Is It Legal To Build Your Own Car? – All You Need To Know

Is It Legal To Build Your Own Car? – All You Need To Know

We all have dream cars and our own set of preferences. Some people take their dreams to the next level and start building their own models.

This is something many would have thought of doing if they get a chance. But not everyone is sure if it would be a legal thing to do. An individual must abide by specific rules and regulations set by the government.

Is It Legal To Build Your Own Car

Every country’s government has laid out laws regarding property and assets for citizens’ safety and security.

This article will focus on the crucial question of whether it is legal to build your own car and drive it on the streets.

Can You Build Your Own Car?

Legally, you can build your own car in countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and India.

The most important condition is that it has to comply with all the necessary safety requirements.

The car has to comply with all the emission regulations and go through an inspection conducted by the authorities. The good news is that there are kits available that help you make your car more or less compliant with the state’s laws.

In most US states, you can build your car out of parts or kits. However, you must be careful about the rules laid out regarding seat belts, car height, crash beams, bumpers, gas emissions, etc.

It would be best if you buy the whole car body and register the vehicle for legal procedures. Keep the documents and proofs of all the other individual car parts you purchase.

All the receipts and proofs must go into the documentation needed for the license and certification. The car should then get inspected by DMV and get registered if it follows all safety regulations.

Once the car is registered, it can officially run on the streets with a vehicle identification number and license plate.

Can You Legally Drive Your Self-made Car?

If you wish to drive your self-made car on private property, you can do so without registration or certification.

It is your privately owned land, and the government cannot interfere here on this ground.

However, it must be a fenced property so that you do not enter public territory. On these lands, you can drive without a license.

But, if you intend to drive it on public roads, you have to take the government’s permission. In case of any mishap, you will be posing a threat to public property and human lives.

Can You Build Your Own Car?

To avoid putting life and property at risk, the government requires you to obtain a registration, car license, and certification. These permit you to drive the car on the streets if you have followed all the safety guidelines while making it.

Even commercial vehicles like trucks and buses can be self-made, but they have to be licensed to run on public roads. The license is proof that the vehicles have gone through road tests, government certification, and all mechanical regulations.

Why Does The Government Call For Registration Of Self-made Vehicles?

The primary reason why the government calls for registration of self-made vehicles is the safety and security of public life.

Vehicle Identification

All vehicles running on the roads must have a vehicle identification number.

Thus, even self-made cars have to follow this rule. It is necessary to identify the car and owner in case of illegal activity, crime, or accident.

Threat To Public Life And Property

Self-made vehicles need to be registered because not following emission guidelines and safety regulations put others at risk. Such vehicles can cause more pollution and have greater chances of causing fatal accidents.

Therefore, all cars must undergo road tests and safety certification, whether manufactured by companies or individuals.

Laws Regarding Making And Driving Your Own Car In Countries Outside The USA


The United Kingdom follows laws similar to the USA regarding building and driving your car.

All self-made cars in the United Kingdom have to be registered under the government to drive it on the public streets.

The car has to go through IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) to ensure that it is safe enough for public roads. This vital test ensures that the car complies with all the safety legislation of the country.


It is legal in India to build your car and drive it on the streets if you obtain legal permission.

If you pass the legalization process, which is long and complicated, you can drive your self-made car. You have to wait for quite a long time to get permission, though.

All vehicles must be registered after getting tested by the Government of India. The cars go through specific tests to ensure all safety checks before the government grants license and registration. The ARAI conducts all the tests to check all the safety parameters for road use.

The car should then be registered with the RTO before you drive it on the streets.

However, the Supreme Court of India ruled in 2019 against car modifications and rendered them illegal. No motor vehicle can be altered in a way that completely differs from the car’s original specifications.

Any modification with the structure of the car is illegal in India. You cannot increase the width of the tires so that they exceed the car width. You also cannot increase the horn sound beyond 100 decibels, change the length, width, or height of the car or use tinted windows.

Even changing the engine to a completely different one than the originally manufactured one is illegal in India.

What Is The Best Thing To Do Before Building A Car?

Know your country’s laws regarding vehicle owning, making, and modifications, focusing on all the details. Get to know what exactly falls under legal and illegal parameters before you build or modify a car.

Go through all the official certification procedures to avoid risking your life and getting into legal troubles.