Do Alloy Wheels Affect Insurance?

Insurance prices aren’t affected by standard alloy wheels, but if you upgrade them or paint them a different color, your premiums may go up. Better alloys may enhance your chances of having your wheels stolen, which is a popular insurance claim.

Do I need to tell my insurance if I change my alloys?

As a result, if you have alloy wheels or bigger wheels or tyres on your car, you must notify your insurance company. If you have upgraded brakes or modified the suspension on your automobile, the way it handles on the road will change.

Does changing car wheels affect insurance?

Have you considered investing in a new set of alloy wheels, a high-end sound system, or a custom paint job for your vehicle? Modifying your vehicle is a terrific way to make it more personal while also improving its performance.

However, before making any adjustments, you should consult with your insurer. Insurance companies and state and territory transportation officials do not always approve of alterations. Some changes may raise your insurance premiums, while others may terminate your current coverage.

Even little modifications can drastically affect the cost of your premium, so you should familiarize yourself with the specifics of customized automobile insurance.

A modification is when you change the appearance of your car or make tweaks to increase its performance. These adjustments are often seen as modifications by insurers:

If any of these features come standard in your car, however, the insurer will not consider it a modification. To ensure that they are protected, you need still mention them on your car insurance policy.

How does modification affect my car insurance?

When determining your insurance premiums, insurance companies consider two major factors: the danger of an accident and the risk of theft. Modifications that alter your car’s performance can be risky and increase the likelihood of an accident. Simultaneously, altering the car’s appearance and making it more appealing raises the risk of car theft. Both of these events have the potential to drastically raise your insurance prices.

If you already have auto insurance, it’s a good idea to check with your insurer before making any alterations to your vehicle. If you check with them, you’ll have a better idea of whether your current insurance covers the adjustments or if you’ll need to modify or add to it to cover them.

In general, if you have the modifications done by a professional, you are more likely to receive a lower insurance quotation than if you do them yourself.

What changes does modified car insurance cover?

Not all auto insurance companies accept all changes, and the list differs from one company to the next. Most insurance cover the following modifications:

Some customized automobile insurance companies specialize in insuring vehicles that have been changed to improve performance. They accomplish this by increasing your excess, which is the amount you pay when you file a claim.

You can shop around for modified auto insurance to discover the best deal for your vehicle.

Is it possible to get low-cost car insurance for modified cars?

There are various ways to reduce your customized automobile insurance prices, just as there are with any other insurance coverage. The following list will teach you how to get cheap insurance for a modified car.

  • Instead of an agreed-upon price, If you have a modified car, you should go for market value insurance. automobile insurance that has been adjusted

Other insurance conditions to keep in mind before modifying your car

You may still have some concerns about modified auto insurance. Here are some of the most typical insurance conditions for customized vehicles.

Is my modification legal?

For you to even consider insuring your car, all modifications done to it must be lawful on the road. If you modify your vehicle in an illegal manner, you will most likely be unable to obtain insurance to cover your vehicle. If you are stopped over with unlawful modifications, the authorities may fine you, seize your vehicle, or deregister it. Young drivers on probationary licenses are not allowed to drive cars with performance enhancements, and they risk losing their license.

Does my modification need approval?

Depending on your state or territory, you may need to get official permission before making certain sophisticated adjustments. For more information, contact the local transportation department.

Does my insurer need to know about modifications made to my car?

It’s possible that you won’t be fully insured if you don’t tell your insurance about any car modifications. They may also deny your claims and possibly terminate your policy if the vehicle you’re driving no longer matches the one listed on your policy. If you fail to notify your insurer while your car is still under warranty, your warranty may be voided.

Should I opt for a modified car agreed value or market value?

When selecting on your insurance, certain insurers may give you the choice of choosing between market value and agreed value. Your policy will cover you for the current market value of your vehicle, subject to depreciation. The agreed value is the amount you and your insurer agree your car is worth, however premiums may be higher in this instance. If you’ve made considerable modifications to your car, the market value may not reflect the additional worth you’ve added. In this scenario, going with the agreed-upon price may be the better choice.

Is alloy wheels a modification?

