Classic misunderstandings of modifications

Modifications to classic cars can have influence insurance premiums – Heritage Car Insurance has delved deeper to find out which ones can hit drivers in the pocket, and by how much.

It’s put forward ‘John’ as a case study. He owns a £4,000 1979 Ford Escort 1.3 Mk2. It’s a classic which does less than 3000 miles a year and it’s kept in a garage overnight. John has never made a claim, had an accident or been criminally convicted. His premium is £85.23 with a compulsory excess of £100.

Here’s how Heritage’s top five modifications would affect his premiums:

RE-SPRAY: This is one of the few aesthetic modifications that affects insurance costs as it could raise the value of your classic car; an expensive, high quality re-spray could increase the value by a couple of thousand pounds, so in turn the risk of theft and repair costs will be higher to the insurer. With the re-spray John’s premium would now be £90.70 with a compulsory excess of £150.

RE-MAPPING/ENGINE CONTROL UNIT (ECU) UPGRADE: As newer cars move into the classic car realm, more and more vehicles are fitted with some sort of computerised control. Upgrading or remapping them to increase performance could result in slightly higher premiums. After remapping or an ECU upgrade, John’s premium would increase to £90.70 with a compulsory excess of £150.

ENGINE REPLACEMENT: Many classic car owners replace their classic’s engine with a higher powered alternative if they’re looking for more torque or speed. John would see his premium increased to £97.27 with a compulsory excess of £150 with an engine replacement.

STAGE 1 MODIFICATIONS: This is a collection of mods to improve the overall performance of your car and includes things like exhausts, fuel pressure regulators and blow off valves. Stage 1 Modifications will see John’s premium increase to £103.84 with a compulsory excess of £150.

STAGE 2 MODIFICATIONS: This relates to mods for larger power gains and will include fuelling modifications and some engine strengthening and dismantling. Stage 2 Modifications will see John’s premium increase to £159.70 with a compulsory excess of £150.

Heritage Classic Car Insurance managing partner Mark Wilkinson said, ‘Your standard, everyday insurer will see a modified vehicle as a much higher risk, compared with the majority of vehicles on their books, so they will increase the price of your premium. In comparison, classic car insurers like Heritage are used to insuring specialist vehicles and we can keep any price increases to a more palatable minimum.’

You can visit Heritage Car Insurance’s website here.