Import Car Insurance
Import car insurance
Imported cars are increasingly popular in the UK. This is because very often they have higher specification levels and performance than cars purchased in the UK, and can be much cheaper too. Plus there are the bragging rights that accompany having an unusual car on the road!
The problem for insurers is that imported cars are an unknown quantity. Insurers often cannot check, through the usual channels, what risks are involved in insuring an imported car. For example, unlike mass-produced and widely available cars, insurers don’t know what safety and security testing has been done on an imported vehicle, or how easy is it to obtain parts and specialist labour for crash repairs. For this reason, imported car insurance premiums can be prohibitively high.
The first thing to do when looking for import car insurance is to shop around. This is standard advice when looking for any type of insurance, but it’s doubly true of imported cars! You should look for a niche insurer that specialises in imported cars, and who knows and understand all the varying factors and risks involved. And get detailed quotes from all so you can compare what’s on offer.
You will need to know whether your car is considered a parallel import; that is one built and sold to European specifications, or a ‘grey’ import; one that comes from outside the EU, such as from the USA or Japan. Ask lots of questions and give as much information as you can about your car. Bear in mind that things such as acceleration and top-speed will drive your premium up; but other modifications, such as enhanced security, might lower your costs. Be totally honest! Otherwise you may have trouble if you need to make a with claim in the future.
There are other ways to keep your policy price low. If you keep your car for special occasions, or drive it infrequently, then explore a low- or limited-mileage policy. Insurers know that the less you drive a car, the less likely it is to be involved in an accident.
Joining an owners club has its benefits too. Some owners clubs have links with specialist insurers. Even if they don’t, membership of such a club demonstrates pride in your vehicle, which for an insurer translates into a better quality of care. This could help lower your premium.
If you can, keep your car in a garage at night, or on an off-street driveway. Imported cars are rare and therefore more desirable to thieves. Insurers will look positively upon owners protecting their car from street damage or theft. If you can’t park your car off-road, then consider fitting some additional security devices. A Thatcham approved security system will go a long way to convincing an insurer that your car is safe.