  • Failure to notify insurers of adjustments could result in your auto insurance being canceled.
  • Car upgrades include alloy wheels, suspension, and exhaust system improvements.
  • Tow bars, roof racks, parking sensors, and tinted windows are all considered modifications by insurers.

The used car industry in the UK appears to be holding steady, with over eight million sales in 2017 and over four million so far this year*.

When buying a used car, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. Whether it’s the number of miles on the clock, the condition under the hood, or the service history, GoCompare advises drivers to look beyond the hood for modifications to avoid having their car insurance invalidated.

According to research, only 1.6 percent ** of drivers claim to have modifications on their vehicles, implying that drivers are simply not revealing any additions.

Many criteria are taken into account by insurance companies when determining the cost of automobile insurance. Any changes to your automobile that aren’t considered factory standard, including cosmetic changes like specialty painting or decals, will increase the cost of replacing it if it is damaged or stolen.

Non-standard alloy wheels (25.2 percent), exhaust system adjustments (15.1 percent), suspension changes (15.1 percent), optional extra alloy wheels (14.0 percent), tow bars (13.3 percent), and tinted windows are among the most common automotive modifications (10.7 percent ).

While altered pedal arrangement (0.4 percent), high level brake light (0.4 percent), rally lights (0.3 percent), dual controls (0.3 percent), increased performance badges (0.3 percent), and nitrous oxide kits were among the least popular automotive changes (0.1 percent ).

GoCompare auto insurance spokesperson Matt Oliver said: “While modifications may conjure up images of a bygone boy racer, it’s important to understand that insurers don’t classify body kits, exhaust systems, or suspension adjustments as modifications.

“The ordinary secondhand car buyer may discover alterations they were previously unaware of. Modifications are typically anything that isn’t normal on a car, such as alloy wheels, a satellite navigation system, or even tinted windows – so it’s always worth double-checking what the factory standard is for your type of car to prevent getting into trouble when filing a claim.

“Fewer than 2% ** of drivers report to have made changes to their vehicles, but we estimate that number to be significantly higher, possibly exposing millions of drivers to having their insurance invalidated and claims denied.

“Because different insurers have varying definitions of what constitutes a modification, it’s always a good idea to notify your insurer of any changes or additions you make to your car right away.

“Otherwise, you risk having a claim denied and your car insurance canceled, which might have long-term implications for your ability to be covered in general, not just for auto insurance.

“Shop around for the best bargain for you and your automobile, and if you’re still not sure, examine the service history for any modifications and speak with your insurance carrier.”

Louisa Marsden 01633 655132 / Anders Nilsson 01633 654054 / Martyn John 01633 654725

**All quotes between March 2018 and September 2018 were compared to the last quote per client with adjustments incorporated, according to GoCompare data.

Table data gathered from quotes between March 2018 and September 2018, based on the most recent quote per customer.

GoCompare is a website that allows users to compare the costs and features of a wide range of insurance plans, financial products, and energy tariffs.

Because GoCompare does not charge users to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, all product comparisons are completely objective. When a customer buys something through GoCompare, the producer of the product that appears on its numerous comparison services pays GoCompare a fee.

It was the first comparison site to focus on providing policy specifics rather than just listing costs when it started in 2006, with the goal of assisting individuals in making better-informed decisions when purchasing insurance. GoCompare has remained committed to assisting individuals in selecting the best products rather than the cheapest, and has partnered with Defaqto, an independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows users to compare up to an additional 30 cover attributes.

The Financial Conduct Authority has registered and regulated GoCompare, which is the only comparison website invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) (FCA).

Engine upgrades

Engine and other vehicle mechanics, such as the exhaust system, transmission, and air filter, can be modified to improve your vehicle’s performance. When a car’s engine size is increased, insurance premiums rise 70-80 percent of the time.

Engine Control Unit (ECU) remapping

An engine alteration such as the installation of an Engine Control Unit (ECU) is an example of an engine modification that can raise your insurance prices. At the factory, all cars are set up to manage the fuel-air mixture in the engine, maximizing efficiency and power. Many manufacturers set the ECU’s specifications to be considerably below the vehicle’s capabilities. Reprogramming, often known as’remapping,’ can increase engine performance and, in some cases, improve mileage.

