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Car travelling down road.

Can you modify your car without paying extra insurance premium?

There are all sorts of things you can do to your car to express your personality. But beware, if you modify your car to enhance its performance or you make significant changes to the manufacturer's specifications you could a) end up paying more for insurance cover and b) invalidate your car insurance if you fail to tell your insurance company about the modifications that you intend to make.

When to tell your insurance company your plans

If you're planning on making more than small cosmetic changes, you should definitely tell your insurer first, otherwise you could be paying a lot more than you bargained for.

Here are some modifications that you should tell your insurance company about:

  • Tinted windows
  • Spoilers
  • Alloy wheels
  • Body kits
  • Body re-sprays
  • New engine
  • New sound systems
  • Modified exhausts

Simple changes that won't affect your insurance

Of course, there are simple and relatively inexpensive changes you can make to your car that won't impact on your insurance premiums but will make it feel that little bit special. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Change your steering wheel, the gear stick head or the gear shaft gaiter
  • Seat and seat belt covers
  • Change the style of your hub caps
  • New car mats
  • A smart tax-disc holder
  • Stickers for the outside, or inside, of your car
  • Give your car a name
  • Get yourself and your car organised with a boot tidy
  • Fit a personalised number plate (your insurer may charge a one-off fee to change this on your policy but it shouldn't affect your insurance premium)

Modifications that may help reduce your car insurance

Choose to modify your car so it's less vulnerable to theft and you may be able to reduce your premiums. Many insurance companies may offer a discount if your vehicle is fitted with a car alarm or tracking device. If you already have expensive alloy wheels then locking wheel nuts could also be a useful investment.

If in doubt, talk to your insurer

Your car insurance policy document may list any modifications that your insurer would find unacceptable. But if you're still in doubt, ask! No matter how minor you may think the changes are that you're planning, they may still invalidate your insurance and leave you without cover if you needed to claim. It's much better to be safe than sorry.