23 November, 2018

How to insure a modified car

Modifying your car can be a great way of expressing your aesthetic while testing out your latest car gadgets on the road. Whether you want to push your car to the extreme or simply enjoy top performance on a road trip, be aware that, no matter how big the modification, this can add some extra costs to your insurance and insurance premiums.

Finding an insurer that is willing to take the risk on your vehicle can be frustrating, especially if you go to a multitude of potential insurers and are met with the same “no” each time. Here are some ideas of how you can get around this and find modified car insurance for ensuring that you are safe on the road while remaining stylish.

What counts as a modification?

Many young modifiers may think that modifying a car involves the entire vehicle receiving a full body kit modification. While it is important to understand that this does happen and can actually increase your premiums by 11.9% if you are under 25, a modification can also be a smaller and less noticeable change to your car. Such modifications include:

  • Window tints
  • Spoilers
  • Non-standard alloy wheels
  • Powerful engines
  • Bumper changes
  • Environmentally friendly/powerful exhausts
  • Parking sensors
  • Re-trimmed seats

No matter what the change, an insurer will always count a modification as a potential risk as they are unsure as to whether it will benefit the vehicle or present a potential danger on the road.

Be sure to always mention a potential modification to your insurer. If you do not mention it, then this may appear as though you are misleading the insurer, so you could be held responsible should the car encounter any damage.

Keep in mind that the list of modifications they will need to be told about could also include any modifications made for disabilities, such as an interior ramp for wheelchair users.

Why would a modification raise the insurance of my vehicle?

As mentioned previously, a modification is something that is out of an insurer’s control, as they can only understand the quality of what the factory produces. They do not know if the modification will benefit the vehicle or may pose as a potential hazard on the road.

An upgraded vehicle can also attract thieves and criminals who want to break in and steal the vehicle or even just cause damage spitefully. This risk is the main reason why your premium insurance increases or some insurers may simply turn you away altogether.

An additional reason why your insurance may increase is your age. It has been predicted that, for a young person aged under 20, their insurance may be raised to a startling £900 as an average starting cost.

A young person has not yet had the experience on the road that a more mature driver has gained over the years. In fact, as new drivers, they may be liable to break some of the rules of the road just due to their inexperience. Adding a modification to this mix can only mean more risk of an accident on the road. This means that it can be extremely difficult for a young person to find the right sort of modified car insurance for a decent price.

With modifications, your car can be as unique as your thumbprint. Think about the insides and what you have had replaced. How much would these items cost to replace or even to remake? If your car encounters any problems, then you need to tackle the cost of maintaining your car, meaning that any insurer that looks into your vehicle may have to pay you more to have the broken item replaced. Therefore prices for modification insurance can be extremely high.

What can you do to insure if you want to modify your car?

Always tell your insurer before you make any potential changes. Modified car insurance quotes can be difficult to come by; however, if you speak to an expert, then you may be able to catch a deal with the company if you let them know.

If you are open and honest and a clear modification enthusiast, then you may be able to have a personal deal cut out for you and your insurance – especially if you have had your car on the road for quite a few years previously with the same insurer.

Loyalty rewards its people, and there is no exception with your car. You can even ask if your insurer has a telematics policy that would allow you to keep a black box in your vehicle.

How can you find cheap insurance?

Once you have compared your insurance policies and have found which may offer you the cheapest deal on modification insurance, you may also want to consider the following methods to decrease the cost of your insurance further:

  • If you are a young driver, then why not look into the Pass Plus scheme? This Government scheme will allow you to spend more time with a driving instructor to brush up on your driving skills, so your insurer will see you as an expert driver on the road despite your modified car. This can even sometimes take about £180 off the cost of your insurance!
  • Keep your car safely parked overnight in a garage or safe spot, as this will reduce the chance of vandalism or theft.
  • Limit your stated mileage.
  • Pay annually instead of monthly, as paying in a lump sum may earn you a discount from your insurer.
  • Raise the excess of your insurance policy in order to keep your premiums down but ensure that the excess is payable.

Think before applying your modifications

While a modification can be a fantastic addition to any sort of vehicle on the road performance-wise, you must ensure that you want the modifications before you deal with finding the correct insurance. One person’s taste may not be another’s, so you may struggle to sell a modified vehicle in the future.

If you truly want to go ahead with getting a car modified, be sure to shop around before you select a policy. Although you already may have a policy in place, it will always need to be updated when you change any part of your car.

Therefore, search the options thoroughly to see what would be the best deal for you and anyone else who may potentially drive your car. You can even search for an “agreed value policy”, which takes into account that a classic car may be worth more money over time if it has been modified. Hence, the insurer may pay more if there is an accident in the future.

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