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THE INSURANCE GUIDE FOR CUSTOMISING YOUR CAR

Posted. 29 October 2018

For the budding car enthusiast, customising your car can be a fun and exciting way to inject some life into your vehicle and make it even more appealing than it already is.

The only downside to this is any modifications are likely going to increase the cost of your insurance, which can come with a number of risks.

Before you go ahead with any customisation changes to your car, make sure you know the rules surrounding your insurance when it comes to customisation.


Why your insurance will increase

Any changes to your car will likely result in your insurance provider upping the costs of your insurance. How much you pay for your insurance is based on a number of factors, but the two most common are how likely your car is to be involved in an accident, and how likely it is to be stolen.

In the majority of cases, customising your car is going to make both of these more likely, hence why your insurance provider will increase how much you have to pay due to the increased risk.

Alongside this, there is the general rule that customising your car will more often than not increase its overall value. If it is damaged, it means it will cost your insurer more to fix your car, especially if you have customised your car with parts that perhaps aren’t commonly available.


The impact of customisation on your insurance

While the cost of your insurance is based on a number of factors, so are the types of customisation you can opt for. As a general rule of a thumb, aesthetic changes are going to cost you less than performance ones. A new paint job probably won’t affect your insurance much, but adding a spoiler or tinted windows is almost guaranteed to cause your insurance cost to spike.

In terms of what will impact your insurance the most, studies have found that turbocharging your engine or changing your transmission are the biggest culprits, with an increase of 132% and 63%, according to MoneySupermarket.com.

As a result, you should conduct your own research before adding anything to your car to help get an idea of how much more your insurance will increase. After all, you don’t want to be hit with a price hike you can’t afford to pay.


Let your insurer know

Because customising your car will increase the cost of your insurance, many people decide not to tell their insurer about any changes they decide to make. You may think this is a good way to keep the cost of your insurance down, but in reality, it’s only setting you up for further problems down the line.

Not declaring any customisation to your insurer will likely invalidate your insurance. Driving without valid insurance is not only illegal, but you could also face a number of penalties that could see you unable to drive for an extended period of time.

Perhaps most obvious is that invalid insurance means your insurer won’t pay out if your car is damaged in an accident or stolen. This means you’ll have to pay far more for a replacement than you would have if you had just declared the customisation changes to your car in the first place.

There may be some customisation jobs that insurers aren’t too worried about, such as a paint job, but it is always the safest bet to inquire before beginning any customisation job, as this can vary from insurer to insurer. It’s better to be safe than sorry.