Car Modifiers Beware - Your Insurance Premiums Could Rocket

Monday, May 16, 2011

Modifying your car could push up your insurance premiums by 44 per cent

CHESTER, England, May 17, 2011 - Splashing out on alloy wheels or updating your car with
accessories such as a car phone could cause the cost of cover to skyrocket,
according to (

Research by Britain's number one comparison site found making
modifications to a vehicle can dramatically alter the cost of insurance - in
one example premiums increased by 44 per cent when a built-in car phone was
added to a vehicle.(1) It was a similar story when making other
modifications; upgrading to alloy wheels or having a complete body kit
fitted could see an increase of 62 per cent and 101 per cent

Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at
(, said: "Motorists need to be aware that
even making a small modification to a vehicle can dramatically alter the cost
of the premium you will pay on your insurance. With premiums potentially
costing more than 100 per cent more, motorists should consider whether the
modification is really worth the extra insurance expense as well as the cost
of the actual work done to modify the car.

"However, it is worse if motorists make any substantial
changes to their car and fail to inform their insurer, as they risk
invalidating their insurance completely. It is essential drivers check the
small print of their insurance policy to understand exactly what they are
covered for, as many of the more common modifications such as alloy wheels
may not be covered in a standard policy. If you do decide to modify your car,
check before hand what the cost of cover will be with your insurer and also
shop around to see if you can get a better deal on your car insurance
elsewhere that covers your modification."

Motorists also risk invalidating their insurance if they fail
to inform their provider about a change of address or change in job. Further
research by found that changing jobs can also affect the
cost of premiums, with a children's entertainer paying more than 48 per cent
more for their insurance in comparison to a teacher. Similarly, a bus driver
will find their insurance premiums are slightly cheaper.(3)

Peter Harrison continued: "It is essential any change in
circumstance is communicated to your provider otherwise you risk invalidating
your insurance policy. Motorists should take the time to fully understand the
small print of their insurance policy to ensure they are not caught out when
trying to make a claim. It only takes a few minutes to make sure you really
do have the best value policy to suit your needs. By shopping around for the
best deal you can ensure you aren't paying over the odds for your car
insurance. The average saving using is GBP280, so I urge
everyone to do their research and ensure they are getting the best deal."

Top tips for reducing the cost of car insurance:

- Shop around - This is one of the easiest ways to save money.
Don't assume that your current provider is giving you the best renewal quote;
look at other insurers using the car insurance
comparison tool and see if you can save.

- Buy online - Many car insurers offer discounts to customers
that buy online.

- Modifying your car - if you do intend to modify your vehicle
check with the insurer how much your insurance would be once the work was
completed and also shop around to see if the insurance with the modification
can be found at a better price elsewhere.

- Reduce your mileage - When applying for insurance, you
estimate the number of miles you'll do each year. If you aren't travelling
much then you'll usually pay less. That means that if you car share with a
colleague or decide to take the train a couple of times a week, you can bring
down the price.

- Keep it safe - Insurers look at the risk every driver
presents, so you'll get a better deal if you can reduce that risk. By keeping
the car off the road at night in a garage or on a drive you make it safer,
meaning your premiums will come down.

- Car security - Make sure you have an alarm and immobiliser.

- Drive a car with a smaller engine - If you're struggling to
pay your insurance then give some thought to the car you're driving. The
bigger and faster the vehicle, the more it will cost to insure.

- Up the excess - Agreeing to pay a higher excess, such as
GBP500 instead of GBP100, can reduce your premiums. Don't forget that this is
what you will need to pay in the event of a claim, so be sure you can afford

- Add an older driver - If you have a partner or parent who is
more experienced behind the wheel, adding them to the policy can sometimes
reduce what you pay. Whatever you do, don't make them the named driver,
though. This is called fronting and could invalidate your insurance.

- Ensure it's adequate - As you look for the lowest price,
don't be tempted to scrap things you really need. It might cost more to have
a courtesy car or legal fees paid, but if you need it then include it.
Skipping extras that you can't do without will be a false economy if you do
need to claim.

