Insuring any car built outside the UK or EU can present problems due to the lack of regulatory conformity, and you may need to apply for a special certification before it's legal to drive.
Even with this certification, American cars can be more expensive than others to insure because they're often larger and more powerful than UK-made cars, and replacement parts might be harder to source.
But it's not impossible to get a good deal on your cover. We'll explain exactly what you need to be aware of, and show you how to find a policy that's right for you.
In This Guide:
- Will I need a specialised insurance policy to cover my American car in the UK?
- Is there any reason I won't be able to insure an American export car?
- What if I want to insure a classic American car?
- Will insuring my American car cost more than insuring a British car?
Will I need a specialised insurance policy to cover my American car in the UK?
Broadly speaking, you’ll need the same kind of car insurance to cover an American import as you would a British car or Japanese imported car; you may just have a few extra specific needs, to do with finding appropriate replacement parts for example.
One key difference is that often, to insure an American import, you will need to be at least 25 years old. This won’t always be the case but you may find that if you can take out a policy as someone under 25 you’ll be paying significantly more for an imported car versus a UK model.
Is there any reason I won't be able to insure an American export car?
Insuring imported cars from any country tends to come with certain requirements and stipulations that mean many insurers simply won’t do it.
This is mainly down to the fact that many imported cars, particularly from countries like the US, are not built to UK or EU specifications with regard to, say, engine performance and size. This can include 'muscle cars' such as Mustangs and Corvettes that are very powerful, or large trucks such as the Dodge Ram which may be considered too large for standard insurance.
Also, repairs to American cars will tend to cost a little more than they would for one built in the UK, purely because of the cost of acquiring the parts and specialist knowledge required to fix them.
What if I want to insure a classic American car?
There is a lot of crossover when it comes to insuring classic cars and American imports, which of course come together when insuring a classic American car.
Drivers of both kinds of car often take them to shows or races around the country or abroad, and if you are planning to do this, you’ll want to make sure that your insurance policy covers you to do so.
Specialised classic car policies will be available, and since drivers of classic cars tend to both be more careful on the road and drive fewer miles, the premiums are often pretty low.
Will insuring my American car cost more than insuring a British car?
Of course it all depends on the particular car you want to insure, and on the level of cover you need, but generally speaking, it will cost a little more to cover an American than it would a British car.
The most important thing to work out is a value agreed between you and the insurer. If you don’t, you may find that in the event of a write off, you’ll have to enter into a dispute with your insurance provider over the true value of your vehicle and will more likely than not end up facing a significant shortfall between what you receive and what you feel you are entitled to.