*51% of customers could save up to £221.56 Consumer Intelligence, Dec 2015
Modified your motor? Keep your insurer up to speed.
Car modifications come in many shapes and sizes – from fitting a full body kit to putting in parking sensors – but if you don’t tell your insurer about the upgrades, you could find yourself caught without car insurance.
A modification is any change or addition to the car that alters it from the factory specification, so even if you’re just slapping on some go-faster stripes, your insurer needs to know.
Although this might lead to an increase in the cost of cover, failing to declare any modifications could invalidate your policy – and driving without adequate insurance is a criminal offence.
And while most modifications will bump up the cost of cover, there are some add-ons that can actually bring the price down.
If you boost your engine with a turbo, supercharger or nitrous oxide, you could see your car insurance rocket by up to 132%, but mount a tow bar and you could pull the cost of cover back by as much as 20%.
So think carefully before you modify your motor, and if you do, make sure you keep your insurer up to speed with any changes.
CAR INSURANCE GUIDES
Helping you get the right cover at the right price
What information do I need to run an insurance quote?
There are a few details you have to give in order to get your quote.
- Your car number plate
- Any modifications you’ve made
- An estimate of how many miles you drive each year
- The type of licence you hold, how long you’ve had it for
- Your occupation
- Details of any points, speeding tickets or disqualifications you’ve had in the last 5 years, and any accidents you’ve had or claims you’ve made
- Any no-claims bonus
- Is anyone else going to drive your car? If so, you’ll need their names and licence details too.
What kind of insurance should I get?
There are three main kinds of car insurance policy to choose from.
- Third party car insurance is the lowest level of cover. It insures against damage and injuries that you, or your passenger, cause to another person or their property in an accident. It doesn’t pay for any damage or injury to you or your car.
- Third party (fire and theft) car insurance provides third party cover as above, but it will also pay to repair or replace your car if it’s stolen, damaged or destroyed by fire.
- Comprehensive cover offers the most protection as it protects your car and other people’s property.
How can I save on my car insurance?
There are lots of things you can do to reduce the cost of cover.
You might want to think about increasing your excess. This is the part of any insurance claim you have to pay yourself. Make sure it is still affordable though.
Get your mileage right too. This is really important as if you overestimate, you’ll be paying for miles you don’t use.
If you’re a younger driver, you might want to think about adding a more experienced named driver to reduce your premiums. Don’t be tempted to put them down as the main driver, though, as that’s illegal and will invalidate your cover.
If you can afford to, try to pay for your cover in a lump sum up-front. This will save you the interest you have to pay on monthly payments.
What are the various types of car insurance?
In addition to standard car insurance, there are specialist versions:
- Black box: your car is fitted with a black box or global positioning system (GPS) which transmits information back to the insurance company via a satellite. Insurers monitor things such as the times of day and night you’re behind the wheel, average speeds, acceleration, braking and cornering and calculate premiums accordingly.
- Multi-car: covers all the cars registered at a particular address. If you’ve got several cars, this sometimes can be more cost-effective than having lots of different policies.
- Short-term or temporary: cover which you can take out for a day if you need to, or for up to a month if you need a longer policy.
- Learner: if you’re learning to drive, a learner policy will give you comprehensive cover to drive someone else’s car.
- Classic car: specialist cover for owners of classic cars.