Notes to Editors:

(1) Top ten car insurance quotes:

         Provider         Annual    Annual Premium  Annual      Annual
                         Premium    (with complete  Premium    Premium
                                      body kit)      (with    (with car
                                                     alloy      phone)
    esure               GBP402.55        N/A          N/A        N/A
    Hastings Essential  GBP423.51        N/A          N/A        N/A
    Sheilas' Wheels     GBP426.61        N/A          N/A        N/A        GBP451.55        N/A          N/A        N/A
    Renew Insurance     GBP451.59        N/A          N/A        N/A
    AXA                 GBP487.80        N/A       GBP487.80  GBP487.80
    Swiftcover          GBP487.95        N/A          N/A        N/A
    Likewise            GBP496.46        N/A          N/A        N/A
    Endsleigh           GBP508.27    GBP1,246.16   GBP827.43  GBP721.88
    Your Cover          GBP536.32        N/A          N/A        N/A
         Average        GBP467.26    GBP1,246.16   GBP657.62  GBP604.84

Based on male teacher aged 30, driving a Ford Fiesta 1.2.5
years NCD

Top ten car insurance quotes (with car modifications):

          Provider         Annual        Provider        Annual
                           Premium                       Premium
                          (with car                       (with
                           phone)                         alloy
    AXA                   GBP487.80 AXA                 GBP487.80
    Admiral               GBP660.83 Admiral             GBP683.09        GBP662.95      GBP685.21
    the insurance factory GBP674.53 Bell                GBP696.87
    Bell                  GBP674.61 Asda                GBP773.76
    Post Office           GBP706.89  GBP872.23
    Halifax               GBP713.52 Performance Direct  GBP820.52
    ibuyeco               GBP715.67 Endsleigh           GBP827.43
    Endsleigh             GBP721.88 grove & dean        GBP857.52
    Budget                GBP730.55 GBP862.46
           Average        GBP674.92       Average       GBP756.69     


          Provider                 Provider        Annual
                                                 body kit)
    AXA                    Admiral              GBP695.81
    Admiral             GBP697.93         Bell                 GBP709.59
    the insurance factory  Performance Direct   GBP920.59
    Bell                   grove & dean         GBP957.59
    Post Office            mypolicy           GBP1,003.48
    Halifax       GBP1,085.12
    ibuyeco                ibuyeco            GBP1,094.03
    Endsleigh              Halifax            GBP1,106.85
    Budget                 youchooseinsurance GBP1,114.13
                           Average              GBP938.51

Based on male teacher aged 30, driving a Ford Fiesta 1.2.5
years NCD

The average of the top ten insurance premiums is GBP467.26,
compared to the average of the top ten premiums for a vehicle with a car
phone which is GBP674.92. The difference is GBP207.66, therefore 44%

(2) The average of the top ten insurance premiums is GBP467.26,
compared to the average of the top ten premiums for a vehicle with alloy
wheels which is GBP756.69. The difference is GBP289.43, therefore 612%

The average of the top ten insurance premiums is GBP467.26
compared to the average of the top ten premiums for a vehicle with a complete
body kit which is GBP938.51. The difference is GBP471.25, therefore 101%

(3) Top ten car insurance quotes for different professions:

         Provider         Annual       Annual     Annual     Annual
                         Premium      Premium     Premium   Premium
                        (Teacher)   (Children's    (Bus    (Publican)
                                    Entertainer)  Driver)
    esure               GBP402.55       n/a      GBP402.55 GBP402.55
    Hastings Essential  GBP423.51       n/a      GBP400.66 GBP644.67
    Sheilas' Wheels     GBP426.61       n/a      GBP426.61 GBP426.61        GBP451.55    GBP897.96   GBP427.17 GBP687.13
    Renew Insurance     GBP451.59    GBP898.05   GBP427.21 GBP687.13
    AXA                 GBP487.80       n/a      GBP515.93    n/a
    Swiftcover          GBP487.95    GBP533.97   GBP488.92 GBP524.97
    Likewise            GBP496.46    GBP942.91   GBP472.03 GBP732.02
    Endsleigh           GBP508.27  GBP1,186.69   GBP532.28 GBP628.95
    Your Cover          GBP536.32       n/a      GBP455.95    n/a
         Average        GBP467.26    GBP891.92   GBP454.93 GBP591.75

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