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If you’ve made changes to your car since its production, it falls under the category of modified cars. To get appropriate coverage that suits your requirements and financial plan, learn about insuring a modified car.
- What counts as a car modification?
- What are the most popular types of car modification?
- How do car modifications affect the cost of insurance?
- Why does it cost more to insure a modified car?
- How does modified car insurance work?
- What does modified car insurance cover?
- How can I save on modified car insurance?
- How is the value of a modified car calculated?
- What do I need to get a quote?
- Frequently asked questions
What counts as a car modification?
A car modification refers to any modification made to a vehicle that deviates from its original factory specifications. Modifying a car can range from minor cosmetic alterations to major performance upgrades.
There are two broad categories of car modifications: performance modifications and cosmetic modifications.
- Performance modifications: usually involve upgrading or altering the car’s mechanical components to enhance its speed, handling, acceleration, and overall performance. These modifications may include changes to the engine, suspension, wheels, turbo, exhaust system, and other critical components that can affect the car’s performance. For example, upgrading the car’s horsepower, remapping the ECU, or adding a turbocharger to increase engine output are all examples of performance modifications.
- Cosmetic modifications: on the other hand, are changes made to a car’s appearance or aesthetics that do not affect its performance. These can include adding go-faster stripes, installing body kits, painting the car a different colour, adding a sunroof or tinting the windows. Other examples include adding custom-designed wheels or installing high-quality speaker systems.
It’s important to note that not all modifications are legal or safe. Some modifications may be prohibited by law, while others may compromise the car’s safety or reliability.
It’s always advisable to check with your car insurance company before making any significant modifications to your car, as some modifications may affect your insurance coverage or premiums.
What are the most popular types of car modification?
Car modifications are changes made to a vehicle from its original factory settings, which can range from cosmetic alterations to performance upgrades. Here are some of the most popular types of car modifications:
Engine: This modification involves changing the engine’s performance, which can significantly increase the vehicle’s speed and power. However, insurance providers may consider this a high-risk modification.
Wheels: Adding larger wheels and shiny alloys may affect the handling of the car, and it may attract thieves. When replacing tyres, it’s recommended to use the manufacturer’s approved tires.
Tinted windows: While changing the windows’ tint level may increase privacy, it’s essential to ensure that it’s within legal limits. Insurance providers may not have any issues with this modification.
Stickers: Even adding a sticker to the car can be considered a modification. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider before adding any stickers or messages to your car.
Bodywork: Changing the body of the car, such as adding expensive accessories, can increase its value and affect its aerodynamics and safety in an accident. It must be declared as soon as it’s installed.
Spoilers: A good spoiler can improve handling at high speeds, but it also increases the chances of speeding. If you’re fitting a new spoiler, ensure it doesn’t obstruct the rear window’s view and is fitted securely by a qualified mechanic.
Parking sensors: These modifications are designed to reduce minor bumps and can help reduce your insurance premiums by demonstrating your commitment to safety.
Exhaust: Changing the exhaust system can enhance the car’s performance, but it can also increase its speed, which insurance providers may see as a risk.
Modifications for drivers with disabilities: Some cars can be modified to make them easier for drivers with disabilities to use, such as wheelchair ramps and lifts, altered foot pedals, hand controls, and steering aids. These modifications may help improve the driver’s quality of life and should be declared to your insurance provider.
How do car modifications affect the cost of insurance?
Car modifications can impact the cost of your car insurance. Even minor modifications have the potential to increase your premiums, depending on the type of modification and your insurance provider’s policies. Here are some factors to consider when determining how car modifications affect insurance costs:
The type of modification: Performance modifications, such as engine upgrades or changes to the car’s suspension, may increase the car’s speed and power, making it riskier to insure. Insurance providers may view these modifications as high-risk, which could lead to higher premiums. Cosmetic modifications, such as adding decals or changing the car’s colour, may not have as much impact on insurance costs.
The value of the car: Modifications that increase the car’s value may lead to higher premiums. For example, adding expensive custom rims or a high-end sound system may increase the car’s overall value, making it costlier to insure.
