Modifications and car insurance

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You might be tempted, as many are, to make modifications to improve the looks and performance of your car. You might just want to install some alloy wheels, or you might go for a whole new body kit.

Whatever kind of modifications you want to make, you should be aware of the effects they may have on the cost of your insurance as your premiums will almost certainly go up.

We’ll explain why this is and how to avoid the cost of your policy going through the roof if you want to make modifications to your vehicle.

In This Guide:

Always tell your insurer about any modifications

If you are planning on making any modifications to your car, you should always get in touch with your insurer to find out how the price of your premiums will change.

Unfortunately, modifications will increase the cost of your cover. For younger drivers who are already seen as particularly at risk, the increases can often make the policy prohibitively expensive.

It is imperative that you do inform your provider about any changes you make though, as if you are caught out with any undeclared modifications, you could invalidate your policy and stop any pay outs.

Why will modifying my car make my insurance more expensive?

Insurance providers calculate the cost of their policies based on the risk of the policy holder making a claim; the higher the risk, the costlier the policy.

Modifying your car increases this risk different ways depending on the nature of the modifications.

First, general power and performance enhancements increase the risk of accident by generally making the car faster and potentially harder to handle. Higher performance cars generally cost more to insure than those with smaller engines, regardless of whether or not the high performance is down to modifications.

Not only does the increased power add to the risk, but any modifications made outside of the factory can, of course, not be truly guaranteed against failure or damage and so this too adds to the cost of your insurance.

Modifying your car will change the group into which it is placed, generally moving it into a higher, more expensive class.

In addition to the added risk associated with increased performance, modified cars are often sees as more attractive to thieves – increasing the risk of your car being stolen and negatively impacting the cost of your policy as a result.

Will all modifications increase the cost of my insurance?

Any performance enhancing modifications will bump up the cost of your premiums, as will any aesthetic changes.

Modifications geared towards improving security however, will do the opposite. You should check with your provider to see exactly what kind of discounts you can expect, but as a general rule, insurers like to reward those who take extra steps to ensure the security and safety of their vehicle.

How can I get cheaper insurance on my modified car?

While your premiums will go up if you’ve tuned up your car, this doesn’t mean you have to pay over the odds. There are various ways to save including keeping your newly modified car in a garage instead of on the side of the road.

You could also consider adding a named driver to your policy, or having a black box installed in order to cut down the cost of your premiums.

Compare insurance for modified cars with Money Expert

If you’ve really got your heart set on modifying your car, then to avoid paying through the nose to insure it, you should make sure than you compare car insurance online.

By using a comparison service you can find the best deals on the market quickly and easily so that you can start driving your newly modified vehicle right away.

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Last reviewed: 1 August 2021

Next review: 1 September 2021