Track day insurance
A track day is the chance to test your driving skills and your car’s performance free of speed cameras and Sunday drivers. But a standard car insurance policy won’t cover you on a circuit.
What is track day insurance?
Track day insurance covers accidental damage your car sustains while it’s on the circuit.
This includes any collisions you have with barriers, as well as any crashes you’re involved in with other drivers.
Unlike standard car insurance policies, track day insurance won’t cover any damage you inflict on another vehicle.
So if you hit a fellow track driver who doesn’t have their own insurance, it’s on them to fund any repairs they may need to make.
Track days are also considered specialist events, so normal car insurance policies won’t cover any damage your car sustains on a track. You’ll need a bespoke track day policy to cover you.
If you’ve ever come a cropper on the track before, you’ll know that rolling your wheels into the barriers can make for a brutally expensive day out.
Especially if you’re whipping around the circuit in your daily driver – or worse, a high-end performance car!
But fear not, there’s plenty of track day insurers who can sell you cover, so you can satisfy your need for speed without worrying about your wallet.
Let’s get into the in’s and out’s.
Visit our specialist track day insurance provider Grove & Dean for a quote
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Or call 01708 606768 to speak to a member of their team
How does track day insurance work?
Most track day policies are temporary. You’ll usually take them out for a single day, but some will offer you cover for a few days in a row, which is handy if you’re planning a multi-day trip to the track.
Regardless of policy length, you’ll still only be covered for damage to your own car.
So any damage you inflict on another driver’s vehicle is their responsibility – they won’t be able to claim on your policy.
This makes track day insurance a particularly good idea if you’ll be speeding around a circuit shared by other drivers.
If you’re hit, your policy should cover any repairs you need to make. If you’re hit with no policy in place, the repairs are on you.
Here’s a rundown of other aspects of track day cover you may find handy:
- Track day insurance can cover most UK and European circuits for cars up to a pre-agreed value. So it doesn’t have to be the full value of your car but a specific value agreed between you and your insurer.
- Buying a track specific policy can mean your daily driver no claims bonus is protected.
- Some policies are track-specific. Some circuits are simply more dangerous than others, especially when weather conditions deteriorate, so costs can vary from track to track.
- You can buy temporary track day cover for privately owned cars and leased ones – though check with your lease company on your options.
What Doesn’t track day insurance cover?
Before you hit the tarmac, there’re a few exclusions to be aware of.
While you’ll normally be covered for any accidental damage to your car, you may not be insured for:
Damage sustained during races or time trials
Use of your car on public roads
Mechanical breakdown of your engine or gearbox
Fire, unless it’s caused by an impact on the track
Any damage sustained while someone else is driving your car
These can differ from policy to policy, so it’s worth checking with your insurer exactly what you’re covered for before signing up.
To make sure your policy does exactly what you want it to, it’s also worth asking your insurer:
Is fire damage covered?
What about any damage to spare parts or tool kits?
Are any tracks excluded from my policy – or is it track specific?
What’s the situation with journeys to and from the circuit?
How much does track day insurance cost?
The usual starting point for your premium is worked out from your car’s market value – or what you agree with your insurer.
The amount of excess you opt to pay can also affect your premiums. A track day insurance excess is usually between 5-7% of the total market value of the car. Typically the excess minimum is £750.
“For a £10,000 car,” one track day insurer told Confused.com, “the premium will be roughly £90. For three days would be around £200. And for five days it would be around £270.”
But generally, the higher the excess you opt for, the cheaper your premium is likely to be.
The premium itself can depend on a few factors, including how much cover you buy, and for how long you want your cover to last.
However, while four days of cover is obviously going to set you back more than a single day of insurance would, opting for a multi-day policy can sometimes be more cost effective. With some insurers offering discount rates for multi-day cover.
Your age can also influence how much you pay in premiums. If you’re 30 or under, you’re likely to pay more than someone a little older.
If you’re under 21, you may not be able to get cover at all, as most track policies will refuse to cover you if you’re under 21.
The track you’re driving on can also affect how much you pay for your cover. Long, straight tracks are typically favoured by insurers over winding, technical ones.
So a day at the Bedford Autodrome is likely to be cheaper than a trip to the Nurburgring!
What about if I want to drive my track car on the road?
Standard car insurance for track, race cars and competition cars is more limited than for road cars.
This is often due to the high value of performance cars, which makes them trickier – not to mention more expensive – to insure.
Modifications you make to your track car can also cause issues with insurance, making it even harder to find road insurance.
But cover does exist. Modified car insurance policies are tailor-made to cover kitted out cars, and should provide you with cover for everyday driving. Likewise with high performance car insurance.
You’ll obviously need two separate policies – one for track days, one for on-the-road driving. But if you look for it, you should be able to find the cover you need.
There’s a few other things to consider before taking your track car out on the road, too.
Tax and MOTs can be tricky, and you’ll need to ensure your track car is road worthy, meaning its seatbelts, tyres, indicators and lights must be in good working order.
How can I get cheaper track day insurance?
While what you pay in premiums is influenced by many things that are out of your control – such as your age – there are a few ways you may be able to bring the costs down.
