Anyone with a driver’s license knows the difference between a good car and a great car. Whether it’s the sensitivity of the accelerator, the sharpness of the brakes, the smoothness of the engine, or simply the reliability of the vehicle, driving a top of the range car never fails to be a uniquely enjoyable experience.
Here in the UK, we are a nation of drivers. A 2019 survey revealed that around 75% of UK adults over the age of 17 held a full driving license, with 76% of households owning one or more cars. On top of this, a recent study revealed London to be the supercar capital of the world, with the City of Westminster alone being home to 532 supercars.
Across the country, there are some 16,000 supercars registered to UK addresses. So it would seem that, when it comes to high-performance cars, the UK is the place to be.
While performance car insurance also covers many vehicles that would not be classed as supercars, almost all supercars would be covered by performance car insurance. Performance cars are notoriously difficult to define, but generally, they will exhibit above-average abilities in at least one of the following areas: acceleration, top speed, cornering, and braking.
What is performance car insurance?
Big or small, cheap or pricey, all cars need insurance. It is a legal requirement for any car to be covered by third-party motor insurance at a minimum. Even cars that are no longer used but are still parked out on the street, kept in a driveway, or tucked away in a garage, must be covered by an insurance policy.
Performance car insurance is insurance for cars that are top of the range or are specialist models. As with standard car insurance, the policies on performance car insurance vary widely in both cover and cost. Performance car insurance does not need to be purchased as an addition to standard insurance, it is standard insurance for a particular category of high performing cars. Because performance cars are often more valuable than standard cars, performance car insurance is usually considerably more expensive than regular car insurance.
So let’s take a look at the type of cars that are covered by performance car insurance.
What is a performance car?
As we saw earlier, defining performance cars is a notoriously tricky business. They are generally categorised as cars that have above-average abilities in acceleration, top speed, braking, or cornering. However, it is debated as to how much above the average a car’s performance must be for it to be classified as a performance car.
A performance car may also be defined by its weight in relation to its power potential or horsepower. This will also affect the above factors, such as top speed and braking, but is a more general measure of a car’s performance. Horsepower measures the amount of power that is required to move 550 pounds one foot in one second. You can find the horsepower and weight of most cars by searching for the car model on the manufacturer’s website online. To find the horsepower to weight ratio, you simply divide the horsepower by the weight. While there is no official threshold for when the horsepower to weight ratio determines a performance car, it can be a good indicator for insurance providers.
Performance cars are also generally divided into the following categories of car body configurations:
- Grand tourer— a performance car built for high speed and long-distance driving.
- Hot hatch — a high-performance version of the mass-produced hatchback model.
- Muscle car — a large rear-wheel-drive car.
- Sports sedan — a high-performance version of a sedan model.
- Supercar — an expensive high-end sports car.
However, it is important to note that there are cars outside of those categories that will be classified as performance cars, and even some within those categories will not be classified as performance cars.
How much does a performance car cost?
There is no fixed rate on any type of car, but the price of a standard new car would likely fall somewhere between £12,000 and £20,000. The cost of a new performance car will likely start around £20,000 and could potentially go up to millions. Performance cars are for those of you who simply love driving and need the car to show for it. Needless to say, they are also for those who can afford one!
What does performance car insurance cover?
Specific performance car insurance policies will vary. You can get a quote from A-Plan on your performance car here.
As with standard car insurance, you can choose what you want to be covered by your performance car insurance. Most insurers will offer you cover against:
- Third-party damage. This is cover for the cost of damage to other vehicles, property that is not your own, and injury to persons outside of the vehicle or to passengers within it.
- Theft or vandalism of the vehicle.
- Damage to your own vehicle.
- New car parts.
- Salvage retention fees. This covers the cost of buying back what is left of your vehicle if it has been written off.
- Courtesy car fees. This covers the cost of a temporary replacement car to be used while your original car is not able to be driven.
- Windscreen repairs cost.
- Cover for driving other cars.
Policies will vary from provider to provider, so it’s important to check your paperwork.
How much is performance car insurance?
Performance cars are likely to cost significantly more than standard cars, so it is no surprise that they are disproportionately targeted by thieves and vandals. Performance cars are also involved in a high number of accidents due to their speed and their desirability to younger, less experienced drivers. For these reasons, performance car insurance is usually significantly more expensive than standard car insurance.
The price of the insurance ranges widely depending on the provider, the car, and the customer. While performance cars are often favoured by younger men, the cost of the insurance policy will almost always be higher for those under the age of 30 and higher still for those aged under the age of 25.
So let’s now look at some tips and tricks on how to keep the price of your insurance policy as low as possible.
How can you reduce the cost of your performance car insurance?
Although the price of performance car insurance is notably higher than standard car insurance, there are a few tricks that you can employ that should bring the cost of your insurance down.
Increase the security of your car
You can increase the security of your car by installing features such as a steering wheel lock, a GPS car tracker, a dashcam with parking protection, or additional impact sensors to the vehicle that will trigger the alarm. Even adding CCTV cameras to your home can reduce the cost of insurance.
Consider other insurance possibilities
Even if your car is a performance vehicle, it may still be eligible to be covered by another policy. For example, if you have a high-performance car that is older than 15 years and has driven less than 5,000 miles a year, it may be eligible for classic car insurance. Classic car insurance is usually cheaper than performance car insurance. So it is always worth checking if your car falls into another class of vehicle insurance as performance car insurance is at the top end of the price range.
Wait for a no claims bonus
For every year you go without making any insurance claims on a car, your no claims bonus will go up. While every insurance provider will vary, the bonus will usually begin with a reduction of around 20% to 30% after the first year and could rise as high as 80% after a number of years with no claims.
In most cases, you can move your no claims bonus onto another car. So allowing those bonuses to build up while using standard car insurance, will likely reduce the cost of your performance car insurance.
Reduce the mileage of your car
The more you use your car, the more likely it is that something will go wrong with that car. This is simply because increased use will lead to more wear and tear, and drive up the chances of an accident.
The lower the mileage on your car, the lower the insurance will be as there is less chance that parts will need replacing or that the car will need servicing in some way.
Keep your car parked somewhere safe
If you have a garage or a driveway you might consider keeping your performance car parked in there. Many insurance policies will be slightly reduced as the car is parked safely. However, it is a common misconception that a garage will always greatly reduce your insurance costs, as parking in a garage raises the chances of scratches and dings to the vehicle’s exterior.
Add parking sensors to your car
Adding parking sensors is a great, cost-effective way of reducing your insurance. One in five car accidents takes place while parking, so it is no wonder that adding parking sensors to your vehicle reduces the cost of insurance by an average of 13%.
Parking sensors will provide auditory warnings that inform you when you are coming too close to an external object. Many sensors will also include a camera that will guide you into a parking space as you reverse.
Consider the age of the driver
Insurance providers consider a number of factors when assessing a new client. One of the main factors is age. It should come as little surprise that insurance is considerably higher for a 17 year old driver than it is for a 45 year old. The truth is, older drivers are considered more experienced and are generally more trusted on the roads.
Insurance rates drop every year from the age of 17. At the age of 25, the average insurance policy will drop by around 30%. Then, once a driver reaches 30, there are significantly lower premiums. On average, the cheapest insurance is offered to adults in their 40s and 50s.
So there is no rush! If you are a younger motorist and are considering buying a performance car, you may only have to wait a few years before your insurance policy would be greatly reduced.