Import car insurance

The market for importing cars has been growing over recent years with more and more drivers deciding to buy a car overseas. The decision to import a vehicle rather than buy domestic can be for many reasons, such as a higher specification or a cheap alternative compared to its domestic counterpart; the desire to own a left-hand drive car or simply because a model isn’t available in the UK. The main issue when it comes to buying an import car is securing insurance, as many providers don’t offer import car insurance. Although there are some providers that will offer cover, the chance to compare can become limited and many drivers fear higher costs. However, with the right measures taken, good import car insurance can be found.

The cost

Although the average cost for an insurance policy for a driver over the age of 25 is £924, import car insurance can often be higher for a few reasons. Firstly, as many imported vehicles are higher end models with more powerful engines, many insurance providers deem the risk of an accident or collision higher, and raise premiums accordingly. Secondly, in the event of a claim, any parts required to return the car to driving condition can be harder to find and harder to fit. Some imported vehicles are also not built to European standards or are left hand drive (which can affect a driver’s perception of the road); an insurance company will often reflect these facts in the price of its quotes.

Avoiding the cost

When considering whether or not to buy an import car, research the difference in insurance costs between the imported vehicle and its UK counterpart. If the difference is substantial, i.e. more than the amount saved from buying an import, perhaps it would be better to stick with the domestic version and pay the difference initially to save money in the long term.

Import cars, specifically those from Japan, are often bought for the purpose of modification, or for the modifications the car already has. Many modifications will bump the cost of an insurance premium, so be sure to check what effects any modifications will have on the policy. Conversely, there are several modifications such as an immobiliser or a better alarm system that can shave precious pounds off the cost of a premium.

While import car insurance has its differences when compared to a typical insurance policy, there are several factors that they share which can affect the quote such as how high the performance the vehicle is, where the car is kept overnight (in a secure garage or on the street etc.), how much of a no claims bonus a driver has and how high an excess a driver is willing to pay in the event of a claim. Using a combination of these factors can result in a discount, so ensure that every factor is taken into consideration.

And just like an insurance policy for a typical, domestic car, the key to finding the best insurance policy is by research. Car insurance comparison is easier now than ever, particularly online. With just a little bit of time dedicated to finding the best policy, an imported car can reap all the benefits intended.

Considering whether or not to buy an imported car to save money can be a great idea; however, with insurance costs for imported cars typically higher, it can run the risk of negating any initial saving on the purchase. Here is a look at why import car insurance is higher and what steps can be taken to make sure the costs are low as possible.