Import Car Insurance

In the past, it was considered far too costly to have a car shipped into the UK from another country – for the typical car buyer, at least. These days, with new technology and changes in shipping methods, having a foreign car imported is quite easy and affordable. Purchasing import car insurance is a different matter, though. If you are thinking about having a car imported, it might be worth looking at what goes into insuring it, first.

The Difference Between Imports and Grey Imports

A typical import car is brought into the country through official channels, usually by its manufacturer. A grey import, however, is brought in via channels not connected to a marketer’s system or the car’s manufacturer distributors. It is important to know, though, that grey imports are not imported in an illegal manner. Any car that is legitimately a grey import has been brought into the country legally. Grey imports are usually used car models, which makes them unsuitable to be brought through the same import channels that bring right-off-the-assembly-line cars in. This is excellent for consumers because it means that they can buy a high quality import at much less expense than would be gone to for a new car. Unfortunately, it can be harder to find car insurance for grey imports because standard policies do not cover them. Most of the grey imports that come in are from mainland Europe, American, or Japanese. Grey imports are usually left hand drivers. This makes them non-standard to the UK. It also makes finding an insurance company that will provide grey import coverage important. Import car insurance is made just for these vehicles.

Requirements for Import Cars

A large portion of the imports brought into the UK are Japanese vehicles that have not met the emission and safety requirements that have been set by the European Type Approval. If you are buying an import, it will have to meet emissions requirements. The speedometer will also have to display speed in miles per hour. If the requirements are not met for a grey import’s condition, you may not be able to find an insurance company willing to cover you. Cars can be shipped in as personal imports, though. This is a method that is commonly employed by importers to get around the UK’s 50 model quota. While a car that is brought in this way does not necessarily have to adhere to the strict approval requirements, it will have to pass the pounds 165 Single Vehicle Approval test.

Import Car Insurance

Imported cars typically have more expensive and harder to find replacement components and higher specifications than domestic cars do. This means that standard insurance coverage will not provide for the amount of coverage that is needed for costly repairs. Import insurance is made specifically to account for the needs of imported vehicles, and while it is technically a form of specialist insurance, it does not have to cost you a great deal more than any other policy. Many providers offer import car insurance that is cheap while still covering your car sufficiently, coming in a variety of choices made to cover many different import models.

Safety Features for Imports

Even if your imported car does not already come with a wide array of safety features, you can have some installed and bring your monthly insurance premiums down at the same time. Installing safety features can potentially save you thousands of pounds each year because they mean that your car is at a significantly lower risk of being stolen. A car alarm is almost standard these days, but if it is not included in your import when you receive the car, it would be a good idea to have one installed. Having a lockdown device installed will keep any would-be thieves inside the car and unable to escape until the authorities arrive and an immobiliser shuts systems down when a thief attempts to hotwire or force the ignition. Though these features do cost a bit upon installation, they can pay for themselves not only in keeping your car safe but in the money that is discounted off of your insurance premiums each month.

Defensive Driving

Taking a defensive driving class can help to lower your monthly premiums, too. These courses teach more than your typical teenage driver’s education classes do – they instruct people in staying aware of their surroundings and the behaviour of other drivers on the road, how to handle dangerous situations as they emerge, and how to navigate the roads in inclement weather. Insurance companies find that people who take advanced driving courses such as this to be a lower risk.

Insurance Comparison Sites for Your Import

The best way to find great coverage under a great price is still comparison sites. By utilising online car insurance comparison websites, you can compare between dozens of policy providers to find quotes that will fit into your budget while still covering everything that your import needs. Even if you wish to buy a policy from an agent face to face, these sites can provide you with a good estimate of what you could expect out of different policies.