Lighting and instrumentation


Additional lighting systems are to be fitted strictly in accordance with South Australian legislation and must be marked to be compliant to Australian Design Rules.

You may fit up to a maximum of four additional lights, in pairs, provided the lights show a white beam only.

Lights fitted must not affect the driver's view and must be mounted symmetrically. Additional driving lights must extinguish automatically when low beam is selected.

All headlamps must be mounted at the front of the vehicle.

Front fog lights

A pair of fog lights, showing a beam of white or yellow light may be fitted to the front of a motor vehicle with the centres no higher than the top of the dipped beam headlight.

The lights must be mounted symmetrically not less than 600mm apart.

Fog lights must be capable of being switched on and off independently of any headlights and must only be able to be switched on when the parking lights are on.

Fog lights can only be used in fog or conditions with reduced visibility.

Coloured lights

Coloured under-car neons lighting systems are not approved. A vehicle can not show coloured light other than what is specified in the Road Traffic (Light Vehicle Standards) Rules 2018, and the Australian Design Rules.

Red and blue lights are only allowed on emergency vehicles - eg police, fire and ambulance.

Red lights and reflectors must only face rearward of the vehicle.

White lights and reflectors must face forwards.

Yellow/amber lights are permitted for indicators, fog lights and for side clearance lights on large vehicles and buses. With the exception of indicators, amber flashing lights are not permitted on any vehicle, other than special vehicles used in hazardous situations and emergency vehicles.

Replacement headlight bulbs must display compliant Australian Design Rules or equivalent markings.

Daytime running lamps

Daytime running lights are bright white forward-facing lights that improve the visibility of a vehicle in the daytime.

A pair of daytime running lamps may be fitted to a motor vehicle, symmetrically about the centreline of the vehicle. The lights must be wired so they are not illuminated while the vehicle's main headlights are on.

They also must conform to location and performance requirements outlined in the Australian Design Rules 13/00 and 76/00 respectively. Daytime running lamps should not be fitted to the roof, bonnet or side rear vision mirrors.


LED Light Bars and additional driving lights

LED Light Bars and additional headlights may be fitted, provided that they meet the following requirements:

  • The light or lights must be installed to be forward facing and in a position that does not obscure the driver's view of the road ahead.
  • The lights should, as far as is possible, be installed symmetrically in pairs of between 2 or 4 lights.
  • If the lights are not fitted as pairs, they must be fitted symmetrically about the centre line of the vehicle.
  • The lights may be fitted to the roof of the vehicle.
  • The light or lights must not be fitted or be used in any way that is likely to dazzle another road user and must be installed in a way that the light produced does not cause the driver of the vehicle discomfort either directly or by reflection.
  • The light/s must only come on when the main-beam (high beam) headlights are used, and must automatically turn off when the main-beam headlights are turned off.
  • The driving lights may be fitted with an isolator switch to allow high beam to be switched on without the driving lights also being switched on.

For more information see the Vehicle Standards fact sheet MR1517 LED Light Bars and Additional Driving Lights (272.4 KB PDF)

HID (high-intensity discharge) headlamps

HID light bulbs, also known as xenon lights, produce light by creating an electrical arc across two electrodes, resulting in a much brighter white/blue light than normal halogen light bulbs.

Fitting HID headlamps is permissible providing that they are fitted with automatic headlamp levelling devices and headlamp cleaners. They must also conform to any requirements in set in Australian Design Rule 13.

Instrument panels

Manufacturers are required by Australian Design Rule 21 to provide crash padding for the instrument panel in vehicles manufactured on or after 1 January 1973.

If any additional equipment such as gauges, switches and audio systems are installed they must not protrude beyond the dash padding or be mounted on top of or below the dash where they are likely to cause reduced vision or increase injury in a collision.

Visual display screens

DVD screens, television receivers and visual display screens may be installed in a motor vehicle.

The screen must not be visible to the driver from the normal driving position, except if the screen turns off when the vehicle is moving, or it is a driver's aid - eg GPS navigation or reversing camera.

A screen must not obscure the driver's view of the road or impede the movement of anyone in the vehicle. It must be designed and installed so that it does not increase the risk of bodily injury to any person.

Contact DIT Vehicle Standards

Related information

Other websites

Australian Design Rules - Commonwealth Department for Infrastructure and Transport


Road Traffic (Light Vehicle Standards) Rules 2018

Was this page useful?

Page last updated 19 December 2021

Provided by:
Department for Infrastructure and Transport
Last Updated:
Printed on:
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2022