilt ter.

Insurance, exhausts and the law - THe Growler
My Father came from Huddersfield, now I see why he always complained my Mother never understood him...........
Insurance, exhausts and the law - tunacat
Na then DVD,

Tokkin cars not bikes, accoddin tut stuff MRCUR ses up theea weeis dB figures, semster me as how 90% ot drainpipes fitted bit baseball cap brigade must theffer be illegal, reet fromt start!

So, I suggest cops nick alt brigade, do em, an mekkam change t'pipes back tut nommaluns, an' futhermore, mek the sale of em illegal an all.

That'll see tut job, then wikken all get some peace in us back gardens, ant cops can gerron wi lookin after Growler's young lass.

Insurance, exhausts and the law - Mark (RLBS)
Thank you. But no more please.
Insurance, exhausts and the law - waterboy
Hear, hear!

Tomo as was!

Value my car