Car Modifications

Will they modify your car insurance?

Looking at kitting out your car with some new alloy wheels? Or considered adding some fancy new headlights? How about tuning up the engine?
 
A modification can be a brilliant way of personalising your car to suit your style and it may even improve its performance too. However, whilst your car is aesthetically pleasing to look at, the new car insurance bill won’t probably be as nice.
What is a “car modification”?
This is a change made to the vehicle which differs from the manufacturer’s original factory specification – these changes can enhance performance, looks or just for functional purposes.
What modifications do you need to declare?
  • Engine and mechanics such as exhaust system, transmission or air filter. This is a feature that can increase the risk of an accident.
  • Wheel modifications, these can alter the handling of your car and upgrades can increase its value.
  • Bodywork; this includes flared wings, wheel arches, spoilers, side skirts, valances, light additions or changes, and tinted windows.
  • Brakes and suspension, this will affect its performance on the road.
  • Car interior, this can be from removing and replacing seats to changing the pedals.
  • Car stickers
How do they change the price of your car insurance?
Insurance companies price your overall cost for your policy based upon many factors, one mainly being the risks of owning the car. With having a modified car, this can immediately affect how insurers assess your car insurance policy in two key areas:
  • Risk of Accident – by changing the look and performance of the vehicle, this can be assessed by insurers to be a higher accident risk. These feature components like engine changes, sports seats, body-kits, spoilers, etc.
  • Risk of Theft – various modifications like phone kits or performance changes can also increase the probability of your vehicle being broke into or stolen.
 
Cost of Car Modifications
 
Engine and mechanics:
  • Turbo/Supercharging – 132% increase
  • Transmission of Gear change – 63% increase
  • Exhaust changes – 26% increase
  • Air Filter – 25% increase
 
Bodywork:
  • Wheel arches – 41% increase
  • Complete body kit – 57% increase
  • Spoilers/Skirts – 23% increase
  • Light changes – 12% increase
  • Tinted windows – 16% increase
 
Interior:
  • Replacement of seats – 27% increase
  • Roll Bars/Roll Cages – 41% increase
  • Dashboard changes – 16% increase
 
Brakes and suspensions:
  • Uprated brakes – 36% increase
  • Suspension – 25% increase
 
Wheels:
  • Alloy wheels – 8% increase
  • LPG conversion – 15% increase
 
Car Climate:
  • Sunroof – 17% increase
  • Air Conditioning – 13% increase
 
Driver aids:
  • Satellite navigation system – 15% increase
  • Carphone kit – 26% increase
  • Parking sensors – 13% decrease
 
Paintwork:
  • Specialised paintwork – 15% increase
  • Stripes and badges – 9% increase
What modifications may not affect/reduce your premium?
It is worth mentioning that depending on what insurance provider you are with or looking at going with, there are some functional car modifications which can reverse the effect and reduce your premium. These include parking sensors, as this means you are less likely to have a bump when reversing or whilst installing a tow bar means that when you are attached, you’ll spend more time driving at a moderate pace.
What advice do we have for insuring a modified car?
  • Always tell insurers about modifications made to your car, as this can invalidate your policy.
  • If you’re changing your car from the factory specification – always tell your insurer at the time you make a change. Different insurance providers will have a different view on what constitutes a modification, so it’s always a good idea to check how your modifications may impact your premium.
  • When renewing your insurance for your modified vehicle, always run a quote check across different providers, as this is an easier way of saving money.

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