For many people, building and driving a kit car is the passion project that keeps on giving. Britain has a vibrant kit car scene, with thousands of people having discovered the joys of putting together a car themselves.
While some kit vehicles are used for special occasions such as weddings and exhibitions, others are built for speed and used for racing and rallies, while others are assembled as replicas of expensive world-class cars such as Porsches and Aston Martins, with lighter parts.
The parts for kit cars can be ordered from a variety of sources, and there is an additional test which owners are required to pass before they are allowed to drive their kit cars on the road. If you choose to assemble a kit car, one thing you will most likely want to consider is how cheaply you can get insurance for your vehicle.
Getting your kit car roadworthy
The test that you will be legally required to take once your kit car is assembled will be the Individual Vehicle Approvaltest in which your vehicle is inspected by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. The test will involve a visual inspection of the vehicle, and you may be asked to do numerous things to demonstrate roadworthiness, but you are unlikely to need to show any documentation.
Once your vehicle has passed this test and you have filled in the standard V627/1 and V355/4 forms to register the number plate and have everything approved, you will be ready to drive. However, this is not the point at which you should look to insure your kit car.
The process of assembling the kit car involves the shipping and handling of many specialist individual parts. Before you have started assembling your vehicle, it is possible to buy insurance for your car parts as goods in transit.
First thoughts for your insurance
Many established kit car providers sell a full car for around £15,000, and the length of the construction process will depend on your available time. As your parts arrive and are added to the growing vehicle, it can be very worthwhile for you to pay out for specialist build up cover.
This cover will increase to match the value of your vehicle in its not-yet-roadworthy state – and, as a result, fully insure your car against loss or theft. Nonetheless, when you have decided on your design ideas, it can be worth choosing to get your kit car insurance with an agreed price cover.
This means that you and the insurance provider agree on what the value of your car is ahead of time. As kit cars can – as is usually rare for road vehicles – appreciate in value with time as further, unique parts are added to them, this price cover can be incredibly useful to settle before you drive, and can ensure that you are fully compensated for the vehicle’s worth in the event of an accident.
Special kinds of kit car insurance
Just as there is a huge range of kit cars available, there is also an extensive range of options for insuring your kit car. Prices will vary based on your needs and the use and value of your vehicle. If, for example, you use your kit car for competitive rally racing, you will face high charges as there is a higher chance than average of you being involved in an accident.
In this case, you might want to consider buying salvage retention insurance. In the event of a crash and your vehicle being compromised, this would give you the right to buy back the surviving parts of your vehicle so that you can use it as the foundations of a new build car.
If you own a kit car that is only used for events and exhibitions and you know you will not be driving for the foreseeable future, it is possible to register for a Statutory Off Road Notification for the vehicle. This will exempt you from paying insurance and road tax.
As well as this, you will be able to purchase insurance for the transportation of the vehicle and any damage that may occur while it is being exhibited.
Getting the right price for your insurance
Whatever the particulars of your kit car, and whatever uses you are planning to put it to, there are a few ways that you can lower your insurance costs across the board. If you park your kit car in a secure garage or quiet, safe street instead of in the open, and can provide evidence of this, then insurers are likely to take this into consideration and offer lower premiums, as you are at a lower risk of having your car burgled or stolen.
Age is also a factor which can affect the price of your insurance. Younger drivers – especially those under the age of 21 and, to a lesser extent, those younger than 25 – will face significantly higher premiums than older drivers who have had more time to gain road experience.
To ensure that you get the best deal on your kit car insurance, it can be good to go to an insurance broker such as Call Wiser. You can use our personalised service to compare a wide range of insurance providers as a means of looking for the insurance policy that is the closest fit for your specific needs. Call Wiser can provide coverage for over 300 makes and models of kit car, including the largest producers such as Westfield and Caterham.
The more expensive the parts are that you use to construct a car, the more expensive the insurance will be. Going through a broker with links to many insurance providers and producers ensures the best chance of being able to find replacement parts easily in the case of damage or an accident.