Modified car insurance

If you can’t get enough of the quirky modifications available to car owners, this insurance could be for you. Modifications are small changes you can make to change the way your car runs or looks. An example of these could be a change to the engine size, tyres or spark plug. Even custom paintwork can count as a modification and increase the price of your insurance.  The best modified car insurance can be hard to find.
Although alterations are not guaranteed to make your insurance more expensive, it is important that you declare them when organising your insurance. Failing to declare modifications can invalidate your insurance- better safe than sorry! Some insurers will not provide cover if you have mods. If you do not declare them, they will not pay out if you make a claim.

Are modifications legal?

Most modifications that you will see are completely legal in the UK. However, alterations that make your vehicle less safe on the roads are not. Under-car neon lighting is illegal as it can make it more difficult for other drivers to see. Driving with these installed could lead to a hefty fine or even a trip to court. If you are thinking of getting modifications to your car, always do your research and check before you buy.  For more information, check out this article by Start Rescue.

What are some common examples of modifications?

Changing the size of the engine
Changing the colour of your vehicle
Changes to the exhaust
Upgrading alloy wheels
Getting a bigger bumper
Personalised number plates

Why do these make my insurance so much more expensive?

These modifications will make your insurance more expensive for a few reasons. Firstly, cosmetic changes will make your vehicle more vulnerable to theft. A fancy looking car will be targeted by a thief and is more likely to be stolen. Therefore, insurers will increase your premium as they deem you to be a high risk to make a claim.
Secondly, a larger engine size and changes to the exhaust will make the car go faster. With a faster car, you are more at risk of doing damage if you are involved in an accident. Consequently, insurers will have to pay more if you do make a claim. This is largely why you will see an increase in your premium with modifications.
Lastly, modifications will increase the value of your car so insurers will have to increase your premium to compensate. Paying for flares and personalisation to a blank canvas will add to the price of your vehicle. Not only does this link back to the first point, but expensive cars generally cost more to insure. You can expect to see a rise in you modified car insurance quotes!

Does car insurance cover modifications?

With a modified vehicle, you will search for quotes and go about it the same way as if you were getting insurance for a standard car. Where the process differs is when you must declare the modifications you have installed. Insurers will ask you if you have made any alterations to your vehicle. It is at this point that you must declare what extras you have added so they can provide you with a quote.
Although there is a temptation to maybe exclude one or two mods to bring down the price, you must not. Insurers will need a comprehensive list of changes you have made or else they may cancel your policy. Cancelled policies will make it harder to find insurance the next time round. Your new insurers will want an explanation and it will become more expensive to insure your car.

Can I get modified car insurance for a young driver?

Yes! Although it will be harder, there will be insurers out there who will be willing to cover you. Do expect to pay more for your insurance, though. As a young driver, you are already considered as a large risk behind the wheel. Adding modifications to enhance the speed or performance of your car will only increase this risk. To compensate for this, insurers will push up their prices because they understand that you are likely to claim.

How do I reduce my costs with a modified car?

Despite the expected increase in cost that comes with modifications, there are ways to reduce your premium.

1. Keep your mileage low

By keeping the distance you travel each year low, you could see your insurance prices drop! Insurers will notice that because you spend less time on the roads, you are less likely to have an accident. As ever, you must always provide accurate information or your policy could be invalid.

2. Pay annually

Paying up front will save you the interest monthly instalment gather over time. This could be around 20% a year! Although it can be tough to pay in one go, it will save you pennies in the long run!

3. Add security

Adding an alarm or immobiliser to your vehicle will save you money on your insurance. These security measures will show insurers that your car is a low risk for theft. The simple addition of an alarm will act as a deterrent for thieves and leaves your car extra protected.
Also, bear in mind that many insurers will not cover your car with add-ons. Specialist policies are therefore often cheaper than standard motor insurance.

What modifications won’t affect my insurance?

As we have discussed previously, security measures that you add to your car will positively affect the price of insurance. This is contrary to many other alterations you can make where the trend is more expensive premiums.
Winter tyres will not increase the price of your insurance. In fact, they are seen to be a positive improvement to the safety of the vehicle. They encourage better handing and decrease the chance of skidding on icy roads.
Despite the fact that these do not impact your premiums, it is still necessary for you to declare them. Insurers will need to know all changes that have been made for the policy to be valid.

What policy add-ons can I get?

As with other forms of motor insurance, you are entitled to the optional basic extras. These include breakdown cover, legal protection and key cover. These will all add to your premium but may be worth the extra cost if needed.
Modifying your car can be a great way to showcase your personality though it can be pricy. Getting a specialist policy will ensure you get the best price and security will also work to lower your premium.
If you would like to speak to our modified car insurance specialists here at Quote Detective, give us a ring on 0333 222 4005.