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Car insurance for modified cars

Car insurance for modified cars

If you are the owner of a modified car, you're probably already painfully aware of how hard it can be to find a car insurance company that's willing to not only to provide cover but also to take into account the value of the modifications you have made to your car.

You may have made modifications to your car which might include having the car lowered, tinted your windows, upgraded your turbo, fitted a supercharger or added an induction kit. You may even have splashed out on having the doors converted to 'Lambo' doors, suicide doors or Gullwing doors.

Whether the modifications you make are minor or major, to the body work or the performance you must remember the golden rule which is to declare them ALL when you are looking around for your car insurance. If you fail to follow this rule you could invalidate any claims you make and cause even bigger problems.

What car insurance options are available for custom and modified cars?

Many insurance companies may not insure modified cars so it's important to shop around for quotes. It is also more important than usual to compare policies to make sure you get suitable cover for your individual needs. You'll probably want to reflect the money you've spent modifying your car in its insured value.

If you want the best policy for you its worth taking a two-pronged approach to your search. Firstly, compare quotes from leading insurers by using a car insurance comparison website that allows you to specify the modifications you've made. The number of quotes you receive will often depend on the number and types of modifications you have made, at the very least this should give you a good indication of the cost and range of cover available. It is then advisable to get quotes from some specialist insurers too, as they may be able to offer unique options to you for your vehicle. These specialists deal with this type of quote on a daily basis and can generally offer better cover or a better price. Some specialist insurers available include:

  • Adrian Flux - Options here include agreed valuations, discounts for car club members, limited mileage discounts and track day cover.

  • Performance Direct - An independent broker with a panel of more than 100 underwriters and are a specialist in offering quotes for modified cars.

  • HIC Insurance - Cosmetic modifications up to £1,500 are covered for free plus optional agreed value cover, cover for track days and rallies, meets and more.

How rates for modified car insurance are set

Insurance companies base their premiums on risk. They will consider a number of factors which may contribute towards this level of risk including where you live, your age, gender, occupation, driving and claims history and the type of vehicle you drive as well as its age. A modified vehicle is considered a bigger risk than an unmodified car because it is at higher risk of being stolen or vandalised, and the modifications you have made may affect the handling or safety, or increase the power and performance of the vehicle which increases its chances of being involved in an accident. The change in value that may have been due to modifications may also be quite significant, this is then likely to be represented in the cost of your insurance premium as, should the vehicle be damaged or written off the settlement figure will likely be much higher than a standard vehicle of the same type.

Modified car valuations will generally be considered on a case by case basis. As such you may find that your modified car insurance policy contains special terms. Young drivers will find their insurance premiums to be higher and likely also require an increased excess. Many insurance providers will now only offer cover to drivers of modified cars over the age of 25.

There are a number of ways that modified car drivers can keep insurance premiums affordable:

  • Join a car club - Membership of a car club shows an enthusiasm about the vehicle and will be likely to take better care of the car. Some insurance companies may offer a discount of between 10% - 15% as a reward for this.

  • Take an advanced driving course - If your car is high performance then taking an advanced course may prove to your insurer a capability to handle the higher power. Consult with the insurer first to ensure the cost of the course will effectively be earned back by the premium reduction.

  • Enhance security - Fit a tracker to your modified car to help lower the cost of the car insurance. Adding a car alarm or immobiliser can earn a discount of up to 10%. If you have alloy wheels on the car you can also help by adding locking nuts to them. Again speak to your insurer about possible discounts.

  • Limit your mileage - By minimising time on the road you decrease your chances of needing to make a claim which in turn lowers your risk and your premium.

  • Park the car in a garage overnight - Decrease the chance of car theft or vandalism by locking it in a garage at night. This could decrease your premium by as much as 5% - 10%, but don't lie, you may need to prove it in the event of a theft claim.

In summary it is best to do what you can to reduce your risk in the eyes of an insurer and to make sure to shop around for your insurance by using a car insurance comparison website, as well as the specialist insurance companies.

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