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Can You Remove SUV Seats and Still Be Roadworthy?

If you need to move large items from one point to another, you can often fold the seats out of the way in an estate car or SUV. Yet you may have to move items of this size regularly and might be looking for ways to make this task a lot easier. Can you remove all of the unneeded seats from your vehicle for this purpose, and will it still be road legal?

Vehicle Modification

Many people have been looking for another line of work during the slowdown. In this case, they may have decided to distribute goods in their town or city. Still, they may not want to splash out at this stage to buy a purpose-made van, so they may decide to convert their SUV instead.

Many SUVs have two sets of rear seats, but in this case, they will simply get in the way. It may not be too difficult, therefore, to unbolt the seats and to store them in a garage instead.

Back Seats

Generally speaking, the government regulations will allow you to remove the seats, and you may not need to submit the vehicle for a roadworthy inspection. However, you should leave the mounting points in place and should not touch the seat belt configuration. If you do adjust the configuration, your vehicle may no longer be road legal.

Front Seats

However, it is not a good idea to remove the front seat and associated seat belt assembly, especially in a more modern vehicle. If you do so, this might disarm the automatic restraint system and may affect airbag deployment. In this case, it may be better to tilt the seat forward, but you should leave it in place throughout. 

Safety First

Also, ensure that each passenger has their own seat and independent seatbelt if you plan to carry more than one person in addition to your load.

Being Compliant

Remember, for a vehicle to be roadworthy in accordance with the various rules, it must have a working seat belt restraint system. If you do plan to remove the rear seat mountings so that you can get more floor space for your needs, you may need to submit the vehicle for another roadworthy check. 

Expert Advice

As the rules do vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, you should talk with your local mechanic if you are not sure. They will fill you in on all of the rules.