Kit Car Insurance

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Building a car from scratch? Make sure you get the right level of car insurance at the right price.

close up bonnet of a kit car

Get the right kit car insurance policy

It takes time and money to build a car from scratch – and that makes kit cars special. So how do you make sure you have the right insurance to protect your prized possession, whether it’s a Lo-Cost Lotus Seven replica, an AC Cobra, or a Challenger E-Type?

Kit cars are not like ordinary vehicles. You don’t drive a kit car out of a showroom, but piece it together in your garage. Off-the-peg insurance is fine for standard cars, but owners of kit cars usually need specialist cover, tailor made to suit their requirements. You might have to pay a bit more for your kit car insurance, especially if you have modified the vehicle, but the extra cost is often worth the extra peace of mind.

MoneySuperMarket does not currently offer specialist kit car insurance, so your best option is to consult a broker. This guide will help you identify the right policy for your requirements.

Kit cars and the law

To drive a kit car legally on the road it must pass an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) test, which costs about £199. Tests are carried out at approved sites by inspectors from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. Once your kit car has passed its IVA it will not normally need an MOT for another three years. But your kit car must have a valid tax disc or statutory off road notification.

What does kit car insurance cover?

Insurance for kit cars covers all the usual risks to your car, such as theft, fire and damage as a result of a road accident. But a specialist policy can also include build up cover, which insures your kit car as soon as the parts arrive. In other words, you would be able to make a claim if your car or parts were lost or stolen before it was fully assembled. Some kit car insurance companies also offer protection for component parts that are damaged or lost in transit. The parts for kit cars can be pricey, so build up cover can be a financial lifeline.

A specialist insurer will also usually pay out an ‘agreed value’ if the kit car is written off or stolen, unlike standard insurance policies, which typically pay out the market value. An agreed value is important because it is often hard to put a price on a kit car, especially if it has been modified. Also, kit cars are different from ordinary runabouts because their value does not always depreciate over time. In fact, kit cars can sometimes increase in value as the years go by. If you agree a value with the insurer at the outset, you can be sure that the policy will pay out the full value of the vehicle in the event of a claim.

Insurance for kit cars covers all the usual risks to your car, such as theft, fire and damage as a result of a road accident. But a specialist policy can also include build up cover, which insures your kit car as soon as the parts arrive

If the worst should happen and your car is a write off, you might want to salvage the parts, especially if they were expensive. Salvage retention cover enables you to buy back the wreckage and use any salvageable parts to build a new kit car. But bear in mind that if a wreckage is seriously damaged, it might be illegal to salvage any parts because of the potential safety hazard.

Can I add extras to my kit car insurance policy?

If you need a bit more than basic cover for your kit car, you can usually add a range of extras, though you will have to pay an additional premium. Some breakdown policies exclude kit cars, so owners should check the details if they want emergency assistance. It might also be a good idea to add legal expenses to your kit car insurance to cover any court costs.

If you are a track or racing enthusiast, make sure you have appropriate cover for these activities. The same is true for kit car owners who use their cars for weddings or other formal occasions. And if you plan to drive your kit car overseas, read the small print carefully. Some policies include European cover up to a certain limit, but never assume that insurance is either adequate or in place.

Many kit car insurance policies exclude drivers under the age of 21. If you are a younger driver, you will almost certainly have to pay a lot more for your insurance, assuming you can find an insurer that is willing to take the risk.

How to get a cheap kit car insurance quote

If you don’t take your kit car out on the road every day, you might be able to agree a lower mileage limit with your insurer in return for a lower premium. Just remember that if you breach the limit, you could invalidate the policy.

Insurers insist that you pay a certain amount towards any claim, known as the excess. Car insurance policies come with a compulsory excess, often about £200. If you agree to a higher voluntary excess, you are usually rewarded with a lower premium.

Many specialist kit car insurance companies offer discounted premiums to members of a vehicle owners’ club.

If you have built your car from scratch, you might be perfectly happy to repair the vehicle if it sustains any damage – in which case you might want to consider ‘parts only’ insurance. The policy would then pay out for any necessary parts, but not for any labour, typically saving about 30% on the premium.

For more advice on how to reduce the price of your premiums visit our car insurance money saving tips page.

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