For many of us, our car can feel like very much a reflection of ourselves. That’s why we are careful what design and colour we choose for our car when buying it from a showroom. It’s also why, even after arriving home with that vehicle, we might still want to tailor it with modifications.
Alas, the word ‘modifications’ can make some insurers cautious, The Guardian reveals. Hence, you should probably be careful which changes you make. Modifications can hugely vary in how they not only alter your vehicle, but also affect your car insurance costs.
Do you have the power… or want it?
If you’ve grown up watching the Fast and the Furious films, you may particularly yearn to beef up your car’s power and performance.
Men seem particularly fond of such tweaks, being six times likelier than women to fit a turbo engine or uprated brakes, reports the This is Money site. However, such additions can have worrying implications for the cost of your insurance, as they can make the car riskier to drive.
For example, adding a turbo engine could make a vehicle faster and as a consequence, more likely to be involved in an accident. In fact, the change could increase your premiums by a huge 132%, while uprated brakes can mean a more modest – but still noticeable – 36% rise in insurance costs.
You can enjoy safety first with functional changes
Reassuringly, not all modifications strictly bode ill for your insurance costs. Some can actually increase your safety on the road – and for this reason, push premiums down.
Let’s say that you opt for parking sensors, for example, which could save you 13% on your premiums once fitted. That could be especially good news for women – who, according to MoneySavingExpert.com research, are 44% likelier than men to opt for parking sensors.
Meanwhile, installing a tow bar could slash your premiums by a fifth, according to data. That saving shouldn’t overly surprise you when you consider that having a tow bar fitted would typically lead the driver to drive more slowly, which can obviously improve their safety on the road.
Cosmetic changes: a grey area when it comes to insurance
Some modifications fall into a further category on which we haven’t yet touched, and that’s the category of cosmetic changes. In terms of how they affect insurance costs, the picture isn’t always clear – not least because such alterations can be very varied, including stickers, slogans and spoilers.
You might find that separate insurers rather differ in how they treat aesthetic modifications. For example, while some insurers might not deem stickers to be modifications at all, other insurers may decide to assess stickers, including any risk that they would pose, individually.
However, as approaching separate insurers can be time-draining, sourcing insurance from a broker may be much more time-effective. The broker might also be able to help if you still have questions concerning what impact modifications on a car can have on insurance costs.
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