Modified Car Insurance

Compare insurance quotes for modified cars

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Making changes to your car can increase the cost of your car insurance. Don’t get revved up, read our guide first.

Bonnet of a car with air intake and go faster stripes

The impact of modifications on car insurance

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

But if you fall into this category, then you must think carefully before making any modifications or changes to your vehicle. Though it might boost the car’s value or make it perform better, 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 will increase your car insurance premiums by 13%

MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of June 2017

Modifications mean increased risk

The main reason why this increase in price could happen, as with any insurance policy, is 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 can also be seen as more attractive to thieves, and are therefore at greater risk of being stolen, which increases your premium.  

Modifications don’t have to be significant to have an impact on your insurance, these changes include alloy wheels, entertainment systems or fitting body kits.

In fact, any change that makes the car different from when it was manufactured 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 rating groups (one is the cheapest and 50 the most expensive). 

Find out which insurance group your car is in

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

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

Most popular car modifications in the UK infographic

MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of June 2017

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 upfront, then you risk invalidating your policy completely.

“Modifications don’t have to be significant to have an impact on your insurance, these changes include small things like alloy wheels, entertainment systems or fitting body kits”

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 in fact twice as likely to make an insurance claim compared to those who have been on the road for several years. For this age group, modified car insurance prices will be particularly expensive and may even become unaffordable.

Cars with the most modifications in the UK

MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of June 2017

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. Your insurance provider may consider you a lower risk.

The same goes for immobilisers and tracking devices. Call your insurer to check whether (and how big) a reduction will be made

Drivers in the 30-39 age group are the most likely to have a car modification

MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of June 2017

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 from hundreds of insurers 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.

  • Try to reduce your mileage. The further you drive, the greater the chance of being involved in an accident. If you only use your car for shorter journeys, premiums are likely to be lower.
  • 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 it can result in more than this amount 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 to not name them as the main driver on the policy, as this 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.

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