Here’s 9 quick tips that could help you cut the cost of your cover:
- 1. Pay a higher voluntary excess. The more you pay, the cheaper your premium.
- 2. Build up a record of track day experience over time. Some insurers will offer discounts if you can point to some track day history.
- 3. Don’t put your mates on a policy. Multiple drivers willpush your premium up sharply.
- 4. Multi-day cover is usually better value. If you buy a block of days and don’t use them up, the premium for the unused days can be refunded. But check before buying. Not all policies will offer this.
- 5. An admin fee is usually added on top of your premium. So if you buy a policy with multiple days, you pay once. Another small saving compared to buying a one-off day.
- 6. Insurers tend to look favorably on older drivers, as they have more experience on the road. So, if you have a few more years under your belt on the track your insurance could be cheaper.
- 7. The safer the track, the cheaper the cover. So pick tracks with plenty of space and run-off areas. Both Blyton Park and Bedford’s Autodrome are good examples of this.
- 8. The more mods you make, the more it can cost to insure. Try and keep these down. if you’ve modified your vehicle – brakes, suspension and engine upgrades, for example – you must disclose them. If not, your insurer’s within their rights to refuse to pay out.
- 9. Opt for less cover. Insurance for half a day is cheaper than a full day out.
Do I need track day training beforehand?
You do! Formula One drivers are always learning from their instructors. So it’s likely the rest of us can pick up a few track tricks too.
Some track day operators offer tuition from the Association of Racing Driver School instructors.
They’ll know the circuit well and be able to offer suggestions on how to get the best out of your track day weapon.
While you may have a good sense of your car’s potential from local fast roads or motorways, you may not be familiar with the track itself.
So you could get a rude surprise by your car’s sudden weight transfer between apexes.
Your instructor will know the circuit’s best braking and exit points. They’ll also be able to update you on weather conditions and their impact on the track’s surface.
If you’re really pushing the needle into triple digits some pre-circuit guidance could save you stress and cash.
Gravel traps or run-off areas are great, but they don’t save everyone from ending up in the scenery.
Each circuit curve is different. It’s worth doing a few laps so you can get used to it. Track day advice can be invaluable!
Do I need personal injury cover?
Protection for personal injury cover is not included on most track day policies. Track days are all about your own risk – at least as far as the insurance world goes.
That’s why track days exclude third party liability. Some insurers will offer personal accident track day cover as a bolt-on extra.
The cover may not be that broad but may pay out in the event of permanent disability or death.
Depending on the insurer, income protection can also be found if you shop around.
Traditionally income protection spans the gap between critical illness cover and life cover, helping you cover your outgoings if you’re injured and can’t work.
This can be especially handy if you’re self employed.
Some insurance companies may want proof of income while other companies won’t for this type of cover. So do shop around.
What about supercar experiences? Do I still need cover for those?
If you’re not driving your own car on a track day but someone else’s vehicle – perhaps a supercar – be careful with the small print.
It’s possible to drive incredibly powerful supercars around a track for £40-£60 a go.
Even if you’re insured you could still be liable for thousands in excess if you over-do it, or are found to have driven recklessly. So do ask for clarity if you’re not sure about your liability situation.
If you’re worried about having to shell out a pretty penny for any damage you cause, track day cover could help here too.
If you’re new to the track day experience, perhaps choose a track with plenty of extra space or run-off areas. Blyton Park’s a good example.
You want to make sure your risk of hitting trouble is cut down at all times. So do a thorough check of your car before getting to the track.
Brakes, tyres and fuel basics:
- Your brakes will likely get a real work-out. So if you’ve got some brake fade, sort it beforehand. Even if your brakes are fine on the road, track days can pulverise them. Which means you could have safety issues driving home, or even end up pulling out of the fun prematurely.
- If you haven’t changed your brake fluid in a while, it may have a lower boiling point. So get it changed ahead of track day. The same goes for your engine oil if it hasn’t been changed recently.
- Tyres are your only contact with the road so make sure they’re properly inflated. If your tyres are under-inflated you’ll have less grip and more flex. If they’re over-inflated you’ll also have less grip, plus risk of overheating. You want the right level of support and contact right across the tread profile.
- A track day is not all about your car or your speed. It’s also about technique – which means smoothness and pin-point timing. Get both right and you solve your speed issues too.
- Fuel – make sure you’ve enough. It’s not a great look to have to nip to nearest petrol station halfway through your track day! Your fuel consumption will take a big dive on the track so it’s worth filling up.
While most insurance policies won’t cover engine or transmission issues, you can often bolt-on extra cover for a fee.
Get the right track day insurance for you
If you’ve any doubt about your track day policy, double-check with your insurer and get your queries and answers to your concerns in writing.
A good track day insurer hires staff with real experience of their subject. So if you feel you’re not talking to insurers who know their track day stuff or getting a good deal, move on.
Many good insurance companies hire staff who are car or track day enthusiasts themselves.
If you’re going with friends or family then some circuits are simply a better day out.
The scenery at places like Cadwell Park or Anglesey is great. If the back-drop isn’t important then head for your nearest airfield.