Paying that extra bit of cash for a slick, souped-up motor? Make sure it’s properly covered.
What is a performance car?
From the modern supercars featured in Fast and Furious to classic models such as Aston Martin and Ferrari. Performance (or high-performance) cars are a cut above the rest.
These expensive, fast cars tend to have race-prepared engines, tuned exhausts and uprated suspensions, allowing you to hit higher speeds with ease.
An insurer usually classes a performance car as a two-door, lightweight vehicle with a large, powerful engine.
It also covers modified cars. These are regular cars that have been modified for high performance by adding a larger engine or upgrading the fuel system, for example.
Other high-performance modifications might include:
Reducing the weight with lighter materials such as carbon fibre.
Using specifically-designed components.
Tuning the engine, which is usually a V5 or bigger.
A supercar is designed with power in mind, enabling it to handle higher-than-normal speeds or take tight corners.
Manufacturers such as Porsche and Jaguar are well-known for producing performance cars.
But even more ‘standard’ brands sometimes produce high-powered versions of their usual models – take the Ford Focus RS, the Volkswagen GTI or the Mini John Cooper, for example.
Are performance cars expensive to insure?
Yes. Their ability to reach high speeds and huge value means insurers see them as a higher risk.
As with any car, there are different factors that go into working out how much you should pay for your supercar insurance. But with performance cars there are some other factors to consider, too.
The extra power in the engine means there’s a greater risk of an accident.
It’ll be more difficult and expensive to source specialist parts for repair.
Accidents at high speeds have a greater risk of leading to serious injury or death.
Performance cars are more desirable, and so a more tempting target for thieves and vandals. Some people even delight in damaging these cars.
In other words, insurers think there’s more chance of a high-performance car being damaged or stolen, and it’ll cost them more when that happens.
The bottom line is that you’re dealing with valuable assets.
So by all means have a look for a comprehensive insurance policy that offers the most protection for the best price, but be prepared to spend more than with standard policies.
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Can young drivers get performance car insurance?
Again, the short answer is yes. But it can be expensive.
All the factors that make high-performance car insurance higher for older drivers also come into play with younger drivers.
But there’s the added issue that younger drivers usually pay higher premiums than experienced motorists.
If you’re a young driver, you won’t have the experience that people who’ve been driving for longer have built up.
Insurers believe you’re more likely to drive irresponsibly, and as a result you’re more likely to have an accident.
And if you do have an accident, you’re more likely to have other people in the car with you.
All in all, the premiums for young driver performance car insurance could be astronomical. In some cases, it can make the very idea of owning such a vehicle an impossible one to achieve.
How can you keep your costs down with a performance car?
It’s always going to be more expensive to insure a performance car than a standard motor. But here’s how you could get cheaper car insurance:
Consider adding an immobiliser or tracker to your car's security. This should deter would-be thieves, lessening the risk of you needing to make a claim.
Increase your voluntary excess. This tends to lower premiums, but make sure you can afford to pay the excess should you make a claim.
Reduce your mileage. If you're cruising around town every day, those extra miles could turn into extra pounds on your premium. If you take your supercar out for only infrequent or shorter journeys, your insurance costs could fall as a result.