• The latest directive from VOSA includes their view that unless strict criteria are met, after-market HID kits may not be legal.

    Here is the relevant text -

    "In the Department's view it is not legal to sell or use after market HID lighting kits, for converting conventional Halogen headlamps to HID Xenon. If a customer wants to convert his vehicle to Xenon HID he must purchase completely new Xenon HID headlamps. The reason for this is that the existing lens and reflector are designed around a Halogen filament bulb, working to very precise tolerances. If one places a HID "burner" (bulb) in the headlamp, the beam pattern will not be correct, there will be glare in some places and not enough light in other places within the beam pattern.
    The following is the legal rationale:
    The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 regulate the situation in the UK.
    Under these Regulations, HID/Gas Discharge/Xenon headlamps are not mentioned and therefore they are not permitted according to the strict letter of the law.
    However new vehicles have HID headlamps. This is because they comply to European type approval Regulations. The UK cannot refuse to register a vehicle with a European type approval. These are to ECE Regulation 98 (for the HID headlamps which are tested on a rig in a laboratory) and ECE Regulation 48 (Lighting Installation on the vehicle).
    For the after market, a used vehicle cannot obtain type approval because it is only applicable for new vehicles. However we feel that saying "HID is banned in the after market" would not be reasonable. Instead we should make analogies with new vehicles. It would be reasonable to require HID in the after market to meet the same safety standards as on new vehicles. The same level of safety should apply.
    Therefore a HID headlamp unit sold in the after market should:
    1. be type approved to ECE Regulation 98 as a component.
    2. when fitted to the vehicle should enable ECE Regulation 48 to be complied with (although no government inspection will take place).
    3. Comply with RVLR as far as "use" is concerned.
    In practice this means:
    1. The headlamp unit (outer lens, reflector, bulb) shall be type approved to ECE 98 and be "e-marked" to demonstrate this. That can only be done by the headlamp supplier - Hella, Valeo etc. who must test the headlamp in an independent laboratory.
    2. Once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self-levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some expensive estate cars have "self-levelling suspension" and that is adequate). Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam.
    3. The headlamp must be maintained in good working order, kept clean, and aligned/adjusted correctly like any other headlamp.
    Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence to supply, fit or use vehicle parts which are not legal.
    In summary it is not permitted to convert an existing halogen headlamp unit for use with HID bulbs. The entire headlamp unit must be replaced with one designed and approved for use with HID bulbs and it must be installed in accordance with the rules stated above."

    If you are found to be using lights which don't comply, in all likelihood, you may be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and may end up with a fine.

    The above seems to be a precursor to the new MOT criteria slated to come into existance on New Years Eve 2011 (for 2012), this is from the MOT Testers VOSA bullitin explaining the new EU MOT regulations which were ratified this year, and includes amongst other things, the testing of wiring harnesses, the testing for illegal HID kits and, wait for it, chipped ECU's, whatever that means The article is quite long, but here is a small extract …..

    "As far as changes to the test content are concerned, VOSA has already been analysing the requirements of the new Directive and working out how to implement them. We started this earlier in the year by talking with representatives of the MOT trade at our regular Trade User Group and VTS Council meetings. Both VOSA and the Department for Transport (DfT) are keen to ensure that any changes to the test are introduced in as practical a way as possible, keeping the burden on the trade to a minimum and ideally keeping the changes cost neutral.
    In many cases, the changes shouldn’t necessarily lead to an increase in average test times. A good example is the malfunction indicator lamps on the dashboard that indicate defective electronic power steering, electronic stability control and secondary restraint systems. Testers already check the dashboard for other lamps, so no extra time would be required for this addition to the test.
    Electrical wiring and batteries are now included in the test’s scope, but testers already check the vehicle structure where wiring is secured – often along the same routes as other testable items, such as brake pipes in the engine compartment. So again, this doesn’t look like an additional burden on the tester. In the pre-computerisation days, testers often (wrongly) failed vehicles for insecure batteries, so they must have been looking at them then! Now, it means that when we implement the new Directive, vehicles can legitimately fail for battery insecurity, for no extra tester effort.Other items – such as headlamp bulb and unit incompatibility, headlamp levelling devices and illegal engine ‘chipping’ – will need further thought before we can get a workable solution for MOT stations."

  • I'd heard about this also. To be honest HID's are a fekking pain in the arse! I'm sick of being blinded by people with them.

    The Chipped ECU is going to be a tough one for them to regulate without plugging the car into a diagnostics machine really.

    All in all though it's just another stab at the modifying and car scene, they've got nothing else to do so pick out an easy target, yeah, the ones that love cars and take pride in them. It's pathetic, they should realize that we are not criminals and we throw a lot of money into our cars and we don't drive around like idiots.

    I hate it when people look at my car at lights and you can see what they're thinking "look at that yobbo boy racer" yeah, I'm 30, shut up, and to top it off, it's usually the people in suits and big saloons (ie BMW's, Vectra's, etc) that try and race you off the lights, good on them "so, you're trying to prove that your £40k beemer is faster than my £375 beater, I could have told you that mate"

    I also find these are the people sat right on my rear number plate in the snow, having not bothered to clear any snow off their car apart from the windscreen (lights on? Snow's covering it mate can't tell).

    I could continue ranting but I'll save it.

  • Good news is its not legal until jan 2012, but it does state that they are legal in modified headlights so I bet a set of projectors will get you past the law

  • @b2ef577ced=djmarcopolo:

    Good news is its not legal until jan 2012, but it does state that they are legal in modified headlights so I bet a set of projectors will get you past the law

    Eh? So surely if you put a HID kit onto your normal headlights, then they would be modified? That is a massive loophole and it is obvious they are just scare mongering.

  • They say the beams in a standard halogen headlight defract the HID light thus causing the blinding but if its a brand new headlight stamped with the new stamps it is legal to have them as they have been tested to that standard.

    This bit here covers that

    Therefore a HID headlamp unit sold in the after market should:
    1. be type approved to ECE Regulation 98 as a component.


    2. when fitted to the vehicle should enable ECE Regulation 48 to be complied with (although no government inspection will take place).

    Seems like a bullsh*t law that is unforceable but I bet they are bringing it in to cover insurance modifications and get people that way

  • Mad rush on buying projectors in 3….2.....1.....

  • Just not a fan of hid kits!!. Cant see why engine chipping should be illegal if your car is still complying with emmision laws.

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