In the UK like modifications can come in many shapes and sizes- from tinted windows, to alloy wheels and air filter upgrades. A modification is broadly defined as something that has been added after purchase which changes how the vehicle looks or performs. Although they are a popular addition especially amongst the youth, it can often be hard to find insurance for these vehicles. On average, modifications increase the premium by 5% due to what the insurance companies perceive as an increased ‘risk’ and, for young drivers who are already faced with reasonably high premiums, this can be a problem. On top of this, the average cost of a modification is £1012.71 (P. Carr), making this form of car alteration a very expensive hobby.
According to Peter Carr, the Subaru is the most modified car in the UK, closely followed by the MG and then the Rover. It is worth noting that while these changes are often associated with appearance, they can also be speed related in order to help the car to perform at its maximum potential. These provide the biggest obstacle for insurance as faster cars are more likely to cause damage in a crash.
However, certain mods are perceived as perilous and are therefore banned in the UK. These include any lights that will distract other drivers on the road or can be confused with regulatory head or brake lights, tinted windows that are too dark to see properly out of and Nitrous Oxide engine modifications, which are deemed too dangerous to allow on the roads.
Although many people like the effects that modifications can have on their cars, it has a well-documented negative impact on the price of what is already in some cases an expensive insurance premium.
Carr,P. (2019) Compare insurance quotes for modified cars [Online] Money Super Market [Accessed 24/02/2020] Available from https://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/modified-cars/
reis motorsport insurance (2019) What are the car modification laws in the UK? [Online] reis motorsport insurance [Accessed 24/02/2020] Available from https://reis.co.uk/what-are-the-car-modification-laws-in-the-uk/