Whether you are an avid fan of the unique machines taking centre stage in the Fast and the Furious movies or a connoisseur of classic marques such as Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin, the world of performance cars holds an attraction for people of all ages.
With their race-prepared engines, tuned exhausts and uprated suspensions, these vehicles are built for speed – regardless of whether they will be put through their paces out on the race track or simply used for cruising round the streets.
The sheer increased power of these cars obviously makes them riskier in the eyes of insurance companies because they are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents and cost more to repair due to the high performance parts used in their construction. They are also more desirable. Not only are they going to be a favourite for car thieves looking for either a joyride or to sell them to overseas buyers, they may also be the target of vandals whose jealousy will result in them being damaged in some way.
What you need to know
So what is a performance car? Well the description is pretty wide as it encompasses everything from prestige machines to kit cars, imported vehicles and those that have been souped up so as to bear little resemblance to the way it did rolling off the production line. There’s a particular difference between a high performance car such as a Mercedes and something that has been modified after leaving the factory, such as being fitted with a larger engine and fuel management system.
The latter group, known as modified high performance cars, usually cost more to insure because providers may be rather sceptical about the changes made and concerned that they could present a hazard to the driver and/or other road users. Fully comprehensive car insurance is essential with this type of vehicle as any repair costs would be expensive and would advise against choosing a third party only policy to try and cut costs.
If you are unluckly enought to be involved in an accident but the damage is minimal then see our gide on when to make a claim on your insurance.
What modifications will hit you in the pocket?
There’s no set rule as to what modifications will cost you the most. It will differ between insurance companies. While some may hike the premiums for relatively cosmetic alterations, others won’t ask for more money unless the performance it delivers has changed. Therefore, you would be well advised to check with your insurance company before carrying out a particular modification – and this can include changes such as new spoilers, bumpers and side skirts, as well as mechanical parts.
What else will affect the premium?
Your age will be a major influencing factor. The public may have the perception of young boy racers being behind the wheel of performance cars but the only ones that can afford to do so have very deep pockets – or parents that are willing to indulge them. That’s why it’s best to be at least 30 years old before you consider going down the performance car route. By that time you should not only be viewed as less of a risk by insurance companies but you may also have a decent no claims discount behind you.
Other ways of trimming the cost include taking an advanced driving course as this will prove to the insurance company that you are a safer risk. Search online for various courses available which will be organised by groups including the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
How to choose your insurer?
Word of mouth is a good starting point. If you belong to an owners’ club for performance cars ask other members who they’d recommend. Once you’re clear what you need in a policy you will have to do your research and compare various quotes. It can often be a good idea to obtain cover from a firm that actually specialises in policies designed for performance cars as they will have a far better understanding of what you need from such protection, as well as the answers to questions you want to pose.
As always, with performance car insurance bargain hard for the best possible deal.
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