Adding or upgrading the ECU’s chip to make the automobile more fuel efficient will marginally enhance the vehicle’s braking force. It’s possible that this will raise your premium, but only by roughly 5%.

However, remapping the ECU to achieve significantly more performance from your engine may be more expensive. As a general rule, the percentage increase in premium will be about equal to the percentage increase in horsepower.

Cold air intake – filter modification

A cold air intake not only improves the flow of air to your engine, but it also feeds it cooler, more condensed air. Cooler air is denser, allowing more oxygen to enter the combustion chamber and so increasing the power of your engine. This tweak may have a minor impact on your premium and will not raise it as much as remapping your engine completely.

Exhaust upgrades

Many drivers improve the exhaust system, which facilitates waste movement through the engine, to ease strain on the engine and yield a little boost in horsepower. This usually entails making the exhaust system larger and louder, which may raise your insurance cost.

Due to the quantity of noise they produce – usually because the exhaust silencers have been removed – many ‘large bore’ exhausts are prohibited. It is unlawful in the UK to modify an exhaust system in such a way that it makes your car noisier, and the authorities can take action if your silencer is missing or broken. If your exhaust system is illegal, you could be fined on the spot, and your car could be towed until it is brought up to code. Illegal modifications to your vehicle will, of course, void your insurance policy.

Upgraded brake discs

Drilled or slotted carbon-ceramic discs (which allow for faster cooling as air travels through the perforations) can be extremely valuable. As a result, installing them may potentially raise your premium due to the higher value of your vehicle.

Bodywork modifications

Body kits are frequently added to existing bodywork or replaced with new bodywork, putting the car’s safety at risk. For instance, a larger bumper might be added to make it look more unusual or athletic. While bumpers are designed with safety in mind, body kits are not always built to fulfill the needed safety standards, disintegrating under even the smallest of collisions.

Modifications like front and side skirts reduce ground clearance, which can be dangerous on bumpy roads. The majority of body kits are composed of fibreglass or polyurethane, which makes them more susceptible to split in the event of a collision.

In general, changes to your bodywork can raise your premium by 10-15% if you have a standard coverage. A body kit, on the other hand, is unlikely to effect your insurance price unless it significantly raises the value of your automobile if you already have a modified policy.

The following visual changes can have a similar impact on your car insurance:

The conversion of Toyota MR2s into Ferrari replicas is a common body kit modification among MR2 owners. In situations like these, the sort of insurance coverage you have may need to be changed. Before completing any work, it’s generally a good idea to check with your insurance company.

Gear short shift kits

Short shift kits are a popular modification that reduces the distance between gears for the lever. This implies faster shifts and more sporty action, but it can also make driving your automobile more challenging if you’re not used to it.

Some insurers may be concerned about this alteration because it is linked to teenage drivers and racing. However, if your car is already significantly modified, it will only boost your premium by roughly 5%-10%, if at all.

Reupholstering or replacing seats

Depending on the age and condition of your automobile, you may need to replace or reupholster your seats, or you may simply wish to add heated seats or vintage-style tuck and rolls. Whatever the cause, make sure your insurance is aware of the change.

Installing new seats or reupholstering old ones might raise the cost of a typical policy by 5-10%. However, if you already have a modified auto insurance policy, new seats are unlikely to entail any additional charges.

Custom paint jobs

Not all popular cosmetic alterations to your car are permitted. Modifications to the outside include, but are not limited to:

Many people are startled to learn that insurance companies consider unique paint jobs, decals, and stickers to be modifications. As a result, some consumers are surprised when they try to file a claim and find out their insurance is invalid because they didn’t reveal their bumper sticker collection or racing stripes.

Insurance companies may or may not cover stickers and custom paint jobs, depending on previous claims. If the company has had to pay out a lot of money for automobiles with these kinds of changes in the past, they may be hesitant to do so for other drivers. Insurers that do provide coverage are only likely to raise your premiums by 5% at most.