The level of risk: Some modifications may increase the car’s risk of theft or accidents. For instance, adding large, flashy rims may attract thieves, while lowering the car’s suspension may make it more prone to bottoming out or scraping on speed bumps.
The insurance provider: Some insurance providers may specialise in providing coverage for modified cars, and may offer more competitive rates than providers who don’t have experience with these types of vehicles. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurance providers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Overall, car modifications have the potential to impact the cost of insurance. However, not all modifications will necessarily lead to higher premiums, and shopping around for the right insurance provider can help you find a policy that meets your needs and budget.
It’s always important to be upfront with your insurance provider about any modifications you’ve made to your car, as failing to disclose them could invalidate your policy in the event of an accident.
Why does it cost more to insure a modified car?
When it comes to modified cars, insurance providers consider several factors that could increase the cost of insurance premiums. Here’s why it may cost more to insure a modified car:
Increased value: Modifications that increase the car’s value, such as adding custom rims or a high-end sound system, could result in higher insurance claims as it may be more expensive to repair or replace these parts. This could result in higher insurance premiums.
Increased speed: Modifications that enhance the car’s performance, such as engine upgrades or tuning, may make it faster and riskier to drive. Insurance providers may view these modifications as high-risk, which could lead to higher premiums.
Increased theft risk: Modified cars may be at a higher risk of theft, especially if expensive tech or performance modifications have been installed. Insurance providers may also assume that any modifications that alter the manufacturer’s standard settings can’t be guaranteed and may affect the car’s integrity.
Higher claims likelihood: Young drivers are statistically more likely to make insurance claims. If they make modifications to their cars, this could further raise their premium as insurance providers view them as a higher-risk group.
It’s essential to notify your insurance provider if you modify your car during the insurance term, as this may alter the cost of the premium, and you may also be charged an amendment or service fee.
It’s advisable to check with your provider before making any modifications to your car to see how it’s likely to affect your premium.
How does modified car insurance work?
Modified car insurance works similarly to regular car insurance, but it also covers any additional parts and accessories added to the vehicle. Here’s what you need to know about modified car insurance:
Coverage: Modified car insurance typically covers everything that regular car insurance does, including accidental damage and injuries to third parties. However, it also provides coverage for the extra parts and accessories added to the car, such as a new exhaust system, custom rims, or a high-end sound system.
Special conditions: If your car has significant modifications and is particularly valuable, you might want to consider a policy that offers special conditions if it’s written off. For instance, an agreed-value policy will give you a set value for your vehicle, rather than the average market value. This ensures that you receive a fair payout if the car is totalled. Additionally, a salvage retention clause allows you to buy back what remains of your car and its parts if it’s a total write-off.
Cost: Modified car insurance may be more expensive than regular car insurance due to the additional risk associated with modified vehicles. Insurance providers may view modified cars as high-risk and may charge higher premiums to compensate for the increased likelihood of accidents or theft.
Insurance provider: Not all insurance providers offer coverage for modified cars, and some may have specific policies that cater to these types of vehicles. It’s essential to research and compare quotes from different providers to find a policy that suits your needs and budget.
In summary, modified car insurance offers coverage for any additional parts or accessories added to a vehicle and may provide special conditions for highly modified or valuable cars.
It’s important to find a reputable insurance provider and carefully consider the level of coverage required to protect your investment.
What does modified car insurance cover?
Modified car insurance covers the same risks as regular car insurance policies. However, if you want to insure a modified car and its additional modifications, it will typically cost more. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to modified car insurance coverage:
Additional coverage: You can opt for additional coverage with your modified car insurance policy, such as breakdown cover, courtesy car, lost keys cover, windscreen cover, and no-claims discount protection.
Legal modifications: It’s essential to ensure that your modifications are legal. If any of them break the law, you won’t be able to get insurance coverage at all. For instance, neon lights under the car and overly tinted windows that block out less than 70% of light are common examples of illegal modifications.
