Kit car insurance
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Learn how to save money on your car insurance with our special guide...
Why you need kit car insurance
Finding the right insurance cover for your kit car can be challenging, so it’s important you know all the ins and outs before you look for the perfect policy.
Kit cars or component cars are constructed by you, and made with a lot of love, care and attention to detail. Some can take years to complete and be built to the exact specification you desire.
Whether your kit car is built out of nostalgia for a particular classic car, or you want a high performance car, unique cars often require a unique approach to insurance.
Thankfully, there are a growing number of specialist kit car insurance companies who can offer bespoke policy options to suit your individual kit car needs – whatever they may be.
Kit cars require their own unique car insurance because they come with their own risks and expenses not associated with normal road cars, and a slightly different approach to insurance premium calculations as they do not fall into the traditional car insurance groups.
Kit car insurance policies have a lot of different features compared to traditional car insurance cover options – and often include elements that kit car enthusiasts did not realise required insurance cover.
Building a kit or component car yourself at home can also impact your home insurance, especially if you are using expensive and/or specialist tools for the construction. It is therefore well worth reviewing your home insurance policy and making sure you have the adequate cover in place in case something were to happen to your tools. It is also recommended that you contact your home insurer to list the items in your tool box so that there will be no problems if you do have to make a claim.
What is included in kit car insurance?
The first aspect of kit car insurance that makes it different from normal vehicle insurance is that you actually require cover before the car has been built.
This is known as build-up insurance, and can cover the component parts of your kit car against fire, theft and accidental damage.
Kit car parts can be very expensive and are highly valuable, so protecting your investment as soon as possible is essential to make sure you are not left out of pocket.
Another area to consider is goods-in-transit cover, which offers protection for your kit car components when they are either being delivered to you or you are picking them up. This is generally offered as an additional extra to your build-up policy and can be well worth the extra expense for the peace of mind it brings.
When it comes to actually insuring your kit car once it has been built, you first need to agree a valuation of what the vehicle is worth. Usually insurers will value a car based on its current market value, but with kit cars this is not always possible as they are built to a unique specification. There is the risk that the car can be undervalued, so it is important to do your homework and even consult with specialist third party valuers before agreeing a value with the insurance company.
As kit cars tend to retain their value more than normal cars, the ‘sum insured’ will be the agreed value – so that is what you would be paid in the event of a total loss (write-off).
Registering a kit car for the road
As well as agreeing the value of the car, it is also essential that your kit car is registered and is eligible for driving on UK roads. It is a legal requirement that all kit cars are examined by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and pass an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). See a list of UK test centre’s here
Without this, you will not be able to get an insurance quote and the vehicle will not be road legal, so it is a process you have to go through. During the process you may be asked to provide evidence of the construction process of the car and list the parts used to make it. You may even need to supply photographs of the different stages of construction – which is worth bearing in mind when you are building your kit car.
You also need to consider insurance for when you are transporting your car to the test centre – which is another reason a goods-in-transit policy extra is well recommended.
Now your new kit car has been built, inspected, approved and registered, you can start thinking about the type of insurance cover you will need.
To get kit car insurance quotes you will need the usual information you require when getting normal car insurance quotes e.g. your personal details (age, address, driving history etc.), details about where the vehicle will be kept (garage/driveway etc.), information on how it will be used (commuting, leisure, business etc.) and so on. As well as this, you will also need to provide details of the type of engine the kit car has and the body type.
How much does kit car insurance cost?
Due to the unique nature of kit cars, it’s not possible to give an accurate estimate of the premium price – however, it is worth noting that kit car insurance can sometimes be cheaper than normal car insurance.
This is because car insurers recognise that kit car owners have taken a lot of time and attention in building their car, and are likely to take a lot of pride in it – which means keeping it well maintained and secure. It is also likely that you will drive your kit car less than a normal ‘run-around’, and so they provide discounts for limited mileage.
All of this means that, although your kit car may be quite expensive in terms of the value, you are deemed a lower risk of making a claim.
How to reduce the cost of kit car insurance…
As with all forms of car insurance, there are actions you can take to make your kit car insurance policy as cheap as possible. These include:
Build the car yourself
Although many kit car owners would build the car themselves, there are those who prefer to pay a third party to do the construction.
You may think this is the ‘safer’ option and would get cheaper insurance as a result, but often the opposite is the case. Insurers are likely to view a kit car owner who put the time and effort into building the car and getting approved and registered as a lower risk.
Join a kit car owners club
A lot of the specialist kit car insurance providers will take your membership of a club as evidence that you are serious about your kit car and are less likely to drive it dangerously.
Parking your kit car in a covered and secure garage is likely to result in cheaper premiums than if it is just parked on the street. Due to the high value of many kit cars, they can be a target for thieves, and even minor repairs following a scrape from a passing vehicle could result in an expensive claim.
In general, car insurance companies will view the less time spent on the road as a lower risk of making a claim. In terms of kit cars, these tend to be only driven sporadically e.g. at weekends, so specialist kit car insurers can offer discounts for low mileage. However, you should always be as accurate as possible when it comes to estimating your annual mileage on your quote as you could end up voiding your policy when it comes to making a claim.
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