Alloy wheels

Alloy wheels are significantly stronger and lighter than steel wheels of the same size, improving vehicle handling. This is because the suspension will have to deal with less weight and there will be less resistance when steering. Alloy wheels are frequently bought at the time of purchase for new vehicles, but they can also be added as an aftermarket upgrade.

If your neighborhood has a history of alloy wheel theft, your insurer may raise your rate.

Does a sunroof increase the cost of my insurance?

Because sunroofs and moon roofs are frequently an optional (and more expensive) feature, insuring a car with one typically costs a little more than insuring the same make and model without one. Another factor that influences the cost of insurance is the safety features of your vehicle and how well it performs in a collision. Because sunroofs and moon roofs are constructed of glass, they are more likely to shatter or break in an accident, therefore insuring them can be more expensive.

How do sunroofs perform in a rollover crash?

The greatest way to avoid a rollover accident is to avoid driving while distracted. The second requirement is a sturdy roof. In a rollover incident, two types of sunroofs operate differently:

  • Because practically the entire roof is glass, panoramic roofs do not fare well in rollovers. The glass could shatter or be damaged in a collision, but the biggest issue is that anyone not wearing a seatbelt could be flung out of the vehicle and through the broken sunroof.
  • Because the window aperture is smaller than that of panoramic roofs, pop-up or embedded roofs fare better in rollover crashes than panoramic roofs. Furthermore, much of the roof is still the vehicle’s solid framework and is reinforced by structural roof bows, providing a stronger barrier in the event of a rollover.

Rollover collisions are uncommon, but fatal. Rollovers account for fewer than 1% of all incidents, but nearly a third of all fatalities, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Is it true that sunroofs can spontaneously shatter or explode?

Surprisingly, this one is correct (albeit rare). A total of 859 complaints regarding spontaneously exploding sunroofs were recorded by Consumer Reports. There are 35 automakers represented on the list, with 208 different car models. Despite the fact that the occurrences date back to 1995, more than 70% of them happened after 2011. While a spontaneously shattering sunroof is far less common than a tire blowout, it nonetheless offers a significant safety risk.

What can go wrong with my sunroof?

This one goes in the “obvious but true” category: Glass is a delicate material. Glass can break, crack, or leak no matter where it is on your car or how wonderful the views are. As a result, the more glass on your vehicle, the more likely you are to submit a glass claim with your insurance company.

  • Glass claims are fairly common due to chips or cracks. According to the HLDI, they account for around two-thirds of all comprehensive claims. (Comprehensive insurance covers you for anything other than a car accident.) Glass claims have become more expensive over the last five years. According to the HLDI, the average cost of settling a glass claim in 2018 is $350, which is $75 more than the average cost in 2010.

Other prevalent types of damage from sun roofs, moon roofs, and panoramic roofs, according to Harold Singh, material damage claims quality control manager at Erie Insurance.

  • Water leaks can occur for a variety of causes, including poor seals, improper installation, or simple blockages. Drainage channels in a typical sunroof allow water to flow away from the sunroof. Debris, such as dirt or tree pollen, might clog the sunroof’s attached drain tubes, allowing rainwater to pour into the cabin.

Note: Consult an insurance specialist, such as an ERIE agent, to learn what damage is – and isn’t – covered in the event of a sunroof leak. Clogged drains are usually considered normal wear and tear, so your motor insurance may not cover the cost of repair.

  • Collisions: Even minor collisions can result in shattered glass… and sunroofs. “When the airbags are activated, the pressure within the vehicle is often high enough to detach the sunroof,” Singh adds. “The tempered glass on the windows is also brittle, shattering into hundreds of little pieces and opening up the roof, posing a danger if the occupants aren’t wearing seatbelts.”

Does changing exhaust affect insurance?

