A fully comprehensive car insurance policy should provide cover for you and your vehicle against a range of insured events, including fire, theft, and more
1Accurate as of February 2024.
Modified car insurance is what you take out to cover your car if you’ve had it altered in any way. It’s a standard car insurance policy, however, the premiums will also factor in any changes that have been made to the vehicle..
This is why if you do make any custom changes – or you purchase a vehicle that has been customised from the factory model – you should let your insurance provider know. Failure to do so could result in your policy being invalid when you come to make a claim.
Always consult your insurance company before you make any modifications. They can tell you what impact, if any, the changes will make to your policy and premiums
Insurers believe that modifications done outside the factory cannot be guaranteed and may compromise the integrity of the vehicle which can result in an increase in your premiums
Insurers use car insurance groups to set premiums and modifications can potentially void your rating
The most popular car modifications in the UK are alloy wheels, suspension changes and exhaust system changes. Other common customisations include tinted windows, tow bars and engine management systems.
Upgrades and modifications such as personalised number plates may not directly affect your car insurance premium, but you will need to notify your insurer if you make them, and an admin fee may be charged to update your records.
Before making any modifications to your car, check whether they are legal. There are rules about tinted windows and noise restrictions for altered exhausts, for instance. If you decide to have your engine remapped you need to ensure it doesn’t make your car’s emissions non-compliant. Even something as simple as upgrading your wheels counts as a car modification, and if they’re more expensive they’ll cost the insurer more to replace and might be attractive to thieves."
Paying your car insurance premiums annually usually works out cheaper than spreading the cost over 12 months
Paying a higher voluntary excess tells insurers you’re unlikely to bother with small claims that wouldn’t be worth the cost
If you can go for over a year without claiming you’ll start to accumulate a no-claims discount on future premiums
The less time you spend on the road the lower your chances of being involved in an accident, so giving a lower estimated mileage can cut your premiums
Pay-as-you-go car insurance lets you pay for cover either by-the-mile, by-the-hour or based on your driving, and can be a cheaper alternative for some drivers
You might be able to find a cheaper deal on your car insurance if you compare quotes rather than auto renewing your policy
Car insurance is almost always more expensive for younger drivers, and this is true for modified cars too. Unfortunately for young drivers, they are associated with a higher claim risk due to their inexperience on the road – as a result, insurers charge higher premiums.
If you’ve modified a car after purchasing it, you just need to inform your insurer of all the work that has been done to the car so they can factor it in when deciding your premiums.
Not all modifications push up car insurance premiums. If you install additional security measures to prevent your car from being stolen, such as an alarm, you may see your premiums fall because your provider considers you a lower risk.
The same holds true for immobilisers and tracking devices but call your insurer to check whether a reduction will be made and how much it will be.
You can customise your vehicle whenever you choose, but you must notify your insurance company who will then decide on how the modifications affect your premiums.
The important thing to understand is that the existing insurance policy covers your car for its original condition. Once that is changed, the policy needs to be adjusted to suit or you risk invalidating the insurance.
There are some cases where you may need a specialist modified car insurance policy.
Most minor, legal modifications can be covered by standard car insurance. However, some modifications can affect which insurance rating group your car fits into. This means that your cover may be more expensive or, in some cases, a modification could void your cover, especially if you fail to tell your provider about it.
If you have plans to make modifications to your car there are specialist policies available that will cover both big and small modifications with no hassle. These special policies are priced differently to standard car insurance and may have different terms so it's up to you to decide whether the cover is worth the cost.
At MoneySuperMarket, we do not offer quotes for specialist policies. However, we can find you quotes for car insurance providers that will cover existing modifications made to your car.
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