We take a look at the top 5 classic car modifications that will affect your insurance.
Many of us make alterations to our classic cars, whether it’s for cosmetic, performance or safety reasons. However you decide to keep your vehicle, it’s important to remember that some insurers will charge you more to insure a modified vehicle. So, if you’re in the market for insurance or looking to modify your classic car, it’s useful to know the top 5 classic car modifications that can affect your insurance.
Before we dive into our top 5, we thought we’d explain a bit about insurers’ attitudes to modifications.
Modifications are seen as an additional risk. Insurers are trying to profile you, and understand the likelihood of you making a claim. Generally speaking, insurers will see a modified vehicle as a much higher risk when compared with the other standard, everyday vehicles on their books. Predictably, this could affect the price of your premium. On the other hand, specialist insurers (such as ourselves) are used to insuring specialist vehicles, as specialist policies cater for any extra risk. That’s why, when you tell us about your mods, we’re far less likely to increase your premium. Instead, specialist policies will have other criteria like a limited mileage or conditions such as needing to keep your vehicle locked in a garage overnight.
Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 classic car modifications that can affect your insurance premium.
We’ll use an example insurance quote to show you how modifications can affect your insurance premium. Our example will be based on a 40-year-old male who does 3,000 miles per annum and has a second car. His vehicle is just for pleasure use and locked in his garage overnight, with no accidents, claims or convictions. The vehicle is a Ford Escort 1.3 Mk2 1979 worth £4,000.
As an example, his premium might be £85.23 with a compulsory excess of £100*. Let’s see how modifications affect this:
It might surprise you to hear that re-spraying your classic car is classed as a modification. Likewise, it’s one of the few aesthetic modifications that does affect your insurance costs. Any increase should only be slight, and it’s mostly to do with the effect the re-spray will have on the value of your classic car.
An expensive, high quality re-spray could increase the value by a couple of thousand pounds, so in turn, the risk of theft and repair costs will be higher to the insurer.
This doesn’t tend to apply to general maintenance, so if you re-spray your classic the same colour for upkeep purposes, this won’t usually be classed as a modification.
With the re-spray, his premium would now be £90.70, with a compulsory excess of £150.
2. Re-mapping/ECU upgrade
As we see newer cars move into the classic car realm, we’re seeing more vehicles fitted with some sort of computerised control. These are usually pre-set by the factory, but some classic car owners like to get these upgraded or re-mapped to increase performance. Again, the increase to your premium and excess should only be slight if you are with a specialist insurer.
After re-mapping or an ECU upgrade, his premium would increase to £90.70, with a compulsory excess of £150.
3. Engine replacement
An engine replacement affecting the price of your insurance may not be too surprising. Many classic car owners replace their classic’s engine with a higher-powered alternative if they’re looking for more torque or speed. An engine replacement will have more of an effect on your insurance than re-mapping or re-spraying, but the increase should still not be eye-watering if your insurer has a specialist modified scheme.
An engine replacement would see his premium increase to £97.27, with a compulsory excess of £150.