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Legalities of fitting high brightness halogen type headlamps

Cars registered after October 1985 are not allowed to run extra bright headlight bulbs (eg: 80/100W) on the road. Cars registered before that date can do, but be aware that you could be liable if you dazzle oncoming drivers and cause an accident. Normal mini bulbs are 55/60W. Sealed beam units are lower power than this and are pretty useless in the dark.

Headlight bulbs are in a very grey area of the law at the moment. European law states that you can legally use blue-tint 'xenon' type bulbs (hence they are sold in UK and are CE marked) but UK law states that headlight colour must be white and below a certain brightness. The police tend to go by UK law, rather than European so will not hesitate in nicking you for it. The only thing you can do is carry the CE marked bulb packet around with you and plead ignorance.

If in doubt, the Road Vehicles (Lighting) Regulations SI 1986/1796 is the relevant law. Not that this line constitues legal advice, because it doesn't.

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07 June 2003