What are the considerations when taking out imported car insurance in the UK?
Taking out imported car insurance in the UK can be more complex than insuring a domestically manufactured vehicle. Here are some key considerations when looking for imported car insurance.
Top 5 tips for import car insurance:
- Type of import: Imported cars can be classified as either grey imports or parallel imports. Grey imports are vehicles not designed for the UK market, often from countries like Japan or the United States. On the other hand, parallel imports are vehicles manufactured within the European Union and designed to meet EU standards. Insuring a grey import may be more difficult and expensive than a parallel one.
- Availability of parts: Imported vehicles, especially grey imports, may have features that are harder to source. Some parts may be more expensive than those for domestic cars. This can affect the cost and availability of insurance, as insurers will consider the potential cost of repairs.
- Vehicle modifications: Imported cars may have changes or customisations not commonly found on UK vehicles. It is essential to disclose any modifications to your insurer, as they may affect the cost of your premium or even make the vehicle ineligible for coverage.
- Vehicle valuation: Insuring an imported vehicle can be more complicated due to difficulties in determining its value. An accurate valuation is essential, as it can affect the amount you will receive in case of a claim. You may want to consider getting an independent valuation from a specialist to ensure your vehicle is insured for its actual value.
- Specialist insurers: Some insurers specialize in providing coverage for imported vehicles. They may be better equipped to handle the unique considerations associated with imported cars and could offer more competitive rates or tailored policies.
5 Extras to consider:
- Security measures: Imported cars may be more attractive to thieves, especially if they are rare or high-value models. Ensuring your vehicle has robust security features such as an immobilizer, alarm, or tracking device can help lower your insurance premium.
- Driving history and experience: Your personal driving history and experience will impact the cost of your insurance, as with any vehicle. A clean driving record with no accidents or traffic violations will help lower your premium.
- Limited mileage policies: If you plan on using your imported vehicle sparingly, you may want to consider a limited mileage policy. These policies often come with lower premiums but restrict the miles you can drive annually.
- No-claims bonus: A no-claims bonus (NCB) is a discount on your insurance premium based on the years you have not made a claim. Be sure to check if your insurer will recognize any NCB earned on a different vehicle or in another country.
- Legal requirements: Ensure your imported vehicle meets UK legal requirements, such as registering the car with the DVLA, obtaining an MOT certificate, and ensuring it meets emissions standards. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to fines or even invalidate your insurance.
It is crucial to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurance providers to find the best policy for your imported car, considering coverage, cost, and customer service factors.
Is imported car insurance more expensive?
To begin with, imported car insurance tends to have a higher price than insurance for conventional, UK-sold cars.
These expensive premiums reflect that sourcing spare parts can be more complex and expensive, meaning that the repair work will be more expensive if you need to make a claim.
They also reflect the difference in build specification and other factors; notably, left-hand-drive vehicles can be more expensive as there’s an increased risk of accidents until you get used to the new position.
How can you save on import car insurance?
There are two types of imported cars: parallel imports and grey imports.
- Parallel imports are manufactured within the EU and must be built to the same standards as UK vehicles, meaning that when you compare import car insurance policies, parallel imports tend to be more affordable than grey imports.
- You’ll also find that with a grey import – typically a Japanese vehicle – your insurance firm will likely ask you to undergo the Single Vehicle Approval tests before legally driving the vehicle on UK roads.
It’s essential to remember that looking for the cheapest available policy isn’t necessarily a good idea; you still need to be sure that the policy you take out provides the cover you want.
What questions could you ask?
Asking questions before proceeding is something that will likely benefit you in finding the options to suit your needs. Here are some examples:
- Will the import car insurance provider be able to meet your requirements?
- Do they have extensive expertise on the imported car insurance that you want to insure?
These are just the questions you must ask yourself before entrusting your imported car’s insurance to any provider. Attempt to shop around and discover the provider that could give you a great deal.
Note: This Insurance comparison tool is provided for your use by SEOPA. Insuro.co.uk and novi. digital is not responsible for the contents of the comparison you receive.