Modifications and You: How does it affect my Insurance?


Your Fiat Cinquecento might not look all that now, but just wait until it’s riding on those brand new rims!

How do ​modifications affect my Insurance?​

Car modifications are something that primarily interest the younger driver, but there are also a wide range of modifications drivers can make throughout their time behind the wheel. Car modifications are not all go faster stripes and fat exhaust pipes, but even those designed with functionality in mind can still significantly increase the cost of your modified car insurance.

Why does insurance for modified cars cost more?

Insurance, as you no doubt know, is all based on risk. The riskier the proposition, the more you will have to pay. Car modifications can seriously affect the perceived risk associated with your vehicle in two ways:

  • The risk of an accident – Modifications that increase the performance of your car or change the look of your vehicle, such as body-kits, spoilers and sports seats, are deemed to pose a greater accident risk.
  • The risk of theft – There are also some modifications that increase the risk of your car being stolen in the eyes of the insurer. Performance modifications, expensive wheels or phone kits could add to your insurance costs.

What modifications do you need to declare?

If a modification changes either the appearance or the performance of your car, this is something you’ll need to declare, even if you have not made the modifications yourself. If you fail to declare a modification and you are involved in an accident or your car is stolen, it is likely your insurance claim will be invalidated and you will be left out of pocket.

When buying insurance for modified cars, you should be truthful and offer as much detail as you can so the insurer can make the necessary calculations. Although this may cost you a little more in the short-term, it could save you thousands if something happens to your car. 

10 changes that’ll affect your car modification insurance premium

An insurance comparison site reviewed 2.3 million modified car insurance quotes to find the ten vehicle modifications that have the biggest impact on the cost of your premium. The results were:

  1. Fitting a turbo engine – 132% rise
  2. Changes to the car’s bodywork – 66% rise
  3. Transmission or gearing changes – 63% rise
  4. A complete body kit and panel – 57% rise
  5. Roll bars, roll cages and the removal of seats – 41% rise
  6. Changes to the paintwork – 36% rise
  7. Upgraded brakes – 36% rise
  8. Changes to the exhaust system – 26% rise
  9. Upgrading the suspension – 25% rise
  10. Adding stripes, decals or badges – 22% rise

Taking modifications to the extreme!

There are also those who take vehicle modifications one step further by turning their four wheels into their very own home. For some, living in a van allows them to travel, or allows them to save money while pursuing a passion. But what is the likely impact on your insurance premium of installing a fully fitted kitchen? 

There are specialist converted van policies out there that allow you to add modifications to your van without attracting extra fees. Of course, fees may apply if you install a brand new 400bhp engine, but if you simply install a new sink, you’ll be able to do so completely free of charge.

Modified car insurance

At Tradex, we specialise in insuring drivers with unique requirements, and that includes insurance for modified cars. If you’re looking for the best price on a ​trade insurance then please get in touch with our team today. 

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