Frequently Asked Questions

How do you differentiate between left-hand & right-hand light units?

The internationally accepted standard for lights and any other handed vehicle components is to refer to them from the point of view of a person sitting normally (i.e. facing forward) in the car. Some people in the UK still use the quaint, old-fashioned terms "nearside" (left) and "offside" (right), which are not self-explanatory, and would certainly be confusing to someone from a left-hand drive country!

For identification purposes, many light units already have an "L" or an "R" on the outer lens or the back of the housing. For light units made in Italy, an "S" or "SX" denotes left, a "D" or "DX" denotes right.

The taillights I bought have the rear foglight & reversing light swapped over. Why?

Some taillights, such as those for the Fiesta Mk 4/5, and some of those for the Polo Mk 4, for instance, are only available in left-hand drive versions. The manufacturers don’t consider it worth producing a special version for the UK market, because we’re the only right-hand drive country in Europe (apart from Cyprus).

So what do you do if you live in the UK and want to fit such a taillight to your car - and stay on the right side of the law? If you put them straight on, you will end up with a reversing light that shines red, and a foglight that shines white – neither of which is legal, as you can imagine.

There is only one 100 percent legal way around the problem: Fit an additional e-approved rear foglight as per the relevant regulations (see the info elsewhere on this site), and disconnect the wire leading to the former foglight bulb on the right-hand side light (or simply remove the bulb).

You will then still have the problem of a red reversing light on the left-hand side. If you don’t mind doing without one – and it is important to note that a reversing light is NOT an MOT requirement – you can just disconnect the wire or remove the bulb.

If you absolutely, desperately must have a reversing light, you have two options: Re-route the wire from the left hand side to feed the former foglight bulb on the right hand side, or remove the red coloured filter inside the left-hand light unit. PLEASE NOTE that this is not an easy task, and unless you are very careful, you stand a good chance of damaging the light unit in the process. If you do decide to try this, you do so ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK, as the warranty on the unit will be invalidated.

The filter will need to be accessed from behind the light, through the aperture for the bulb, and will have to be broken out and extracted in small pieces. Assorted implements may be used for this process, including long-nosed pliers, soldering irons, electric drills, etc. WE CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH - PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG.

Once the filter has been removed, you will have a white reversing light once again.

It may be tempting to take a short cut, and simply fit a red bulb or red LED bulb to the right-hand taillight to act as the foglight. You might even pass an MOT with such an arrangement, but it is NOT legal, and we cannot recommend it.

For those of you thinking laterally, and saying to yourselves “I’ll just swap the wires over and have the foglight on the left and the reversing light on the right”, sorry guys, the Department of Transport got there before you. You can have a reversing light on either side, but the rear foglight can’t be on the left – it must be anywhere between the centre line of the car and the right hand side. For more detailed information see the rear foglight technical guide elsewhere on this site.

DISCLAIMER - VERY IMPORTANT : While this information is believed to be correct, and is provided in good faith, any person using or acting upon it is urged to verify it independently beforehand, as neither we nor our dealers will accept any liability whatsoever for any damage or loss, whether direct, consequential or otherwise, arising from the use or misuse of this information.

Why are some taillights supplied with extra red reflectors, and why do they need to be fitted to my car?

Clear or coloured taillights don't have any red reflective surfaces as required by law. In order to stay within the law, two red reflectors must be fitted to the rear of the car on which the lights are installed. Yes, it may not look nice, but it could save you a heap of cash if you're involved in an accident.

We know of somebody who ignored these instructions and didn't fit the reflectors. Another driver rode into the back of his car while it was parked in a dark lane, and because there were no reflectors his insurance company refused to pay out, arguing that the car wasn't road legal. He ended up paying for the damage to his own car as well as to that of the other driver. So if you choose not to fit the reflectors, please be aware of the consequences.

Why can't you make me a one-off set of taillights for my car in a special colour?

Because of the way taillights are manufactured, it just isn't possible. Firstly, a taillight is actually quite a complex item, made up of a number of different lenses, housings and other components that all have to be made separately and then assembled.

All of these components are made in an injection moulding plant, and each one requires its own special mould, or tool. The tool is made of high-grade tool steel, computer-designed and manufactured at considerable cost. Each tool has to be fitted to the injection moulding machine and set up, the correct colour plastic base material loaded into the machine, and the machine run to produce the lenses and components, which are then assembled to form a complete lamp. Fitting and removing the tools, and setting them up and aligning them, requires a skilled technician called a tool setter, and also takes some time. It's therefore not possible to make one or two pieces of an item and then change the tool, as it would simply not be economically viable for the factory to do so. One also has to consider that every time a different colour plastic material is required, the entire system has to be flushed and cleaned of the material previously used, and this also absorbs time and cost. As a result, it is usually not financially feasible to manufacture anything less than 300 sets of a particular taillight as an absolute minimum.

The tooling itself - depending on the complexity of the lamp concerned, and how much CAD work has to be done on the design - can cost anywhere from £40 000 to £100 000, and to this must be added the cost of obtaining e-approval from a photometric laboratory, which will also run to several thousand Pounds.

As much as we would like to help, this is why it is simply impossible to professionally manufacture one-off sets of lights. If there is enough demand for a particular type of light, however, we will investigate the possibility of having it made. So e-mail us your ideas, and if there's enough interest, you never know!

