Every vehicle, and consequently every car, has a rear and a front bumper. The purpose of this part is obviously to protect the bodywork, and consequently cushion the blows to ensure greater safety inside the passenger compartment in the event of an accident. It was in fact called "bumper" precisely because it intervenes in a fundamental way during an accident. In the first vehicles this piece was made entirely of steel, but over time it was found that this material suffered permanent damage such as dents, scratches and, in the worst case, permanent breakage.
Subsequently it was decided to use other materials, such as polypropylene and plastic, with greater flexibility and resistance should there be accidents. In fact, in particular, polypropylene has two characteristics that make it perfectly suitable for performing this function, and these are:
- the elastic capacity: in practice the bumper manages to return to its original shape immediately after an impact, and this, in addition to guaranteeing greater safety against impacts, also avoids tedious maintenance operations for the user;
- plastic capacity: once the elastic capacity limit has been exceeded, the bumper will break, but will have performed its protective function.
The prices of a front bumper vary, they can be found more info here at this link, where you can see that it ranges from €30, passing through €40, but reaching over €200.
But how is a front bumper made?
First of all, it must be said that the front bumper is a visible part of every car. It is an "external" piece which must therefore also fulfill an aesthetic requirement. Also many people confuse the front bumper with the fender, well they are not the same thing. We have already eviscerated the function of the first, while the second essentially serves to protect the whole vehicle from mud, any pebbles and debris that can impact against the bodywork while driving. Originally born for horse carriages, it was then later mounted on bicycles and motorcycles, and then on cars.
The bumpers change according to the car, but also according to the use we make of the vehicle. For example, in tuning cars the bumper is even more important than in a common urban vehicle.
In general, a bumper is placed on the front perimeter of the vehicle immediately below the headlights, and is an element of a car that can be personalized. Famous are the cases of sports cars which, like the Fiat X1/9, were equipped with a rostrum, or in some cases this piece tends to be colored differently from the rest of the vehicle to enhance it.
Let's get to the heart of the matter, and see if it is illegal to drive a vehicle without bumpers, and what kind of penalty you risk incurring. We will also briefly see how much and how it is possible to customize your bumper within the limits permitted by law.
Going into specifics, article 79, precisely paragraphs 1 and 4 of the Highway Code, state that the driver who is noticed by the traffic police driving a vehicle without a bumper can be sanctioned with a fine ranging from 71 (reduced payment) at 286 euros. But that's not all, because this fine can also be imposed if the bumper has been tampered with, not assembled correctly, or modified. Furthermore, the traffic police officers, pursuant to article 80 paragraph five of the Highway Code, will report the vehicle to the Civil Motorization Offices for an extraordinary inspection.
The only positive note is that the deduction of points from the driving license is not foreseen, but the great waste of time and money remains, given the visit to the Civil Motorization, and the fine to be paid. There is obviously a way to avoid incurring a fine for driving without bumpers. In fact, it will be necessary to demonstrate to the traffic police officers that this lack is temporary. This can be done by showing a certificate stating that there has been an accident, or by presenting an estimate/invoice to document that this part is currently being serviced. The problem of the absence of a front bumper affects another aspect in 90% of cases. In fact, in most vehicles the license plate is attached to the bumper, and therefore in the absence of this it becomes complicated to apply the license plate correctly.
Finally, let's move on to customization. There are a few laps to do here, the only way to find out if your bumper is legal and allows us to circulate without committing an offence, is to go to the Motor Vehicle Department to have it checked.