Remember the deluge of converted right-hand drive (RHD) cars that landed in the country? Those came with rather unusual quirks. Chief among them was the orientation of the dashboard, controls, and stalks. Because they were made for RHD markets, most of them were the other way around.

Some owners of converted cars have since opted to install a left-hand drive (LHD) set of controls. However, there are still those who kept the RHD stalks and switches, adapting to the car instead. Now, the MVIS (Motor Vehicle Inspection System) could force the latter to switch to the LHD configuration.

Own a converted car? You

In section of Memorandum Circular No. 2020-2240, there is a provision about turn signals. The following words are lifted straight from the document. It states, “In case the turn signal control device (lever) is constructed as part of the steering column and steering wheel mechanism, said device should be located on the left side of the steering column”.

Since most RHD converted cars have their turn signal stalks on the right-hand side, these might not pass MVIS inspection. To be sure, it's best to switch those controls to the left-hand side. Some cars come readily available with the proper switch and stalk location, so bringing it up to standard won't be difficult. As for cost, that will depend on the make and model of the converted car. However, there are some without LHD conversion kits, so owners of those cars should come up with a way to meet compliance.

Own a converted car? You

Curiously, there was no mention of the shifter release button for automatic transmission-equipped cars. Some of these converted cars still have it on the passenger side, which forces the driver to press it with their pinky or middle finger. Headlight beam orientation was also not mentioned. Since we are a left-hand drive country, it should be aimed to the left so it wouldn't dazzle oncoming drivers.

But to be sure, it's best to make your RHD converted car as close to LHD-spec as possible. That's to ensure a better chance of passing the MVIS inspection. Granted, that's an extra cost on your part, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Besides, you wouldn't want the hassle of getting your front license plate confiscated and returning to the MVIS center for another test.