There are many reasons people like to modify their car. Some want it to have a sportier appearance, others may want it to go a little faster, and some just want it to sound more impressive than it really is.
Before you race ahead with changes to your car, though, it is worth knowing if these changes will affect your car insurance.
In most cases, they will. But before we look into how and why modifications will affect your car insurance, it may be best to clarify what constitutes a car modification.
Different insurance companies may define modifications slightly differently from each other but on the whole, a modification can be defined as anything that wasn’t part of the standard vehicle specification. This could range from technical enhancements such as parking sensors to more cosmetic changes like body kits.
With some cars, you will often have options to add certain features to the vehicle upon purchase. This will not count as a modification. It is only when things are added to the car that was not an option at the time of purchase that will count as modification.
There are a variety of modifications people choose to do with their car, as we mentioned in our intro, some are cosmetic, some are performance-based. There are a few that are likely to help improve your levels of road safety. Which ones will see your premiums rise, your premiums fall, and how much difference will it make?
Many cars now come with them built in, but if you are purchasing a vehicle on used car finance deals, chances are they will not. Should you wish to add this driving aid, you could see your insurance costs drop by as much as 13%. With 20% of insurance claims coming from accidents in car parks, showing that you are trying to avoid them will be met with positive responses from insurers.
This may not be the kind of modification you had in mind but with the tow bar giving insurers the indication that your vehicle will be travelling slower than normal, there is the opportunity to see 20% come off your premiums.
Air conditioning is seen as something of a luxury in some vehicles, and it is something that can see insurance costs alter quite significantly. The experts at Money Supermarket investigated the data and found that as much as 13% could be added to your insurance costs.
One of the most popular modifications among younger drivers and those that want to dramatically change the look of their car, this mod can see huge changes to your car insurance costs. It has been known for them to add as much as 50% to your policy.
Another mod of choice for those that want to give their car a sportier look, this alteration can see premiums change for the worse. With windows needing to let at least 70% of light in to be deemed legal, some insurance companies won’t touch a car that has had this change made. Those that do, are likely to add a little under 20% more to your insurance costs.
Possibly one of the most common “wants” when modifying a car is to give it a turbo charge. This is potentially one that you may want to stay away from. With the potential for a 130% increase in insurance costs, it may be best to hold off on trying to fulfil that particular plan.
If you are looking to make modifications to your car you should always consult your insurance provider first. This way, you will have a better idea of how much your policy may increase or decrease in price. If you have bought a car with modifications already in place you should still declare them.
Failing to declare any modifications, whether done by yourself or by a previous owner, could see your policy declared invalid.
Whilst not declaring some modifications could see your policy made invalid, some will automatically void your insurance due to how they may be breaking the law. These would include:
Ultimately, it comes down to risk. An insurer will see a car that has been modified to go faster as a lot riskier than one that has not. Likewise, if a car has had work carried out on it that the insurer is not sure of, they may want to mitigate the uncertainty by charging more on the cover.
At the same time, many modified cars are made to stand out from the crowd and therefore can be more attractive to thieves. With this increased risk of theft, insurers will add additional costs to your premium.
For some, these additional charges do not hold much weight, especially if the driver has no record of making claims and has always been a responsible driver. Insurance companies will beg to differ, though. Recent figures have shown that 28% of people that drive a car with modifications have been in at least one accident in the past five years.
Whichever car you are thinking about buying, consider Euphoria Finance to make it a more affordable experience. Our team are experts in making cheap car finance a possibility for everyone. Whether you are a first-time driver or buying a car with bad credit, we can have you drive your dream car sooner than you think. Get a free quote today to see just how affordable your next car can be!