Competition car insurance
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What is competition car insurance?
The idea of driving a competition car on the roads may not seem natural to a lot of us, but there is a rising number of track cars that are road-legal and equipped with features like harnesses, roll cages and bucket seats.
You may think motorsport is all big money with sponsorship deals and weekend-long TV coverage, but in the real world of amateur motorsport things are a bit different.
Events such as rallycross and open track days don’t necessarily provide racers with the funds to transport their race cars there and back again – so they have to drive them to the event.
Most people think that competition cars can’t be insured to drive on UK roads, but that is no longer the case. There are now a growing number of specialist competition car insurance policies available which offer unique cover options specific to race and road-ready cars.
What events can I get competition car insurance for?
As well as insuring your competition car for road-use, you can also get specialist insurance to cover the vehicle while it is racing. Cover can be obtained for activities like:
- Track / circuit racing
- Stage rallies
- Road rallying
- Hill climbs
As you can probably imagine, the cost of premiums for competition cars can be quite high if you want to cover the vehicle while racing.
The cost will depend on the type of car you have, what race activities you use it for and how often you use it in competition.
What does competition car insurance cover?
Normal ‘high street’ car insurance companies may not be able to provide the adequate cover for your competition car, but there are several specialist insurers who can offer cover including:
Track day cover
Policies typically have a set amount of track days / competition days that you can be covered for over the year, or you can buy one-off or temporary cover for individual events.
If you drive your competition car on UK roads, then it is a legal requirement that you have at least third party car insurance. For expensive and custom built competition cars it is recommended that you have a comprehensive car insurance policy.
Even if your car is heavily modified for high performance, as long as it is road legal it can be insured.
Tools and spare parts
A lot of racers require specialist tools and spare parts to tune up their competition cars and convert them from road-legal to race-ready.
Some specialist competition car insurers can offer policy extras to cover this equipment and protect it against loss or theft.
Competition car insurance – what you need to know…
When you are thinking about building or buying a competition car, and looking for insurance to get in on the road as well as track day insurance, there are few things you need to consider…
Of course, how you build and/or modify your competition car is completely down to you and how you want it to perform on track days. However, it is also down to you to make sure the parts you use and changes you make are approved for driving the car on the road.
Your insurance could be invalid if you use parts that are designed only for competition use while you are on the road. So be careful and be sure to check your insurance documents before making any changes. If you are still unsure then we recommend getting in touch with your insurer directly before making any modifications that could invalidate your insurance.
For example, some tyres that are designed for use on the track may appear to be road legal, but if they have not been officially approved to be used on the roads then you could be in trouble.
Similarly, certain suspension parts may not be deemed safe for use on the road.
If you are building your competition car our advice is to make a note of everything that you are adding, upgrading or changing on the car – which includes mechanical aspects as well as exterior things like spoilers and the interior (seatbelts, bucket seats, gear stick etc…)
This is important as your insurance company is likely to be extra officious when it comes to you making a claim, and will want you to have declared every modification you have made to the car – otherwise your policy could be void.
While you can get insurance for your road-going competition car, the cover options you are offered are typically more limited than the more standard car insurance.
Some policies will only provide cover for the day of the competition, for instance, so you are covered for journeys to and from the track or event, but not for everyday road use.
Other insurers may extend that to cover you for some personal use away from track days, although this will likely come with mileage limits and will not include your daily commute.
Because there are so many different options available when it comes to using your track car on the road, it is essential that you do your research and compare policies so you get the best cover for your needs. If you have to make a claim on your policy it will likely be heavily investigated – due to the type of vehicle – so it’s not worth the risk of getting a cheaper policy that doesn’t provide the cover you need.
Track day insurance
It may seem obvious but it’s worth pointing out that when you set up your policy you need to state to your insurer that the vehicle is a competition car and will be used in racing competitions.
You don’t have to be covered to race your car, as it is not a legal requirement, so track day insurance is purely your own personal choice.
This is an important point because if you do not make it clear that you want track day insurance the insurer may assume that you only want to cover your competition car for limited road use.
On the other hand, there are some insurers that only offer cover for track days and do not deal with cover for normal road use – so be sure to check before you commit yourself.
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