Did you know that by modifying your car you could find that your car insurance premiums will increase by as much as two thirds and, even worse, if you fail to notify your car insurer provider of any modification, it may invalidate your policy.
One of the most popular modifications is to change the wheels from the standard variety to alloy wheels. Yes, many new cars come with alloy wheels as soon as they are driven out of the factory but, if not, younger drivers seem to be particularly keen to get down to a specialist alloy wheel retailer and spend several hundred pounds to get a new set of alloy wheels.
Why do they do this? In the main, it is that “look good factor” that alloy wheels provide – they want to make a personal statement.
So, why should they need to inform their car insurer about the new alloys? Well, a thief is more likely to want to remove all four-alloy wheels than ordinary wheels as he or she will be able to sell them on at a very good price. Therefore, the cost to an insurance company will be greater in the event of such claims resulting in the motorist having to pay more in premiums to cover that increased outlay on the part of the insurer.
Moneysupermarket, the price comparison website, undertook some research and, as an example, discovered that a man age 30 putting alloy wheels on a Ford Fiesta would see his car insurance premiums increase by 30%. If all he did was install a car phone the premium would rise by a staggering 50% and if he had a full body kit added his premium could rise by as much as 66%.
Pete Harrison from Moneysupermarket commented: “Cars are used by many as a way to express themselves, and for some people, modifications are an essential part of personalising their vehicle. Motorists need to be aware that even the smallest of modifications can impact the price of car insurance. It pays to contact your insurer before you go ahead and make any modifications, as you will need to decide whether the extra cost to cover the changes is worth paying.
“Some insurers won’t offer insurance to cars that have already been modified, so it’s crucial to check with your provider first. More importantly, drivers need to realise that not informing an insurer of modifications made to a vehicle can invalidate a policy – a mistake motorists can’t afford to make.”
So, whether you are having tinted windows put in, parking sensors or a tow bar fitted, wider wheels or alloy wheels to name but a few modification contact your insurer before making the changes.