Personalising your car to your needs and your tastes can be great. However, there are many modifications that you could make to your car that will affect your car insurance and might mean you need to pay out more money.
Below, we look into some of the modifications that could affect your car insurance and what you should do before you make any changes to your car.
What modifications could increase car insurance?
There are many modifications that could increase your car insurance. These will usually be mods that increase the power and value of the vehicle. The higher the risk of an accident or theft, the higher your premium will be.
So, there are many modifications to the engine that will affect your car insurance. Some people mod their engine by remapping the Engine Control Unit to increase the power. This will likely see an increase in insurance premium.
Upgrading the exhaust also increases the engine’s horsepower – which will also see an increase in car insurance. It should also be noted that it is illegal to modify your exhaust so that it is louder, and the police can take action if they find that your silencer is missing or broken. Plus, your car insurance will be invalidated if you make an illegal modification.
Bodywork modifications can also affect your car insurance. This can include adding spoilers, valances, flared wings and modifying the wheel arches. Cosmetic work such as this can increase your car insurance by around 10-15%.
Adding a custom paint job or even decals and stickers to your car could also affect your car insurance. It will depend on your car insurance provider and the sorts of vehicles they have had to pay out for in the past, but if your car insurance is affected by paint, you could see your premium increase by around 5%.
Replacing or reupholstering your seats could also see an increase in car insurance. This could include a simple change of fabric, the addition of brand-new seats or heated seating. New seats could see your insurance premiums increased by around 5-10%.
What modifications don’t affect car insurance?
While most modifications tend to increase your car insurance, there are some that won’t affect it at all. These will include modifications that are likely to make the car safer or even drive slower. So, for example, adding a tow bar to your car usually won’t affect your car insurance, as it will often mean you will be driving slowly for increased periods. Similarly, adding parking sensors to your car won’t negatively affect the car insurance, as this modification will typically mean you will be less likely to have an accident when reversing.
Some modifications to your interior, such as changing the dashboard to wood panelling or updating the sound system, are unlikely to affect your car insurance. However, you should bear in mind that if you increase the value of your car by fitting it out with premium gear, this will usually mean your insurance premium will also be increased. This will be to cover the cost of repairs and replacement and also due to the increased risk of theft.
What do I need to do if I want to mod my car?
If you’re interested in modifying your car, you should always speak to your car insurance provider before you make any changes. They will be able to let you know if it will affect your car insurance and if so, how much you might see it increase by. Whether you think the modification will or will not affect your insurance, you should always notify your provider of any changes you intend to make.
If you have already made modifications to your car, you should make sure you let your car insurance provider know. If you need to claim on your car insurance and the vehicle has a modification that the provider didn’t know about, it could invalidate your insurance.
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