UK drivers with modified cars risk being denied insurance payout - study

Modifying a car may impact insurance premium, adding an average £95 to car owners’ insurance; yet 45% of UK drivers have not notified their insurer of the modifications, risking being denied a payout if they make a claim, according to new MoneySuperMarket research.

The study found that 28% of people with modified cars have been in an accident during the past five years, compared to 22% of those who haven’t made any changes to their vehicle. The most popular alterations include tow bars (20%), alloy wheels (15%), and fitting parking sensors (9%).

“While we generally think of modifications as loud exhausts and body kits, something as small as getting a parking sensor installed can count as a modification, so it’s worth notifying your insurer whenever you make any change to your vehicle,” said Tom Flack, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket. “Different insurers have alternative views on what constitutes a modification, so it’s worth taking the time to check if any changes you make will impact your policy. If in doubt, talk to your insurer. While your car insurance may go up as a result of a modification, you don’t have to accept the price and stay with your current insurer. By shopping around, you could easily find a cheaper deal with a different insurer and save yourself up to £222 in the process.”

Data also revealed that 50% of UK drivers associate modified cars with “boy racers,” 42% think the drivers are attention seekers, and 21% said they’re “compensating for something.”

Meanwhile, the most hated modifications include loud exhausts (64%), altered suspensions (28%), spoilers (25%), brash paint jobs (23%), loud sound systems (23%), and big bumpers (19%).