Higher premiums: Insuring a modified car typically incurs higher premiums than insuring a regular car. This is because modifications increase the risk of theft, accidents, and insurance claims. Insurance providers may also view modified cars as high-risk vehicles, which means higher premiums to offset the potential risks.
Overall, modified car insurance provides coverage for the same risks as regular car insurance, but it may also cover the additional modifications made to the car.
It’s essential to ensure that your modifications are legal and that you’re honest with your insurance provider about any changes you make to your vehicle. Failure to do so could result in a policy void and costly repairs out of pocket.
How can I save on modified car insurance?
Cheap modified car insurance may not always be easy, but there are some ways to save money on your car insurance premium.
Here are some tips to consider:
Cut down on mileage: The less you drive, the lower the risk of accidents, which means lower premiums. Try to limit unnecessary driving and use public transport or carpooling instead.
Park off the road: Parking your car off the road, such as in a garage or private driveway, reduces the risk of theft or damage, which may lead to lower premiums.
Increase your excess: Increasing your excess, the amount you pay out of pocket in the event of an accident may lower your premium. However, it’s important to ensure that you can afford to pay the excess if you need to make a claim.
Declare modifications upfront: It’s crucial to inform your insurance provider of any modifications you’ve made to your car. This ensures that you’re covered in the event of an accident and that your premiums are based on accurate information.
Compare quotes: Comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers with Comparoo can help you find the best deal for your modified car insurance.
Remember that the cost of modified car insurance will depend on several factors, including the type of modifications made, the value of the car, and the level of risk associated with the vehicle.
Be honest with your insurance provider about any modifications you’ve made to your car, and consider ways to reduce your premium without compromising your coverage.
How is the value of a modified car calculated?
Calculating the value of a modified car can be a complicated process, as modifications can significantly increase a car’s value.
Here’s what you need to know about determining the value of a modified car:
Increased value: In most cases, modifications will increase a car’s value, which is why modified car insurance is more expensive than a standard policy. However, the extent of the value increase will depend on the type of modifications made and the car’s overall condition.
No straightforward calculation: Due to the variability of modifications, there’s no straightforward way to calculate a modified car’s value. Unlike standard policies that use market value as a basis for determining payout amounts, modified car owners often take out an agreed-value policy with their insurance provider.
Agreed-value policy: An agreed-value policy allows you and your insurance provider to agree on a set amount that they’ll pay out in the event of a total loss, regardless of the car’s original market value. This ensures that you receive a fair payout that takes into account the value of any modifications made to the vehicle.
Documentation: To determine the value of a modified car, insurance providers will typically require detailed documentation of the modifications, including receipts and invoices. This helps to accurately assess the value of the car and ensure that you receive the appropriate payout in the event of a claim.
In summary, determining the value of a modified car can be complex due to the variability of modifications made. An agreed-value policy with your insurance provider can help ensure that you receive a fair payout in the event of a total loss.
It’s important to keep detailed documentation of any modifications made to your car to help accurately assess its value.
What do I need to get a quote?
To get a quote for modified car insurance, you’ll need to provide some details about your car and personal information. Here are the key details you’ll need to provide:
Car details: You’ll need to provide your car’s registration number and any modifications you’ve made to the vehicle. This helps insurance providers accurately assess the level of risk associated with your car and determine the appropriate premium.
No-claims discount: If you have a no-claims discount, you’ll need to provide details of how many years you’ve been claim-free. This could lead to lower insurance premiums.
Additional drivers: If you want to include additional drivers on your policy, you’ll need to provide their details as well.
Personal information: You’ll also need to provide personal information, such as your age, address, and job title. This helps insurance providers determine the level of risk associated with you as a driver.
If you’ve compared quotes before, some of this information may already be on file, which can save you time when getting a new quote.
Once you’ve provided this information, you’ll be presented with a list of quotes to compare from different insurance providers.
It’s essential to review each quote carefully to ensure that you’re getting the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
Frequently asked questions
Making modifications to your car can be a double-edged sword, as they can increase the risk of accidents and theft, which means higher premiums.
