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Modified Car Insurance

Compare insurance quotes for modified cars

Custom changes to your car can increase the cost of your car insurance. Before you get revved up, read our guide to insuring modified cars

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 11 June 2019

Bonnet of a car with air intake and go faster stripes

How modifications affect car insurance

Most drivers take great pride in their cars, and many choose to improve them by changing their appearance and pushing their performance to peak levels.

If you fall into this category, however, it’s wise to think carefully before making any modifications or changes to your vehicle. Though it might boost value or performance, the fact that your car turns a lot of heads might not be worth the increase in insurance premiums.

On average, having a complete body kit modification on your car will increase your premiums by 5%.

Modified car insurance premiums are 5% higher on average

According to MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of January 2019.

Modifications mean increased risk

The main reason why your insurance premiums could go up is, as with any insurance policy, risk.

Insurance companies calculate their prices using statistics, and if motorists using high-performance vehicles are more likely to be involved in a crash, then insurers believe their premiums should be higher. Modified vehicles are often more attractive to thieves, and are therefore at greater risk of being stolen, which also increases your premium.

Car modifications don’t have to be significant to have an effect on your insurance: the category includes entertainment systems and body kits. In fact, the most popular car modifications in the UK are alloy wheels, tow bars and parking sensors.

The most popular UK car modifications

According to MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of Feburary 2019.

Other 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.

Modification means any change to the car

Any change that makes the car different to its manufactured state will have an impact on the price of your premium, sometimes increasing it substantially. Don’t forget that insurers allocate each car to one of 50 car insurance groups (one is the cheapest and 50 the most expensive).

If the specifications of your car have changed, then the vehicle no longer conforms to their analysis, and the rating is void. It must therefore be placed under a modified car insurance group, which is likely to be more expensive than its original rating.

Insurers’ logic is that modification work done on the structure or mechanics of a car outside the factory cannot be guaranteed, and that it might compromise the integrity of the vehicle.

The most popular cars manufacturers to modify in the UK are Subaru, MG, Rover, Jeep and Land Rover.

The most popular car models to modify

According to MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of Feburary 2019.

Talk to your insurance provider

If you have your heart set on modifying your car, then you should always consult your insurance company before you do anything. They can tell you what impact, if any, the changes will make to your policy and premiums. And be sure to weigh up whether any modifications are worth the increase in insurance costs.

Always be honest about any modifications you are planning to make or have already made. It is sometimes tempting not to disclose them, but if you aren’t up-front, then you risk invalidating your policy completely.

The age of drivers most likely to mod their cars

According to MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of February 2019.

Additionally, you are likely to see the biggest increase in the price of premiums if you modify your car as a younger driver. Already considered high-risk by insurers, young drivers tend to have more accidents than older, more experienced drivers.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), younger drivers are now spending more than 10% of their annual salary on car insurance. For this age group, modified car insurance prices will be particularly expensive and may even become unaffordable.

How security modifications differ

Not all modifications will increase your car insurance premiums. For example, if you install additional security measures to prevent your car from being stolen, such as an alarm, then you may see your premiums fall as a result, as your provider may consider you a lower risk.

The average cost of UK car modifications

According to a MoneySuperMarket poll taken in March 2019.

The same goes for immobilisers and tracking devices, but call your insurer to check whether (and how large) a reduction will be made.

Find cheap modified car insurance quotes online

If you make modifications to your car, it is vital you shop around to find the best value modified car insurance. You can compare modified car insurance quotes at MoneySuperMarket.

Bear in mind that as well as ensuring you compare lots of different quotes, there are plenty of other things you can do to try and reduce the cost of cover.

Always notify your car insurer

According to a MoneySuperMarket poll taken in March 2019.

  • If you are a younger driver, then you could bring down the cost of insurance by taking additional driving qualifications, such as Pass Plus.
  • It typically costs around £180 to take the Pass Plus course, but passing can result in more than this being knocked off your insurance premiums each year.
  • Consider raising the excess on your policy to keep premiums down. This is the portion of any insurance claim you must pay yourself. However, make sure the excess remains affordable.
  • If you are a younger driver, you may be able to reduce the cost of cover by adding an older, more experienced driver to your policy.
  • But make sure not to name them as the main driver on the policy, which could invalidate your insurance altogether. It could also lead to penalty points on your licence as well as a potential fine.
  • Finally, try to pay for your cover upfront rather than in monthly payments. Insurers usually impose high interest charges if you opt to pay monthly rather than annually.