Cheap Modified Car Insurance

Do I need to declare a modification?

If your car has been personalised with upgrades or alterations since production, it falls into the ‘modified’ category. Adjustments like boosting the engine’s power or adding tinted windows are likely to impact how an insurer views your vehicle, meaning the risk profile needs to be adjusted. This can make finding an insurer a bit tricker, and once you find cover your premium is likely to be affected.

It’s really important to be completely upfront about any modifications, which have been made to your car - skipping this step when you go through the quote process might mean you’re left high and dry (and without insurance), when you really need it.

What is classed as a ‘modification’?

Car modifications typically fall into a few categories:

Performance Enhancements

  • Suspension upgrades
  • Wheel changes
  • Boosting horsepower
  • Turbo enhancements
  • Engine re-engineering
  • Chip tuning and remaps
  • Intake and exhaust improvements
  • Handling tweaks
  • Suspension lowering
  • Fuel system and transmission mods

Cosmetic Touches

  • Sporty decals and body kits
  • Sunroof additions
  • Tinted windows
  • Custom paint jobs
  • Vinyl wraps and new alloy wheels
  • Speaker and sound system upgrades
  • Spoilers, bumpers, and lighting enhancements

Security & Safety Mods

  • Alarm systems
  • Immobilisers
  • Tracking devices
  • Parking sensors and cameras

Disability Modifications

  • Ramps
  • Adapted controls
  • Tail lifts

Even details like personalised number plates should be mentioned to your insurer. While they might not hike up your premium, an admin fee could be charged for record updates. Popular mods in the UK include alloy wheels, suspension tweaks, and exhaust upgrades, but don't forget about tinted windows and engine management systems. Always keep your insurer in the loop to ensure your coverage reflects your car's current state and your needs.

Will my insurance refuse cover for anything?

As is to be expected, your car insurance probably won't cover modifications which aren’t road-legal. This kind of mod would include:

Heavy window tints - UK law says that your front windscreen needs to let in 75% light, and side windows 70%. If you go for a window tint which lets in any less light than that, you’ll likely find yourself in difficult territory.

Loud exhausts - making your exhaust noisier than it was designed to be is a definite no. Some newer cars even have a limit of 72 decibels when it comes to sound levels.

Headlight colours - according to the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, front lights should be white or yellow, and rear lights red. Anything other than this (including products which dim or change the colour of your headlights), means you’re more at risk of failing your MOT and therefore not being able to drive your vehicle.

Spoilers - spoilers are generally ok, as long as they're safely attached and don't have sharp edges. If not, or if it blocks your rearview, you might find yourself in a conversation with the police.

LED headlights - if your car has halogen lights, make sure you stick with them. Swapping to LED lamps when your car wasn’t originally fitted with them is illegal.

NOS (Nitrous Oxide) - adding nitrous oxide is generally frowned upon because of the extra stress it puts on your engine. Plus, most insurers won’t cover it.

Remember, staying within legal boundaries not only keeps you covered but also keeps the roads safe for everyone.

Does this mean my insurance will be more expensive?

In short, yes. Pretty much any change you make to your car could influence your premium because it alters the insurer's view of risk. Your premium reflects the likelihood of you making a claim, so car modifications can tip the scale.

  • Mods to increase your car's speed or value makes accidents or thefts more likely
  • Enhancements to your vehicle can mean pricier parts for insurers to replace.
  • Aftermarket changes also makes insurers consider if your car's safety or function is compromised.

Especially for young drivers, who already face steep insurance costs, modifications can add an extra layer of expense. Remember, if you decide to modify your car mid-policy, give your insurer a heads-up. Changes could adjust your premium, and there might be a fee for updating your policy. Always check how mods will affect your insurance before making them.

However, security upgrades like alarms or trackers, or even a towbar, could hint at you being a lower risk and get you lower rates.

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