How the 5 most popular car modifications affect your insurance


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It’s common practice for drivers to make modifications to their car to enhance both performance and style; however, you shouldn’t do this to your own vehicle before first thoroughly researching the consequences.

Not only must you be sure that whatever modifications you make won’t adversely affect the road legality of your car, but you should also investigate how your chosen adjustments could impact on your vehicle insurance.

Here are just five of the most popular car modifications, and what they could mean for your motor insurance policy.

Engine upgrade

Upgrading the engine is one of the most attractive car modification ideas for motorists. Many people choose this alteration as a way of increasing their vehicle’s performance and the speed at which it can travel – but it can also compromise a car’s insurance.

If you do decide to upgrade your engine or other elements, such as the exhaust pipe or transmission, check with your local mechanic that what you’re doing is definitely legal. Regardless, the price of your insurance is likely to inflate, as companies will probably see a faster vehicle as a higher accident risk – so don’t forget to notify your insurers before making a decision.

Number plates

Swapping a vehicle’s standard number plate for a personalised one is a popular choice of modification, but there are rules that must be abided by. For example, the UK DVLA states that a driver cannot display a registration number that makes their vehicle appear younger than it is.  

Before you put effort into finding the number plate that best represents who you are – checking that it won’t break any rules – be sure to speak to your insurer. While the situation can vary from one insurer to the next, there’s a risk that your chosen number plate could invalidate your policy.

Tinted windows

Cruising around in a vehicle with tinted windows may sound enticing, but as with other car modifications, there’s some uncertainty as to the effect it could have on your insurance.

If your car originally featured tinted windows as standard, it’s possible that you could make a saving on your insurance, as tinted windows can help to reduce theft.  On the flip side, however, and particularly if you choose to tint your car’s windows yourself, the cost of your insurance could rise because the windows would be more expensive to repair if you were ever involved in an accident.

Wheel upgrades

Standard alloy wheels will not affect your insurance premium, but if you decide to upgrade, you must be careful. That’s especially the case if you fancy getting ‘creative’ with unique styles and colours…

Making modifications to your car wheels can greatly alter the handling of your car, as well as increase its value. In saying this, it’s quite likely that the cost of your insurance will increase due to how new wheels can affect the safety of your car, as well as the enhanced likelihood of your vehicle being stolen.

Car stickers

While you may not think of car stickers as a modification, some insurance companies would disagree. As this is a very popular vehicle alteration and terms vary from company to company, it’s worth checking with your insurer before committing to a funky sticky style.

Most likely, you will just need to let them know of your plans. As a sticker on a vehicle – whether it’s a declaration of love for your favourite football team or simply your professional business logo – can count as a modification, failure to inform your insurance company could make your cover invalid.

Are you unsure whether the modification you have in mind for your vehicle could be more trouble than it’s worth? If so, seeking quotes for modified car insurance through a reputable firm like MoneyBeach could help to put your mind at rest about the likely cost implications.


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