However, some modifications can help lower your car insurance premiums. Here are some modifications that could potentially help lower your premium:
- Parking sensors: Adding parking sensors can help reduce the risk of minor bumps and collisions, which could lead to lower premiums.
- Security measures: Fitting an immobiliser or tracking device can deter potential thieves, which could lower your insurance premium.
- Tow bar: If you use your car for towing, adding a tow bar can lower your premium since it’s an indication that you drive more slowly and carefully. However, it’s worth checking with your insurance provider since some may consider towing to be an added risk.
- Tinted windows: Insurance providers’ opinions are divided on tinted windows. Some consider them a cosmetic modification and may raise your premium, while others see them as a security measure that can prevent opportunistic thieves from seeing what’s inside your car.
If your new car comes with modifications, such as alloy wheels or upgraded sound systems, it shouldn’t affect your insurance premium significantly since they are fitted according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
However, if the modifications increase the value of your car, you may pay a slightly higher premium than you would for the basic model.
If you’re buying a second-hand vehicle that has been modified, it’s crucial to get all the details of the modifications and pass them on to your insurance provider.
This helps ensure that you have the appropriate coverage for your car, including any modifications that may affect its value or risk level.
Be transparent with your insurance provider about the modifications to your car, as failure to do so could result in a void policy and costly repairs out of pocket.
Yes, you can make modifications to your car mid-policy.
However, it’s crucial to notify your insurance provider of any changes as soon as possible. Waiting until it’s time to renew could lead to a void policy if you need to make a claim.
It’s essential to keep in mind that any modifications made mid-policy could lead to an increase in your premiums.
Therefore, it’s important to weigh up the costs and benefits before deciding to make any changes. Consider the potential impact on your insurance premiums and whether the modifications are necessary or optional.
Being transparent with your insurance provider about any changes to your car helps ensure that you have the appropriate coverage and that your policy remains valid.
If you modify your car, there’s a possibility that you may require specialist-modified car insurance.
Insurance providers use 50 insurance rating groups to determine where to set your premiums. Any modifications to your car could mean that it no longer conforms to its original insurance group and may invalidate a standard insurance policy.
A specialist-modified car insurance policy can provide coverage for even the smallest modifications, ensuring that you have the appropriate coverage for your car.
It’s essential to notify your insurance provider of any modifications to your car, and be transparent about the purpose of the modifications to avoid any issues with your policy’s validity.
Young drivers typically pay more for car insurance, and the cost can increase even more when modifications are involved.
Insurance providers view young drivers as a higher risk, and modifications to a car can further amplify this risk. As a result, modified car insurance tends to be more expensive for young drivers compared to older, more experienced drivers.
It’s important for young drivers to consider the cost of insurance premiums before making any modifications to their car and to weigh up the potential impact on their finances.
Modified car insurance tends to be more expensive than a standard policy due to the increase in a car’s value resulting from modifications.
Car modification is legal in the UK, but not all modifications are legal. Some modifications may result in an MOT failure if they are considered obstructive or excessive. However, there are many ways to modify your car while remaining on the right side of the law.
Failing to declare all modifications to your car insurance provider could lead to an invalid policy, which means that the insurer may refuse to pay out or offer a reduced rate if you need to make a claim.
It’s crucial to be transparent with your insurance provider about any modifications made to your car to ensure that you have appropriate coverage.
If your car’s alloy wheels were fitted by the manufacturer, they are typically covered under your insurance policy, and you do not need to declare them.
However, if the alloy wheels were not fitted by the manufacturer and were added later, you must inform your insurance provider to ensure that you have appropriate coverage.
Debadging a car is not illegal in the UK, and it should not result in getting pulled over or receiving a ticket.
In some European countries, it’s even a common option to have a vehicle debadged from the manufacturer. However, it’s worth noting that removing car emblems is not strictly legal in the UK.
Changing the colour of your car is legal in the UK, but you must inform both the DVLA and your insurance provider of the change.
Modifications that result in breaking the law will void your insurance.
It’s important to ensure that any modifications made to your car are legal to avoid risking your insurance coverage.