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How do I get sports car insurance?

Anyone that buys a sports car must accept that the thrill of driving such a powerful machine will go hand-in-hand with higher car insurance costs.

What is a sports car, exactly?

So what do a Porsche, Lotus, Ferrari and Aston Martin have in common? Although there's no exact definition, most sports cars will be:

  • A two-seater car, or one with an additional smaller back seat better designed for putting luggage on rather than seating passengers. This combination is usually known as a 2+2 arrangement
  • Lightweight and easily maneuverable
  • Two door

While this covers most out-and-out performance cars, many manufacturers also produce sportier high-performance versions of their mainstream production cars, also known as sport compacts.

Why are sports cars expensive to insure?

Most insurance companies base their premiums on how much risk will be posed by both you and your vehicle. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cars with hugely powerful engines are not going to be viewed in the same light as small city runabouts.

By their very nature, the components used to put one of these high performance sports cars together will be far more expensive and high-tech than those which are used in the construction of production-line family saloons. So, as well as the higher risk of them being involved in an accident – and costing vast amounts to repair – they're also more likely to be stolen by thieves who are either eager to get behind the wheel of a high-performance machine.

Another fact to bear in mind is that although the value of your sports car is likely to reduce each year, the premium won’t be reflecting the depreciation because the policies themselves are closely linked to the cost of settling individual claims.

Also, the parts used and labour needed to repair these vehicles remains the same, regardless of whether it's only one year old or five. The fact is that high-performance cars are always going to be more expensive to repair than more conventional vehicles.

How will your vehicle be used?

The way you're using your sports car will have a bearing on the price you'll have to pay. For example, someone that garages it most of the year will be charged less than someone who plans to travel many thousands of miles.

This is even more relevant if you intend thrashing your car around a race track every couple of weeks with other like-minded owners. The vast majority of venues in the UK and abroad will open up for privateers to drive their vehicles at full capacity.

Not all sports car insurance policies will cover these activities which, by their very nature, are far riskier than traditional use. Therefore you'll need to check if it does, and how the extra costs will increase your premium.

A Ferrari F40Cutting the cost

Even with high-performance sports cars, there'll be ways of lowering the cost of cover. For example, some insurers offer discounts for being members of an owner’s club. Others will reduce the price if you agree not to exceed a certain amount of miles in the year. In addition, some may be willing to provide an “agreed valuation” on your car which will give you peace of mind in knowing exactly what your vehicle is insured for – and how much you will receive should the worst happen.

Equipping your car with various security devices – such as tracking systems, immobilisers and various wheel locks – can also help qualify you for a discount, although you'll need to check with your chosen insurer to ensure the items you buy are approved by them.

As you’ll be driving a fast car you will need to pay extra attention to your speed, as motoring convictions mean higher insurance costs. Separately, agreeing to pay a higher excess can reduce your premium which might be worthwhile if you’re a safe driver.

Conversely, making any modifications to increase a car’s performance is likely to result in an increased premium, as it indicates to the insurer that your main focus will be driving at even higher speeds than its manufacturer had anticipated. If you make changes to the vehicle without letting your insurance know to keep your premium down, you jeopardise your ability to claim should you be involved in an accident.

Did you know...?

  • The first sports cars can be traced as far back as 1910.

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