Beyond the basic three policy types (third party only; third party, fire and theft; and fully comprehensive), Insuring your car comes with many options.
This is because the vast array of needs policy holders may have and the varying degrees of risk associated with each. If, for example, you want to insure a classic or heritage car, or perhaps you think a conventional insurance policy doesn't cover all of your needs, then you may need one of the various specialist policies available.
We'll go through the main categories of specialist cover, and help you to get the best deals on cheap car insurance no matter what your requirements are.
In this guide:
Learner Driver Insurance
If you're having your driving lessons with a recognised and established driving school, then usually your insurance should be covered by them. But if you're practising privately in either yours or someone else's car, then you'll need a specialist temporary learner policy, designed specifically to suit your needs.
With learner driver cover, you'll be able to take your car out as long as someone who is at least 25 years old with at least three years driving experience.
Black Box or Telematics Insurance
Black box insurance is a great form of specialist insurance that can save you a lot of money on your premiums.
These policies use telematics insurance and involve the installation of a small tracking device in your vehicle. This device monitors and records various aspects of your driving from speed to mileage to cornering and breaking.
This allows the insurer to build up a profile of you as a driver and to tailor a price specifically to your driving ability. Because of this, these policies are particularly attractive to younger drivers who want to escape the sky high premiums they tend to be offered based on statistics showing them to be, on average, one of the most dangerous groups on the road.
Drivers of classic cars will be pleased to know that if they pick the right specialist policy they can find themselves saving money on their premiums. This is because not only are classic cars general better maintained than conventional cars, but also because they tend to rack up less mileage.
Those who own classic cars don't tend to drive them as much as mainstream cars as they are often more ornamental than practical.
However, many also often take them abroad to car shows or rallies and so this will also be reflected in the premiums of the specific policy on offer.
You should make sure, when getting classic car insurance, that all of your purposes are accounted for, as you don't want to be caught out and end up having to fork out yourself in the event of an accident or theft.
There are three main reasons why sports car insurance is often more expensive than insuring a conventional hatchback, and why they often require specialist policies.
Firstly, a flash looking sports car is statistically far more at risk of theft or criminal damage than a cheaper smaller car.
Secondly, the higher performance engine means that it is also statistically more at risk of being involved in an accident. It is this fact in particular that means many insurers won't offer cover on a high end sports car to anyone under the age of 25.
Thirdly, and this is in fact something that applies to classic and imported cars as well, is the fact that the sourcing of replacement parts in the event of necessary repairs is often harder and/or more expensive than on other kinds of car.
Imported cars, in particular those built outside of Europe, are often not built to the basic specifications that insurers tend to assume are conformed to by vehicles they cover. As a result, a specialist (and often more expensive) import car insurance policy may be necessary.
Often, the more powerful imports, like Japanese ones, that don't conform to basic UK or EU specifications, will need to undergo an Individual Vehicle Assessment (IVA) test, in order for them to be declared road legal.
As with some imported cars, before a kit car is considered road legal, it will need to undergo and IVA test, costing around £200.
Given the unique and varied nature of kit cars, many conventional insurers will simply not offer cover, and those that do will charge over the odds for it. This is at least in part due to the nature of the unique and often rare parts that need to be sourced in the event of repairs.
However, if you've built your car from scratch you're likely to be the authority when it comes to knowing how it is best put together. In this case, you can opt for parts only' cover, which means that the insurer will be responsible for sourcing the parts, and will leave the actual repairs to you. This will cut down the cost of your kit car insurance somewhat.
If you've made any modifications to your car, then the price you pay for your insurance will be affected, generally taking a turn for the more expensive.
You should always talk to your insurer before you make any modifications to your vehicle so that they can let you know how the price of your cover will change as they tailor you a specialist policy. If you are caught out with any undeclared modifications then you will more likely than not find any claim you make invalidated and you'll be faced with a hefty bill.
Short Term Insurance
If you want to drive a car, say a friend or relative's, for up to a month while you are on holiday for example, then taking out a 12 month policy, or even adding yourself as a named driver, may be an unnecessary expense.
Instead, you consider opting for a temporary or short-term car insurance policy, giving you cover for up to 28 days at a time. While these policies will cost more on a day-to-day basis than an annual policy would, this difference becomes negligible in comparison to the added convenience of being able to take out such a policy as and when it is needed.
If you use your car for business purposes, whether you're taking clients out for lunches or driving to various sites and offices throughout the week, then you may well need a specialist business car insurance policy.
These policies account for both the vastly increased mileage, and for the fact that you will often be parking your car in less familiar and potentially more risky locations.
There are various grades of business insurance available depending on the specifics of your needs, so you should be sure to shop around to see what each provider offers.
If you’re a taxi driver, then you will need a specialist insurance policy in order to cover your vehicle. Taxi insurance is invariably more expensive than regular car insurance, due to the sheer number of miles you’d be expected to drive both day and night, as well as the fact that taxis are generally quite large vehicles and you’ll often be carrying multiple passengers.
However, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to insure your taxi. Head over to our taxi insurance page to see how you can cut down your costs.
Disabled Driver Insurance
Since the Disability Discrimination Act was passed in 2005, car insurance providers are prohibited from refusing cover or charge higher premiums to customers based on their disability. Therefore, if you’re disabled then you can find car insurance from a standard provider, although you must inform them of your disability before taking out any cover.
However, if you can’t find the level of cover you’re after, there are specialist disabled driver insurance providers out there who can tailor a quote to your needs.
Whatever your specialist needs, you can be sure that you'll get the best deals available by making sure that you compare quotes with Money Expert. By using our free and impartial specialist insurance comparison service, you'll have your pick of the cheapest policies on the market.