10th November 2017

Modifying your car? Here’s what you need to know

From alloy wheels to body kits and specialist paintwork, there are numerous ways you can give your vehicle a personal touch. Car modifications can be functional, performance-related or purely aesthetic, but have you spared a thought for how they could affect your insurance?

Generally speaking, any modification you make to your car will result in a hike in premium costs. The exact increase will depend on your insurer but also on the type of modification carried out. For instance, while tinted windows might result in a small increase, supercharging your car could see your premium almost double.

There are three factors all insurers consider when calculating a premium: risk of accident, risk of theft and vehicle value. Any modification you make to your car will affect at least one of these factors, which is why costs increase. For instance, aesthetic modifications can make your car more appealing to criminals, which increases the risk of theft. Similarly, certain modifications are expensive to repair or replace, adding value to your car and thus increasing your insurance premium.

As well as costing you more money to insure, there are other factors to consider, such as the safety and legal implications of modifying your vehicle. Here are some things you must bear in mind before revamping your motor:

  • There are a number of modifications that can negatively impact the handling of your vehicle.
    Not only are these modifications unsafe, but they could be illegal, too, so make sure you check.
  • In-car entertainment devices have become increasingly popular in recent years.
    However, tech can be very distracting for the driver, who has an extremely important job to do.
    Never install tech at the expense of your concentration – it’s not worth the risk. Plus, it’s illegal to have moving images on display in sight of the driver.
  • If you’re considering upgrading your wheels or tyres, this will inevitably alter the way your car handles on the road.
    Check the wheels or tyres are manufacturer-approved before buying and when fitting, and ensure that there’s enough clearance between the bodywork and tyre.
  • Don’t attempt to make changes to your car’s brakes or suspension on your own.
    This type of work should only be carried out by a professional and so long as the changes do not compromise the car’s handling.
  • It’s against the law to remove a manufacturer-fitted silencer or modify your car’s exhaust so that it emits a louder noise than the original exhaust.
  • Whilst changing your number plate is legal, there are rules you need to be aware of.
    For instance, the number plate must be of a certain font, the numbers and letters must have correct spacing, and it must be displayed in a prominent position.

Before making any modifications to your vehicle, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the legislation and consider the impact on your premium. Specialist car garages will be able to advise you on this.

You must declare any modifications with your current insurer, as not doing so could render your policy invalid. Likewise, when searching for insurance or using an insurance broker, you need to make them aware of any modifications you’ve already made to your vehicle.

At Anami Luxus, our prestige car experts will ask all the right questions to ensure you are paired with cover that suits your car, and any modifications, down to the ground. Get in touch to find out more.