Top 5 Classic Car Modifications That Affect Insurance

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 take a look at top 5 classic car modification that affect insurance.

Before we dive into our top 5, we thought we’d explain a bit about insurers attitudes to modifications. Don’t worry we’ll keep it brief.

Modifications are seen as an additional risk. Insurers are trying to profile you, and understand the likelihood of you making a claim. Your standard, everyday insurer will see a modified vehicle as a much higher risk. Compared with the other standard, everyday vehicles on their books. So they up the price of your premium. In comparison, specialist insurers (such as ourselves) are used to insuring specialist vehicles. The specialist policies cater for any extra risk. That’s why when you tell us about your mods, most of the time, we won’t up your premium. Instead, specialist policies will have other criteria like a limited mileage or your vehicle has to be locked in a garage overnight.

Find out more about how classic car insurance is calculated.

So, now we’ve got that bit out the way let’s take a closer look at the top 5 classic car modifications that can affect your insurance premium.

We’re going to use an example insurance quote so you can see how modifications affect your insurance premium. Based on a 40 year old male, who does 3000 miles per annum and has a second car. His vehicle is just for pleasure use, garaged overnight. With no accidents, claims or convictions. The vehicle is a Ford Escort 1.3 Mk2 1979 £4,000.

Based on this his premium would be £85.23 with a compulsory excess of £100, let’s see how modifications affect this:

No. 1 Re-Spray

It might surprise you to hear that re-spraying your classic car can affect your insurance premium and is classed as a modification. 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.

Don’t worry though, general maintenance and upkeep 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.

No. 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 preset by the factory, but some classic car owners like to get these upgraded or remapped to increase performance. Again, the increase to your premium and excess should only be slight, if your with a specialist insurer.

After remapping or an ECU upgrade, his premium would increase to £90.70 with a compulsory excess of £150.

No. 3 Engine Replacement

This modification 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 affect 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.

No. 4 Stage 1 Modifications

This is a term often used when it comes to the world of performance modifications; it refers to a collection of modifications made to improve the overall performance of your car. For example Stage 1 which is the lower end of the tuning scene with changes already mentioned above such as induction kits, re-mapping and exhausts as well as fuel pressure regulators and blow off valves. This modification will have much more of an affect on the price of your insurance compared the other mods on our list.

Stage 1 Modifications will see his premium increase to £103.84 with a compulsory excess of £150.

No. 5 Stage 2 Modifications

A Stage 2 upgrade is a little more aggressive than  a Stage 1 and will promote larger power gains. Stage 2 will include fuelling modifications and some engine strengthening and dismantling. This type of performance modification will have the highest impact on your insurance premium. You would definitely want to look at going with a specialist insurance, whose policies can cater for the additional risks.

Stage 2 Modifications will see his premium increase to £159.70 with a compulsory excess of £150.

So that’s our top 5 classic car modifications that affect insurance. This should give you an idea of how your insurance premium could increase depending on the modifications you make. However, as you can see when insuring your classic with a specialist insurer the increase in price isn’t too great. So, if you’re avoiding telling your insurer about your modifications, don’t. Just speak to an insurer who understand the risks involved, and your wallet shouldn’t be hit too badly. The alternative is your insurance being void if you fail to tell your insurer of any changes you made, and they then find out in the event of a claim. You can find out more about ‘how much should you tell your car insurer’ here.