Getting car insurance for modified cars

"Finding low car insurance quotes for modified cars"

Here is a long overdue article on an often overlooked aspect of Car insurance. Modified car insurance.

When it comes to car insurance - all policies state "Has the car been modified, altered or adapted from the manufacturers original specification or has it been tuned.

Annoyingly when you take out a policy they often just ask "any modifications", when you make a claim they ask a much more detailed question such as, "is it modified altered or adapted in any way from the makers standard specifications, including engine tuning, cosmetic alteration, stickers interior modifications or replacement parts."

We are campaigning for insurers to align the original questions with that of the claim form, to minimise any misunderstandings.

All insurers need to know if a car has been modified. The stats of the insurers generally show that modified cars are involved in more claims, not just accidents but there is a greater likely hood of the car being stolen.

There is also the possibility that lower suspension or wider wheels could adversely affect the handling of the car so the model they rated and gave a group to does not apply to your unique vehicle. So an underwriter needs to agree 'terms' of cover.

Any modification to your car must be notified to your insurers or you risk invalidating your cover.

Even stickers could represent a 'Moral hazard' to the insurers. Failure to notify insurers could render your insurance invalid leaving you to face prosecution for failure to buy adequate car insurance for your vehicle.

If a claim is paid on your behalf they could well ask for reimbursement of amounts paid out for you so even if you are Third Party Only you could lose out.

Insurance - notification of modifications.

When getting car insurance a little paranoia is a good thing.

Always keep a copy of all correspondence sent/received in response to a modification being notified to your car insurers.

It is helpful if you can detail every modification and even supply a rolling road printout to allow the underwriter to individually assess your car.

Thankfully more insurers are recognizing the common modifications and providing realistic quotes without the need for specialist referrals.

Aftermarket exhausts for example may be a higher grade stainless steel, overall performance may be the same but the exhaust is a higher quality and will last longer.

Brake pads are available from many sources, so there is variation in friction surfaces and disc dimensions.

As always there is a little leeway, but it is always best to err on the side of caution.


Some car insurers may offer car insurance quotes at normal terms (no extra premium), Apply terms (extra premium, & or higher excess & or agreement to replace modified parts with standard parts.

State honestly what you have fitted to your car insurance company when you get a quote but think about how you disclose the modifications.

For example you might note that a SPORTS EXHAUST is the same thing as a 3 inch bore stainless steel exhaust with a 25 year guarantee. (One sounds much better to an insurer than the other.)

As does the difference between a high performance air filter and washable direct replacement air filter.

If a chip increases MPG state this as your primary reason for upgrading rather than mention this as a side effect and then state that it also gives slightly more power as a secondary reason.

Car insurance companies, contrary to popular belief to want to insure people they just don't like taking on too much extra risk and most of the decision making is done by a person who reviews each case on its own merits.

How do insurers set rates for modified cars and custom cars?

When setting a car insurance premium for a modified car, an insurer will also look at the base car you started from - diesels are favoured over petrol.

Large Estates or Stationwagons are preferred to coupes and sports cars etc...

A £500 car with a £1000 ICE install and £2000 worth of 20 inch alloy wheels is an obviously increases the risk of the car going 'missing' and most insurers would refuse this unless you agree that they can replace the nicked items with standard parts.

When you drive a Group 20 car costing £30,000 and add £2000 of alloy wheels and a £1000 ICE install they are less likely to impose terms. And if the car already does 0-60 in 4 seconds and you modify it to go 0-60 in 3.7 seconds again there is little weight to the argument of an increased premium.

Car insurers want to see enthusiasts that love cars and look after them rather than the boy racer who wants to impress his mates in the 7/11 car park.

Getting car insurance cover first and then applying modifications later to the car often means the insurer will listen to you whereas they would refuse a new person with no record.

Obviously you need to choose a sympathetic car insurer and there are no guarantees but ask you friends who they insure with. Buying an already modified car is also a good bet - you didn't do the mods so theoretically are not so much of a risk to the insurance company.

Modified car insurance specialists are about and most give excellent terms, this topic crops up frequently in our forum.

TorqueCars members receive up to a 20% discount from selected insurers - so make sure you join our forum to see these offers.

Many Lloyds syndicates will also be willing to listen and offer you personalized terms.

It is certainly worth contacting a large Broker and let him do the searching and negotiating for you.

For standard cars the insurance supermarkets give excellent ranges of prices and make shopping around easier but for modified cars you really need to approach insurers on a 1 to 1 basis, why not also ask our members in our forums and find out who they insure with for an idea on where to start.

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6 Responses to “Cheap Car insurance quotes for modified cars.”

  1. TCJBOLDIE says:

    Your age ,driving history,parking at home in the open or lock up garage and the area you live in all are used to calculate risk to arrive at the actual premium

  2. HuntingTarg says:

    polished, simple article on how to ‘play’ and ‘spin’ car modifications to avoid being treated like a common street racer.

  3. Marcus says:

    If I’m buying a really old cheap car I just say I don’t know about the mods, it’s a banger and I just drive it. I actually don’t know about all the mods on my car, I think I’ve now got it more or less back to standard as I’ve gradually replaced parts. Does rust count as a mod? I’ve literally been throwing bits out of the interior as they have fell apart as well.

  4. TCJBOLDIE says:

    Good advice. The insurer needs to know exactly they are being asked to cover so IMO it is vital that you get their approval BEFORE carrying out any change from stock as it is up to them to decide if they want to continue covering you at the same price or at an increased premium depending on your history or decline to continue your cover along with the type of mods you intend to make. FYI I had a highly modded turbo car with triple the factory power and it had almost every possible mods one could think of and they did not increase the premium.

  5. TCJBOLDIE says:

    Good advise that I keep telling the younger set as it amounts to FRAUD if one makes virtually any changes whatsoever to the factory stock specs and not notify the insurer as they have every right to know exactly what they are being asked to continue to insure as they have the option to decline, increase fees or continue cover at the same premium. Honesty is always the best policy.

  6. TCJBOLDIE says:

    This article is a must be read and understood by ALL motorists .IMO to put it in simple terms any insurer is entitled to know exactly what it is being asked to cover and if you change anything on any stock road vehicle AFTER the policy is in force and fail to advise them to see if they are willing to continue covering you are a fool.

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