Modes of Transportation – In an Automobile

Lowered Vehicles

Driving a lowered vehicle is allowed in Québec, but the practice is regulated by the SAAQ for safety reasons.

Lowered vehicle or hellaflush?

Lowering a vehicle should not be confused with the cosmetic modifications known as hellaflush. Hellaflush is prohibited in Québec, since the lowered vehicle is also outfitted with an incompatible tire and rim assembly, and significant changes are made to the vehicle's camberInclination of a wheel, as viewed from the front or the rear of the vehicle, from its vertical axis. Camber is negative where the top of the wheel leans inward towards the vehicle. Camber is positive where the top of the wheel leans towards the outside of the vehicle..

Rules to apply when lowering a vehicle

Contrary to popular belief, you may drive a lowered vehicle outfitted with large rims; however, for safety reasons, certain rules apply.

To obtain a certificate of inspection

Step 1 – Before lowering the vehicle

Find out which modifications are allowed and which ones are prohibited to make sure that the lowered vehicle complies with road safety standards.

Read the following documents carefully:

You can also contact us:

Direction générale de l’expertise légale et de la sécurité des véhicules
Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
Case postale 19600, succursale Terminus
Québec (Québec)  G1K 8J6
desv@saaq.gouv.qc.ca
418 528-3214

Step 2 – Once the modifications have been made

Make an appointment with a road vehicle inspection agent.

The agent will prepare a modified vehicle record and send it to us for analysis.

Step 3 – If the lowered vehicle is deemed compliant

We will inform the agent, who will conduct a mechanical inspection and give you a mechanical inspection certificate and send us a copy.

We will then send you a certificate of inspection that will include photographs of the vehicle and some measurements (height, clearance, tire size, etc.).

The certificate of inspection must remain in the vehicle and be presented upon request.

What does lowering a vehicle involve?

Suspension

  • Adjustable air suspension systems are prohibited, except when they are part of the original vehicle (SUV, pickup truck, etc.).
  • Fixed or adjustable lowered suspension kits (coilover kits) may be allowed, subject to the following:
    • there may be no point of contact (ground, suspension components, chassis, etc.) in normal driving conditions
    • alignment of the vehicle's wheels must comply with the manufacturer's specifications. Installing parts to correct alignment is allowed, but we must authorize their installation
    • the suspension must maintain an adequate travel range

Tires and rims

  • The diameter of the tire and rim assembly must remain the same.
  • The tire tread must be completely covered (by the fender or mudguard).
  • The position of the tire and rim assembly must not be offset towards the outside of the vehicle (maintain axle track).
  • Tires must be mounted on appropriate rims, in compliance with the manufacturer's specifications.
  • The rims must not have been modified (milled, widened, etc.).