  • Engine – altering the engine’s performance can substantially enhance a vehicle’s speed and, in the perspective of an insurance provider, turn it into a completely different vehicle.
  • Larger wheels and gleaming alloys might detract from handling and make your automobile a target for thieves. When replacing tyres, try to utilize those recommended by the car manufacturer.
  • Tinted windows – as long as they’re within legal limitations, changing your windows shouldn’t have a significant impact on your insurance. Some insurance companies view the enhanced privacy to be a crime deterrent.
  • Stickers – even a sticker might be considered a change. Her insurance provider informed a reverend in Wales that the religious words she sprayed on her car could void her policy.
  • Anything that raises the value of a vehicle, such as bodywork, must be declared as soon as it is installed. Changing the car’s body can have an impact on its aerodynamics and safety in the case of a collision.
  • Spoilers – when traveling at high speeds, a decent spoiler will improve handling. However, it also raises the likelihood of speeding. If you do decide to install a new spoiler, make sure it doesn’t block the view out the back window and that it’s properly installed by a skilled mechanic.
  • Parking sensors are intended to reduce the danger of tiny bumps, which are responsible for the great majority of claims. This type of adjustment could make you appear to be a cautious driver, which could lower your insurance rates.
  • Exhaust – modifying the exhaust system could improve the car’s performance. Any alterations to the original performance can affect your car’s speed, which insurance companies consider a risk.

Wheelchair ramps and lifts, as well as changed foot pedals, hand controls, and steering assistance, can be installed in some vehicles to make them more accessible to drivers with disabilities.

Is it illegal to not declare modifications?

If you don’t declare changes to an existing plan, your insurance will be worthless. If it is not declared at the time of application, you will be committing fraud because you willfully gave inaccurate information.

At the time of application, or even if you phone to inform them of the modifications, some insurance firms will flatly refuse to insure modified automobiles. Before discussing with the insurance company, never make any modifications to the car.

Your insurance becomes void not when you are charged by a law enforcement authority like the DVLA or the police, but when the modification is done. This suggests you’ve paid for something that’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

Driving without insurance is illegal and can result in a £300 fine and 6 points on your license at the absolute least; however, you could face a much larger fine, as well as being prohibited from driving and having your car seized.

Does having a subwoofer increase car insurance?

Installing a new stereo and sound system on its own will not invalidate your auto insurance, but failing to notify your insurer will.

Before purchasing an audio system, it is prudent to consult with your insurance provider. They’ll be able to tell you how much your premium will be affected. It could be anywhere from 10% to 15%.

In some cases, an insurance company will decline to cover the additional equipment. In that scenario, you should reconsider your purchase or look for someone else who can give the coverage you require.

Do you have to declare stickers on your car?

Installing a roof rack or putting stickers on your car’s doors may appear to be simple tasks, but these are not “Insurers may be alarmed by “modifications.”

“Some insurers are wary of the word’modifications,'” explains Ian Crowder of the AA. Any changes you make to your vehicle could be perceived as increasing its worth or increasing its potential theft risk, so your insurance may want those changes documented on your policy and may potentially raise your rate as a result.

The problem was brought to the attention of the public earlier this month when the Rev. Wena Parry, 75, was informed that stickers bearing the words “Christ Must Be Saviour” and “Christ For Me” could be considered “modifications,” and her insurance coverage could be voided.

According to a Direct Line spokesman, modifications come into two categories: “power related” and “cosmetic.” Changing the engine size or adding alloy wheels may seem like obvious power-related alterations that should be reported to your insurer, but when it comes to cosmetic adjustments, there is a gray area. Changes in appearance can range from minor to major “Crowder recommends “stickers and slogans to tinted windows, parking sensors, tow-bars, and spoilers.”

Insurers, on the other hand, make their own rules. Stickers on a car would be considered a cosmetic alteration at Direct Line and would be judged accordingly “Other insurers, such as LV=, claim that stickers do not count. If you don’t declare it, even a simple roof rack may be subject to your insurer’s fury. It’s only one of a lengthy list of improvements that the Post Office, for example, will want to know about, including interior upholstery, parking sensors, tow-bars, stickers, badges, and murals.

While switching insurers can save money, keep in mind that their policies on modifications may differ. “Just because your previous insurance approved of whatever alterations you made to your vehicle, doesn’t indicate your next one will,” Oliver explains.

Insurance applications are subject to rejection “While only around a fifth of applications are likely to be rejected, Crowder estimates that roughly half of those that are will require revisions.

