How Car Modifications Affect Your Car Insurance Quote


When you look at the cost of modifying your vehicle you must keep in mind the overall effect this will have on your vehicle valuation. There are certain modified car insurance issues you need to be aware of.

For example a vehicle that has had front end damage would need to claim damage on a front bumper as well as the costs of painting it. On a standard vehicle quotes for this kind of work would be given quickly at a standard rate. However, if you had a custom bumper as well as a custom paint job then your costs will increase dramatically.

This is also true in the case of mechanical improvements to a vehicle such as suspension, exhaust, engine or braking systems. Any problems with these systems (despite improved performance) will cost more to fix and in the case of a serious accident most cars need more than cosmetic work done to repair them. If you are considering modifying your car with add-ons then you really need to take into account the cost to replace these improvements if anything goes wrong.

Modifications and the Law

Standard modifications like suspension, exhaust and custom paint jobs do not cause many problems in terms of legality but if you increase power to your vehicle or even add a custom horn you may find the answer is 'no' next time you apply for car insurance. Here are a few items you may need to check on before you add them to your car:

  • The level of window tinting – low levels of tinting are fine but check the maximum grade before you have it added to your car.
  • You may need approval from authorities for certain modifications.
  • Bull-bars and nudge bars must comply with specific standards.
  • Exhaust noise levels must be kept in mind when modifying the engine or exhaust system.
  • Tyres and suspension must comply with standards due to the changes in car handling.

If you are unsure whether your modifications will be compliant you should consult with the person providing the add-on and with the appropriate government agencies.

Younger Drivers and Car Add-ons

It is more common for younger drivers to want to modify their vehicle for speed and looks. For this reason insurance for a younger driver could be affected or even denied because of certain custom add-ons. In many cases younger drivers are banned from driving high powered or sports modified cars due to research showing the increase in accidents. If you are insuring a younger driver for a modified car be sure to check whether they can legally drive it. Remember, ignorance is not seen as an excuse under the law. Despite this, general car improvements that do not increase engine power are usually fine for younger drivers.

Despite the costs of custom modifications on cars more and more people want a unique vehicle that has extra features. General modifications may be fine in a legal sense but most custom modifications require approval and since they are probably increasing the value of your vehicle they will probably increase the cost of your insurance. By all means modify your car to your hearts desire but be aware of potential future costs and the costs you may incur in the case of an accident. Always check with your local authorities for information on custom add-ons just to be on the safe side.

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