Imported Car Insurance
Imported car insurance may seem too high for any realistic hope of ever finding affordable cover. Fortunately, that is rarely the case for an international vehicle. Your best course of action is to seek online quotes from speciality insurance providers that love imports as much as you do. Specialist providers often target import car owners with lower rates than standard providers offer. They understand the enthusiasm and the value of imported cars.
Importing a new car from overseas can actually save you money in some cases. Purchasing a vehicle in Japan, for instance, and shipping it to the UK will often cost less than buying the same model here. However, the imported car must be approved for driving in the UK by the Department for Transportation before the import car owner can register and insure it for driving. Specialised coverage provides the latter half of that necessity, so don’t give up: Speciality companies are waiting online to field your quote request, and each carrier will be happy to offer competitive imported car insurance quotations.
Types of Imported Cars
Buying an imported car has some advantages. Besides potential pre-tax savings, you may have a car that fits more closely to your preferences and specifications. If you are an avid fan of a particular make and model, purchasing it overseas may allow ownership of a vehicle you may not otherwise afford. Finding the right provider to issue proper cover plays a large part in your total enjoyment of that imported vehicle. You might find the cheapest rates with combined cover on multi-auto insurance quotes.
A parallel import matches European production standards. Because of the similarity in manufacturing and design, insuring a parallel import is usually both easier and cheaper than a non-parallel import that has, for instance, left-hand drive or “grey” models instead of the right-hand drive in European models that are often shipped to other European countries. Driving a parallel car is safer in the UK and insurance is often cheaper because of that drive-side similarity. Most UK drivers are unfamiliar with left-hand drive and pose a higher accident risk than in parallel imports. If you want an import and cost of insurance is an issue, consider a parallel import over a grey model.
Grey imports aren’t necessarily unsafe. They’re simply not manufactured to EU and, therefore, familiar standards. Both inspectors and insurance companies may not be quite sure how to inspect or rate these vehicles. They will most probably want detailed information on specifications and capabilities. Buying a grey import vehicle does have its risks: The DfT may not grant clearance, and insurance companies may resist or refuse coverage, which is where speciality companies may help.
Imported Auto Mobile Rates
Auto mobile insurance companies categorise all makes and models according to safety and security scales. Top acceleration, engine size and power and gross weight of a vehicle compose an auto’s basic safety rating of one to 50. The higher the risk, the higher the number assigned, and the higher your insurance premium is. Import cars can be difficult for insurance companies to rate because they are not as familiar with imported models as they are to UK- and EU-manufactured vehicles. The cost of repair and the time necessary to repair the vehicles are escalated as well, and the repair influence also raises insurance rates. Insurance providers are usually extraordinarily cautious in insuring imported cars, for they have little or no data on hand as to the model’s performance or its level of risk.
Some imported cars are more common than others in the UK. If your imported car is one that has few options locally for replacement parts, expect high insurance rates: The cost of the parts and the longer repair times increase the financial risk of the insurance company, and as you know, elevated risk means elevated insurance rates.
Imported car insurance searches are often more productive and far less frustrating when you limit your search to those speciality carriers who issue policies primarily on imported vehicles. They are much more familiar with risk assessments and capabilities of foreign cars. They may not be familiar with your particular model, but they know models like yours, which helps speed the process quite a bit and might lead to cheaper imported car insurance quotes. Imported car clubs might also lead to affordable insurance for your import car.
As with any vehicle, parking your imported auto mobile in a locked garage will greatly reduce its risk of theft and vandalism. Additional security devices approved by Thatcham will almost always result in security discounts as well. How much of a discount depends on what type of device it is: Items physically installed in the auto lower rates a bit more than manually applied devices, but each object or system used may ease your insurance burden.
One of the most popular and greatest overall savings comes from the no claims discounts found on so many car insurance policies. Ensure your imported car insurance includes this very valuable benefit: If you complete a policy period without filing a claim on the covered vehicle, the insurance company reduces your rates on the renewal policy. No claim discounts can accrue to up to 70 per cent off your initial insurance rates over time. Increasing your voluntary excess, reducing the insurance company’s financial obligation, also decreases cover rates. Use every method possible, including comparing speciality carrier online quotes, to maximise your cost savings for affordable imported car insurance.