Is it true that putting a sticker on the windscreen to promote your local radio station counts as a modification, and you need call your insurer every time you do so?

According to Crowder, “It shouldn’t make a difference if you have a National Trust membership sticker or a ‘baby on board’ sticker.” Nonetheless, it’s worth a look.

If you’re thinking of making alterations to your car, don’t just assume everything is fine. In Direct Line’s automobile policy, there’s a small print that says: “You must inform us of the changes you want to make and acquire our permission before implementing them.”

The same is true for Admiral, which requires customers to notify it before making any changes to their vehicle, including aesthetic changes and resprays.

If you proceed without the firm’s permission, the company may be able to cancel your insurance coverage, so always ask before making any changes.

You could save money if you’re organized enough to make any adjustments at policy renewal, as most insurers charge a cost for doing so “According to Pratt, mid-term modification fees can range from £25 to £30.

Even if the premium keeps the same, relatively slight changes could be costly in terms of administrative fees (if your insurer determines they should be recorded on your policy). If you notify your insurer of any impending modification changes when renewing your policy, the additional admin cost may be waived.

Also, make sure your insurance covers you for commercial purposes if you have bumper stickers, vinyl wraps, or murals on your vehicle to promote your business.

Does wrapping a car affect insurance UK?

If the previous response leaves you perplexed as to why they’d want to know about any car changes, there are a few basic things to consider, which we’ll go over briefly here:

Accident damage

Insurance companies, in particular, might be picky about any changes or modifications you make to your vehicle because they may affect your annual rate. Consider the following scenario: you’re in an accident and your bodywork/vinyl wrap is damaged. If you don’t tell them you spent a lot of money getting your car wrapped and then try to get reimbursed for the expense of having it replaced, they’ll probably look at you funny and refuse to pay.

Void/discontinued insurance policy

To make matters worse, they may claim that your insurance coverage is void since you failed to inform them of the wrap in the first place. When you don’t have to, why risk giving them a reason to void the policy? Some insurance firms may refuse to renew your policy once you notify them that it has been wrapped. They’ll normally regard car wrapping as a cosmetic change or’modification’ to the vehicle, and some (albeit infrequently) will refuse to continue to cover the vehicle, rendering your policy useless. If this is the case, you will have no choice but to find a new insurance carrier to cover the vehicle.

However, many insurers are more accommodating, considering a car wrap to be a temporary alteration that can be quickly removed if necessary. As a result, you may find that your premium does not increase at all. It’s also worth noting that if you’ve hired us to wrap your car, we recommend contacting your insurance company before we start so you don’t end up with any unpleasant surprises afterwards. This will also allow you some time to look around and find an insurer with less stringent insurance terms.

Car modification legalities & the law

Let’s start with a simple scenario: your car has been taken from outside your home, and you need to contact the authorities. Once the police obtain the car’s registration number, the crucial color of the vehicle will be noted on their system based on the information registered with the DVLA. It’s especially likely that if your car is suddenly wrapped in metallic blue despite the fact that the DVLA has it listed as red, they’ll be looking for the wrong vehicle.

The same thing happens if your automobile is stolen and subsequently utilized in a crime, such as when the criminals fill it up with gas and drive off without paying. The fact that the vehicle’s recorded color does not match its actual color will irritate the cops. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, you should also advise the police of the vehicle’s original color, as a car thief may attempt to camouflage the vehicle by removing all or part of the wrap.

The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed the term “must” on this page of the website on making changes to a car… “You must amend the details on your registration certificate (V5C),” it adds. ‘Must,’ not’may,’ or ‘can.’ The website specifically lists color change as one of the things they’ll need to be aware of. Don’t be scared; it’s a straightforward procedure that you can check off your ‘to do’ list after it’s completed.


If you’re covering your automobile, notify the DVLA as soon as you’re finished. You should also notify your insurance company ahead of time of your plans so that you can ensure that your policy will be valid.

About us

When we’re not swatting down topics like this, we’re busy delivering a variety of car customization services, like as full or partial PPFs, bespoke graphics and signwriting, and one of our favorite chores, Kent car detailing.