Why do some cars have the rear foglight on the wrong side?

Certain cars don't have twin rear foglights and twin reversing lights - instead they have a foglight on one side and a reversing light on the other side. For the rest of Europe (i.e. left-hand drive), the foglight is on the left (nearside) and the reversing light on the right (offside). For the UK, however, we need the reversing light on the left and foglight on the right.

There are a number of ways of getting around the problem: The only legal way is to fit an additional foglight under the bumper, positioned anywhere from the centre of the car to the right hand side. It is also possible to disconnect the wiring to the reverse light, fit a red bulb to the other side and then wire them both to come on as foglights, so you have two rear foglights and no reversing lights. It's worth noting that cars are not required by law to have a reversing light. An MOT station cannot fail your car for not having a reversing light. A variation on the above method is to try to break the red filter out of the left-hand side so your reversing light shines white again, and then fit a red bulb to the right-hand side for use as a foglight. We must stress, however, that neither of the latter two methods are legal, and we don't recommend them.

The good news, however, is that the European manufacturers are finally starting to take the UK styling market more seriously, and more and more taillights will in future become available with the foglight correctly positioned for UK use.

Why do the prices of apparently identical lights sometimes differ from one retailer to the next?

When you're comparing prices for accessory lighting, make sure you're comparing apples with apples. For instance, two side repeaters that might seem to be exactly the same can actually be very different when you examine them closely.

There are many ways in which manufacturers & distributors can cut costs when it comes to side repeaters, or any other lights for that matter. Some of them are:

 

  • * Using a lower grade of plastic. Non-automotive grades of plastic are lighter, less resistant to heat and ultraviolet rays (amongst other things) and will not be as durable.
  • * Making the lenses and/or housings thinner than the original item, or reducing the strengthening webs on mounting clips. It might not seem like a lot on just one item, but when you're manufacturing thousands, the savings in material can be substantial. Unfortunately the end product ends up being weaker, more susceptible to breakage and less durable. - saves material, but weakens the structure.
  • * Using cheaper grades of steel when making the tooling - the large metal moulds that are used to manufacture the lamps. The finished product will then often have surface imperfections because the tooling wears out quicker.
  • * Not trimming excess plastic off after the item is moulded. Looks ugly, and can also sometimes make fitting the lamps difficult, resulting in broken clips, etc.
  • * Bonding the lens & housing together with glue or silicone rather than a more effective, longer-lasting (and more expensive) process like ultrasonic welding or hot-melt fixing. Again, can result in water leaks or lenses coming adrift.
  • * Bonding the lenses together by hand rather than mechanically in a purpose-made jig - again, saves money but can result in variable quality.
  • * Using lower grade rubber material for sealing rings and gaskets.
  • * Not having the lenses certified to European e-approval standard. Saves money but may have MOT- or even legal implications for the end user and the supplying dealer.
  • * Supplying the lamps loose rather than in proper retail packaging.
  • * Supplying the lamps without bulbs or bulbholders.
Why is e-mark approval important?

E-mark approval on a lamp basically means that it has been tested by an approved photometric laboratory and has achieved the standards laid down by the EC for fitment to a vehicle within the European Union.

There are other regulations which apply in the UK, such as those for Construction and Use, but broadly speaking, vehicles registered from 1986 onwards are required to have e-marked lights if they are used on a public road.

Given the fact that there could be insurance- or even legal implications if a vehicle without e-marked lights is involved in an accident, always follow the manufacturer or distributors guidelines when fitting & using styling lighting. Some lights, for instance, are not legal for road use, and if you do fit them to your car you assume all responsibility for any consequences thereof.

Can I come and view and collect from you?

We do not have retail premises, but you are welcome to visit our warehouse to look at any item you may be interested in. Please call us on 01926-888 664 before travelling to ensure we have stock available. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm. We are not open on weekends.

How long does delivery take?/I haven’t received my item?

All items are shipped from our UK warehouse by Royal Mail or Courier.

Items sent by courier are only delivered Monday to Friday; our couriers do not deliver on weekends.  In some areas Royal Mail may deliver on Saturdays.

Most postal items sent to UK Mainland destinations arrive within one to three days, but Royal Mail guidelines state we should allow 15 working days from the date of dispatch before an item sent to a UK address is considered lost. For international items, they stipulate 25 working days.

Orders dispatched by courier are sent on a next working day service. Please note that items going to addresses in Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and other offshore destinations are sent on a two- to three-day service.

International Courier shipments are normally delivered within seven working days.

International deliveries (by post or courier) can be delayed if the item is held for inspection by customs on entry to the destination country, and this is obviously outside our control. Please note that any customs duties, VAT or other charges payable when an item is sent to an international destination are the buyer’s responsibility. 

Is there a fitment guide available for my new lights, or can you fit the lights for me?

Please download the appropriate fitting/troubleshooting guide accessible from the link below:

technical tips

We regret that we are unable to offer a fitting service.

Why do my new angel eye headlights have a sticker on them which says "NO HID" or “HID bulb not allowed”?

Fitting an aftermarket HID kit (sometimes also referred to as a Xenon bulb kit) to any of our headlights will invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty, as it is possible for the headlights to be damaged as a result.