The Car Modifications That Could Increase Your Insurance – Or Even Worse – Get You a Fine!

Car insurance is one of the essentials of motoring, and the cost of it can vary depending on a multitude of reasons. The age of the driver, how long you have been driving, the type of vehicle and where you live can all affect the insurance premiums you are given.

Other factors can make a difference too, including modifications to your car. There are various modifications that drivers can make to cars that can unwittingly increase your insurance payments, or even worse, see you receive a fine.

Engine Modifications

Making tweaks to the engine of your car can affect your insurance policy. As you are changing the performance of the vehicle, there is the chance that as a more powerful vehicle, your insurance provider could see you as being at higher risk of an accident.

In turn, this could result in changes to the insurance which will cost you more money, something which you should take care to weigh up to decide if it is worth the potential extra cost.

When making any modifications to your car, it is imperative that you get in touch with and inform your insurance provider, especially if you are changing the performance. There is the chance that not declaring any modifications could result in the invalidation of your insurance, which will cause a huge problem for yourself and potentially other road users.

Exhaust Modifications

While modifying an engine can see you pay more for your insurance, making alterations to the exhaust of your vehicle can see you get into trouble with the law. It may seem like a good idea to have a loud exhaust and show off your sporting pretensions, but it is something you have to be careful with.

Many sports-style exhausts are not allowed on UK roads due to the excessive noise they make, and if you are caught driving with an excessively loud exhaust – you may be issued with an on-the-spot fine of £50, and your car may be taken off the road until the offending modification is removed. Worth bearing in mind when going for that sporty look.

Body and Aesthetic Modifications

Changing the colour of the car or making other aesthetic modifications may make your car look more desirable and eye catching, but there are a few things to bear in mind when considering making these changes.

Adding custom paint jobs, or things like upgraded alloy wheels on your used Mercedes-Benz can be a neat addition, but in the eyes of your insurer, they could make you more of a risk.

There is the chance that enhancing the look of the car in this way may make them more attractive to unwanted attention, such as thieves. Increasing the likelihood of theft, and the value of the vehicle by making such changes, can of course result in the price of your insurance increasing.

Other aesthetic modifications, such as tinting the windows in a certain way can have other implications for you as an owner. While the rear side windows and windscreen aren’t subject to any regulations, the front windows and windscreen have rules around them. If the windows do not allow 70% of light in, 75% for the windscreen, then there could be implications.

The regulations are there to ensure there is no obscuring of visibility, and if you are in breach of these, you may be served a prohibition notice, meaning you won’t be able to use the car until the tints have been removed. Worse still, there is the possibility of a penalty notice or even a court summons.

Ultimately, some modifications can be a great addition to a vehicle but any changes you make to a car should be treated with a level of caution.

Be sure to inform your insurance company of any changes – a policy that is invalidated is not only useless, it is against the law. You may have to be prepared to pay more for your insurance to make modifications, but as we have seen, some changes can land you with a fine, or potentially worse.