How car modifications affect car insurance

How Do Car Modifications Affect Insurance

Car modifications can vary massively from a slight style update, like upgrading to alloy wheels, to full-blown restyles. Making modifications to your car is a great way to alter its look and make it more personal to you. However, some car modifications can impact your car insurance, so it is important to bear this in mind before you go ahead.

What do car insurers consider to be a modification?

Car insurance companies view the various car modifications differently, although, as a general rule they all class a modification as any change made to a vehicle which alters it from its original factory specification.

Modifications are generally classified as either altering appearance or performance, however, both can affect insurance premiums.

Why do car modifications affect insurance?

The cost of car insurance is based on risk, so in order to quote a price, insurance companies must consider several risk factors. This includes any modifications made to the vehicle which car insurance companies perceive to increase risk in a couple of ways:

    1. Risk of accident
    2. Risk of theft

What to do if you buy a vehicle with modifications?

If you purchase a second-hand car that already has modifications you should declare these to your insurance company. If you are not sure about the modifications, you should seek advice from a garage. Not declaring a modification could invalidate your insurance or result in your insurance being cancelled.

If your car insurance is cancelled, it can be more difficult and more expensive to get cover in the future.

Should you let your insurers know before modifying your car?

It is always advisable to get in touch with your insurance company before you carry out any car modifications. This way your insurance company can advise you about how it will impact your premiums and you can make an informed choice about whether the modifications are worth it.

Some insurance companies may not provide cover following certain modifications, so getting this knowledge beforehand gives you the time to find a new insurance provider. For example, for extensive modifications, you may have to go with a specialist company who are known for providing insurance to modified vehicles.

We take a look at how some of the most common car modifications may affect your insurance:

Wheel Modifications

Modifications to the wheels can have an impact on handling which may put you more at risk. While expensive alloys might make your vehicle more appealing to thieves and increase the risk of theft.

Bodywork Modifications

Adding bodykit styling like flared wings, wheel arches, spoilers, side skirts and valances can increase the desirability and value of your car, causing an increase in premium.

Brakes and suspension

Any modifications to the brakes and suspension are likely to impact premiums as they can alter the way the car rides on the road. Some insurance companies may want proof the work has been carried out to an approved standard.

Interior Modifications

Adding car seat covers or changing your floor mats certainly won’t affect your insurance premiums. However, actually changing the seats, pedals and steering wheel are all considered quite major modifications and may result in an increase in your insurance premiums.

interior car modifications

Stickers and paintwork

It may come as a surprise to some that the paintwork, stickers and decals you add to your vehicle are all classed as modifications by car insurance companies. Different paint colours can add value and desirability to your mode, while some decals, like go-faster stripes may result in the insurance company viewing you as more risky.

dashboard decoration

Which car modifications are not allowed?

As mentioned, the car modifications insurance companies allow do vary, however, no insurance company will cover car modifications which break the law. This includes tinted windows which restrict more than 70% light, neon lights under the car, illegal wheel modifications and illegal sound and noise modifiers.

Finding car accessories to modify your vehicle

At Car Accessories Plus, we sell a wide-variety of car accessories from bodykits and grille trims to interior accessories and new alloys, so finding the right accessories to make the modifications you desire is a doddle. What’s more, our friendly team are available to offer great advice on choosing the right accessories for your vehicle, so why not get in touch?