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Home > Car Insurance > Car Insurance Guides > Insuring imported cars

Insuring imported cars

As importing new cars into the United Kingdom is becoming easier, increasing numbers of people are seizing the opportunity to own their favorite foreign car. The allure of imported cars lies in the exotic options these vehicles offer; for example, some high-performance cars made in Japan offer far more horsepower and enticing extras for an automotive enthusiast than the average, classic Jaguar. A variety of car import specialists are readily available to guide anyone through their next purchase.

While owning a new, imported car is now a fairly simple process, insuring it is another story that requires more research and preparation. It’s best for you to consider the cost of your insurance premiums before you buy. Get quotes from several different insurance companies to find a reasonable price to cover your new set of foreign wheels.

Why does insurance for an imported car often cost more?

Essentially, most insurance companies have greater difficulty in correctly assessing the financial risk of insuring an imported car. They must consider the potential prices of replacing imported specialty car parts and finding the right type of repair specialist for your vehicle in the unfortunate event of an accident. If your car’s manufacturer is far away and does not have a large supply of replacement parts, then your insurance premium is likely to become inflated when the insurance company estimates for a worst-case scenario. If the quality standards of your foreign vehicle do not match those throughout Europe, an insurance company may also consider you as a high-risk customer and raise your insurance rates accordingly. Finally, some insurance companies may charge more to insure your foreign car simply because they don’t have enough information about the vehicle to conduct an accurate risk assessment.

Where you import the car from makes a big difference

To minimise your expenses and insurance headaches, keep in mind that it’s a great deal easier to import cars from the European Union than from other parts of the world. Right-hand drive vehicles that you import from European countries already comply with all of the major EU automotive standards and are easier and relatively inexpensive to insure.

When you import a vehicle from outside of the European Union, you have to deal with extra paperwork to apply for an insurance quote since the vehicle has not been approved by the EU. Such vehicles may have certain driving restrictions within Britain as well, especially if the car is heavily modified. In this scenario, you are much more likely to pay higher insurance premiums than the average car owner.

Taking steps to lower the insurance premium on your imported car

First, get in touch with a local owners’ club or anyone else with experience insuring the type of car you wish to purchase. They will have the most useful information about which insurance companies provide the best value for your vehicle. Once you have found your ideal insurance agency, ask them for a list of security devices you can install in your car to help lower your premiums; not every agency will approve the same brands of car security devices. You can consider paying a higher excess so that your total premiums become more affordable in the long run, but this plan only makes sense if you don’t get into any accidents. You’re also likely to receive a no-claims-bonus discount on your car insurance for every year that you don’t make a claim. Inquire about this discount with your insurance agency and drive safely!

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