Modified Car Insurance

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What is modified car insurance?

Any car that has been altered since its original manufacture ('OEM') is classed as modified. Modifications typically fall into two main categories, cosmetic or performance. Modifications cover a wide range of changes to your car, performance modifications can include suspension, wheels, exhausts, engines, handling and transmission. Cosmetic upgrades usually refer to bodykits, sunroofs, paintwork and tinted windows. Modifications can also include modifications made to the car by the manufacturer, such as a roof rack or tow bar. Modifications to a car will often increase its value, and sometimes its risk of accident, making it more expensive to insure, seeking specialised modified car insurance can ensure you’re protected should a claim need to be made.

Common types of car modifications:

  • Reprogrammed or 'chipped' electronic engine control unit or 'ECU'
  • Larger or wider alloy wheels
  • Upgraded or sports exhaust
  • Lowered suspension
  • Uprated brakes
  • Tinted windows
  • Sports air filter
  • Body modifications - flared wheel arches, spoiler fitted, body kit
  • Specialist paint respray
  • Uprated turbocharger
  • Upgraded lighting

Why do I need modified car insurance?

Most car modifications will increase the cost of your insurance premium. If you need to make a claim and have not let your insurer know about your car's modifications, your policy could be invalidated. Insurers will charge a higher rate for modified cars for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Value: Modifying your car will often affect the car’s value, making it more expensive to repair or replace in the event of a claim. If your modified car is worth over £50,000, please consider visiting our high-value car insurance page.
  • Theft: Modified cars are often more attractive to thieves and result in more theft claims. Furthermore, modifications can sometimes affect the vehicle’s integrity, making it less secure.
  • Speed: Engine modifications can increase the speed and acceleration, increasing the chance of an accident

However, modified car insurance providers are aware that hobbyists, car importers and enthusiasts, who will commonly modify their cars, are more likely to take care of their vehicles. These insurance providers can offer more flexible premiums than their mainstream counterparts.

What does modified car insurance cover?

Common types of cover available with modified car insurance include:

  • Comprehensive: This covers the driver, the car, its passengers, property, third parties, vandalism and theft
  • Third-party fire and theft: This covers third parties in the event of an accident, as well as fire or theft. It does not cover your vehicle in the event of an accident or vandalism.
  • Third-party only: The most basic, cheapest and legal minimum level of cover in the UK. This covers a third party's injury and damage to third party property.

Additional types of cover available

Additionally, you may opt for extra types of cover, usually for a slightly higher premium. Common additional types of cover include:

  • Breakdown cover: In the event, your vehicle breaks down and needs recovering
  • Lost key cover: To cover the cost of replacing your keys if they're lost or stolen
  • Courtesy car: A replacement vehicle so you’re not left without a car in the event of repairs
  • Windscreen cover: Often included in your comprehensive car insurance, in the event of a crack in your windscreen
  • No claims discount protection: In the event of a claim, your no claims discount would not be lost or reduced

What does modified car insurance not cover?

Common events not included with modified car insurance include:

  • Others driving your car, unless also named and insured on the vehicle
  • Regular repairs and routine maintenance
  • Any damage or claim covered under the excess applicable, if any, to your insurance policy

It is important that you check the limits of your car's insurance policy with your insurance provider or broker.

How can QuoteRack help?

QuoteRack works closely with insurance brokers who can offer you access to specialised schemes offered by niche insurance companies looking to provide modified car insurance.

If your car has been professionally modified, then you stand a better chance of an insurer giving you a realistic and affordable insurance quote. QuoteRack brokers actually specialise in modified car insurance, so are able to provide you a much more competitive insurance quote because they are car enthusiasts themselves and understand what is required in order to achieve a competitive modified car insurance quote.

Frequently asked questions

Is modified car insurance expensive?

As with any insurance policy, this depends on your individual case. Specific modifications can significantly increase your insurance premium, such as performance modifications, lowered suspension and expensive wheel alloys. Your details will also have a part to play in your insurance quote, such as your age, location, where you leave your car during day and night and your driving experience, as well as the actual value of the vehicle.

There are, however, some ways in which you can reduce your car insurance quote:

  • Garage your car overnight
  • Pay your car insurance premium annually rather than on instalments
  • Adding an experienced, older second driver to the policy
  • Consider a telematics insurance policy, requiring the installation of a black box recorder.

Which car modifications are illegal?

With due acknowledgement of this Humberside Police document, you might find it helpful to read this summary of what are considered illegal car modifications.

Can I insure a modified van or motorbike?

Certainly, however, we would advise reaching out to the specialist van and bike insurance providers; please visit our modified van insurance or modified bike insurance pages for more information.

Do any car modifications lower insurance premiums?

There may be some modifications that you can make to bring your quote down, such as parking sensors, security measures such as alarms and trackers and tow bars. Surprisingly, some insurance providers will offer attractive premiums for those with tinted windows, as they can hide your valuables and deter thieves; however, insurers are split on this.

Enquire through QuoteRack for modified car insurance

If you have explored other avenues of enquiry in your search for modified car insurance, then you are welcome to submit your details through the QuoteRack website, without cost or obligation to proceed when you receive your insurance quote.

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"I thought that by adding a big bore exhaust and having the engine chip modified my insurance would increase dramatically."

"I just completed the modified car insurance online form and waited for the quotes to come in."

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