Modifying your motor could double the cost of your car insurance – so if you’re looking to tune-up the turbo engine, fit a full body kit, or bolt-on a bigger exhaust, you may have to think again. The number-crunchers at MoneySuperMarket have analysed a whopping 2.3 million quotes run on modified vehicles and found that adding performance-enhancing and aesthetic features can significantly increase the cost of cover. And failing to tell your insurer of even the most modest of modifications could see your policy invalidated.
What is a car modification?A car modification is a change made to a vehicle – to improve aesthetics, function, or performance – so that it differs from the manufacturer’s original factory specification.
What car modifications increase the cost of cover the most?It’ll probably come as no surprise that tweaking the engine or fitting a body kit will pump up the price of your premium – what may come as a shock is by how much a modification can increase car insurance costs. And even making cosmetic changes can significantly push up premium prices – custom paintwork could see you paying 36% more, while adding ‘stripes, decals or badges’ can put an extra 22% on the cost of cover. Do enough work to your set of wheels, and you could see your premium rise 100%. It’s not all bad news though, if your modifications are purely functional you could see a drop in the price you pay for your annual premium. Adding parking sensors, for instance, can see the cost of cover drop by 13%, while fitting a tow bar can see prices fall by as much as 20%, most likely because drivers who tow trailers or caravans typically have to drive more slowly.
What are the most popular car modifications?After analysing 2.3 million car insurance quotes for modified cars, our data boffins found the most popular car modifications are:
- Adding alloy wheels
- Installing a tow bar
- Having suspension work done
- Making changes to the exhaust system
- Adding tinted windows