You may not be on the right side of a Drive-Thru, but that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing the luxury of a classic American car. Swap California for Cornwall, and you’re on your way to living the American dream!
The joy of cruising in a classic or modern American car leads you to exciting car events dotted around the country and abroad.
However, before driving off into the sunset – how on earth do we insure an American import in the UK?
Let’s hit the brakes, and take a moment to consider what insurance works best for your American car.
Do I need specialist insurance for my American car?
You need specialist insurance for your American car, because these vehicles are not built to standard UK specifications, and obtaining spare parts for repairs is more difficult for American cars.
Additionally, American cars are usually used for events around the country or abroad, making insurers consider American vehicles as higher risk.
Let’s dive right in, and explore insurance for your American car.
Why is it more expensive to insure my American car?
Imported cars often cost more to repair as replacement parts are harder to find. Additionally, you may need to find specialist mechanics who are accustomed to fixing specialist vehicles.
With the extra modifications usually applied to American cars to meet regulations for UK roads, insurers find it harder to discern how risky your car actually is. This also makes it more difficult for insurance providers to discern a price as it’s not clear which UK insurance group modified cars fit into.
American cars are usually high value cars, meaning your vehicle is more likely to get stolen as they are rare in the UK, increasing the risk of you making a claim.
Why do I need specialist car insurance?
American cars usually have larger and more powerful engines. Unfortunately, there is a preconception that drivers with imported vehicles with powerful engines are more likely to drive dangerously. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone – some us just enjoy cruising on the open road! However, the few do ruin it for many as this does mean insurers increase your fees to cover the risk of making a claim, or will refuse to cover your American car altogether.
If you are looking to get temporary car insurance to get your new car home, it is worth bearing in mind that not all temporary car insurance companies offer cover for your American import.
For this reason, it is important to invest in specialist insurance for a reasonable fee for your imported car and that your car is covered for its specific needs.
What cover do I get with specialist insurance?
Specialist insurers offer car insurance for vehicles with modifications, higher specifications and a powerful engine – conveniently, all the features of your American car!
Where typical insurers may charge more due to the higher risk of your car, specialist insurance providers will often offer competitive prices. Left-hand drive cars can also get cover, an essential for any driver who has imported a car from America or Europe.
As with usual insurance policies, your fees will depend on the car itself and other factors such as your age. Older drivers are considered less of a risk than younger and newer drivers, eager to let loose on the road.
Your postcode also influences the fees. For example, country roads in the UK are much larger and therefore considered safer for American cars. However in cities, such as London, roads are smaller with a higher volume of traffic, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Your claims history and voluntary excess also contribute to your insurance costs, as having a higher voluntary excess makes premiums cheaper.
Most insurers in England will not insure vehicles without a registration number as it must be registered before being covered. However, a specialist insurance policy allows you to insure your car before it is registered in England.
Aside from being able to offer great prices compared to a regular insurer, a specialist insurance policy is also necessary for your American classic as it caters to the particular needs of your specific model.
How do I get cheaper insurance for my American car?
Although insuring American cars with specialist insurers do offer competitive fees, there are several measures you can take to save money.
Join a car club
Many high value vehicles belong to car clubs. Aside from having a fun community of like minded people to share your love of American imports with, car clubs often have bespoke deals with various companies.
For example, if you ever need spare parts for your car, your club will be able to point you in the right direction with a car club discount, rather than the expensive process of ordering in specialist replacement parts.
Extra Security Measures
To get your American import authorised and regulated, there is an increased risk due to its higher value. Therefore, taking extra security measures can impact the costs of your insurance.
Installing security features such as approved alarms and immobilisers are excellent security measures to decrease the risk of your vehicle getting stolen. Additionally, keeping your American vehicle in a secure garage or rented storage container also impacts the risk as it also lessens the likelihood of any damages.
Apps to monitor driving
Some insurance companies have their own app that monitors your driving. If you know you are a safe driver, then this could be a really helpful way of letting your insurer know you are not a high-risk driver which in turn will lower the price of your policy.
This could be especially useful if you are a newer driver and do not have age and a long driving history on your side. Instead of having to wait to build up a driver history to prove your trustworthiness as a safe driver, the app will showcase this for you, reducing insurance quotes.
Insurance brokers are an appointed representative with whom you can work. They are usually regulated and authorised by the financial conduct authority.
Insurance brokers use the existing relationships they have with insurers to find a deal that is affordable and bespoke to your vehicle. This is beneficial as you will not be paying for cover that you don’t need or not including cover that you do need. For example, they can find your cover that offers limited mileage discounts and this is beneficial if you are planning on driving your American car regularly.
Insurance brokers represent your best interests, providing an excellent service. They are paid by a small commission from insurance providers, meaning it is in their best insurance to find you a better deal with an insurance provider you like.
To discern whether your insurance broker will provide an efficient service, check to see if they are with the financial conduct authority as they are regulated by the financial services.
Use your American car less
If you have more than one car, using American classics as a second vehicle is a great way to keep insurance costs down as you keep the mileage on your American car down, too.
By listing your car as a second car it means you will be driving your American classic less, which decreases the likelihood and risk of accidents and damages occurring due to having a limited mileage. For example if you use your car to get to work every day, there is more of a chance of you encountering an accident or incident than if you used your car on a weekend here and there for some shopping or a trip.
Less use of your car makes insurers consider your American car to be less of a risk, which in turn brings your insurance costs down.
That brings us to the end of everything you need to know about insuring your American car with specialist insurance.
Hopefully this article gives you everything you need to know so you can push the pedal to the metal with reasonable and affordable car insurance!