Performance car insurance

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What is performance car insurance?

Cars come in all shapes and sizes, from small city cars to sporty hatchbacks, sensible family cars and executive saloons. If you want a bit of an adrenaline rush and to make a statement with your car though, then you might be thinking of opting for a high performance car.

However, insurance cover for performance cars does not come cheap – so it’s important for you to do your research and make sure you not only get the best deal, but also get the levels of cover you need.

Performance car insurance is more expensive than the premiums for other cars because insurers see them as a higher risk. Not only do they have much more powerful engines that allow them to reach high speeds quickly, high performance cars can also be more of a target for thieves and vandals.

As well as more powerful cars being seen as more likely to be involved in accidents, and flashy performance cars being a bigger target for thieves, insurance companies also factor in the potential cost of repairs when calculating their premium costs.

If a high performance car is damaged, the repair costs are likely to much more expensive than an ordinary car – with spare parts costing more and the actual repair job probably requiring specialist labour.

Insurance companies therefore view owners of performance cars to be more likely to claim on their policy, and when they do claim the cost is likely to be expensive – subsequently car insurance premiums will be higher.

It is therefore important to familiarise yourself with how insurance companies calculate insurance premiums before you take the plunge and buy that expensive performance car you’ve got your eye on.

Car insurance premiums are calculated using a wide range of different factors, which take into account things like your age, gender, address and driving history (e.g. how long you’ve had a licence, how many points on your licence, how many years of No Claims you have etc…)

As well as all of these factors, insurers also place vehicles into 50 car insurance groups – with cars that fit into the higher groups costing more to insure than those in the lower groups. The insurance group a car is classified under depends on the size of its engine, its acceleration rate, the top speed it can reach and the cost of repairs.

So, cars with small and less powerful engines will be listed in the lower car insurance groups and will cost less to insure than those with powerful engines.

As performance cars will generally fit into the higher insurance groups, they are among the most expensive cars to insure.

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What cars are classed as ‘performance cars’?

In general terms a performance car is one that has been designed and manufactured specifically for speed. Performance cars are therefore designed with not only a powerful engine, but also the specialist handling and braking systems that are needed to control the powerful engine.

When we think about performance cars, our minds naturally turn to flashy sports cars. However, you may be surprised to learn that performance car insurance is not just limited to Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, Porsche’s and Bentley’s.

For instance, if you buy an imported car from Japan then it may require performance car insurance. Many Japanese car models are built to a higher specification than those built in the UK or EU, which can lead them to being placed into the ‘high performance’ category.

Similarly if your car has been modified in certain ways you may find it requires a more specialist insurance policy to correspond with its new status. Find out more at our modified car insurance page.

When it comes to performance car insurance, it pays to know exactly what cover your vehicle requires. If you are spending a lot of money on an expensive car, it doesn’t always work out to simply choose the cheapest cover options available.

Performance car insurance for young drivers

Performance cars appeal to drivers of all ages, including young drivers.

The problem for young drivers is that they already have to pay the most expensive car insurance premiums after they pass their test.

This is because insurance companies view young drivers as a higher risk of making a claim, due in most part to their relative inexperience behind the wheel.

Insurance premiums are often calculated using algorithms that respond to statistics, and insurers know that the statistics show more young and new drivers make a claim. Also, the claims made by young drivers are statistically bigger because they involve more high speed collisions and often include a high number of passengers.

It should come as no surprise then that the cost of performance car insurance for young drivers can be very expensive. However, there are some specialist car insurers that have recognised this problem and offer deals for young drivers with performance cars. There are usually caveats to these offers – for example, young drivers have to have two years experience before being applicable – but at least there are options out there.

There are also other things you can do to reduce the cost of insurance…

How to reduce the cost of performance car insurance

Like all car insurance products, there are things you can do yourself to help reduce the cost of performance car premiums.

If you are a young driver, you could significantly reduce the cost of car insurance by taking a Pass Plus course. This is an advanced driving course and covers things like night-time driving, motorway driving and rush hour driving.

It’s not guaranteed that a Pass Plus qualification will reduce the cost of insurance, but it does show insurers that you are serious about driving safely and are not quite as inexperienced as your age may suggest.

Another proven way to help reduce the cost of insurance is to add a more experienced driver on your policy as a named driver. Many new and young drivers can benefit by putting one of their parents on the policy as a named driver, which can reduce the annual cost of the premium as the insurance company will assume that at least some of the driving duties are being shared by a more experienced driver.

If you are the main driver of the vehicle though, it is important that you identify yourself as that when taking out the policy. If a parent takes out a policy and adds you as a named driver, when in reality you are the main driver you could come unstuck when it comes to making a claim. Naming someone else as the main driver on your policy is known as ‘fronting’, and is actually illegal so it will invalidate your policy if it is discovered – which is not recommended if you have to make a claim on your very expensive performance car.

As the high-risk of theft of performance cars is one of the factors causing insurers to offer high premiums, it makes sense that the more security features and anti-theft devices you add to your car the cheaper your insurance will be.

Security features like car alarms and immobilisers can help reduce the insurance premiums simply because these make it less likely to be stolen.

Top 10 most popular performance cars

Here we list the ten most popular performance cars that are insured for UK roads…

  • Nissan Skyline R32, R33, R34
  • BMW M3, M5, Alpina, Hartge
  • Toyota Supra
  • Audi S3, RS4, RS6
  • VW Golf R32
  • Honda S2000
  • Mitsubishi Evolution
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Nissan 200SX S13, S14, S14a, S15 (Silvia)
  • Honda Integra Type R

The most common brands of performance car on UK roads are: Porsche, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Maserati:

Most popular Porsche models

  • Boxster
  • Cayman
  • 911 Carrera
  • 911 Targa
  • 911 Turbo (including the S exclusive GB edition)
  • 911 GT3 (and the make of the outstanding GT3 RS)
  • 918 Spyder (two versions created of which are both hybrid)
  • Panamera
  • Macan
  • Cayenne (including the Turbo and GTS)

Most popular Aston Martin models

  • Vantage V12
  • Vanquish
  • DB9
  • DBS

Most popular Bentley models

  • Continental GT
  • Brooklands
  • Mulsanne
  • Flying Spur V8

Most popular Rolls Royce models

  • Phantom
  • Ghost
  • Wraith

Most popular Maserati models

  • Ghibli – 330 HP
  • Quattroporte S – 410 HP
  • GranTurismo – 405 HP
  • GranCabrio – 450 HP


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