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> Modified Car Insurance:  Insurance with Nitrous Oxide Injection and other modified Cars and Bikes

John WilliamsonModified Car or Bike Insurance, and insuring with Nitrous Oxide Injection.

OK how do you go about insuring your modified car? What about that newly fitted Nitrous Kit? Or the V8 you accidentally fitted while you were not concentrating?

On the face of it its very difficult!  But let me tell you a story... Elsewhere on this site there is a picture of the engine bay of my old Ford Sierra 1.6L car with a Rover V8 fitted with Nitrous injection. 

This cost me LESS to insure than it did when it was a stock 1.6L car!
Much to my surprise!  How come??? You may well ask!  Well it's like this. There are lots of options when you insure a car...

First be prepared to do a LOT of research and ask people who already run modified vehicles. Ask at Custom Car Shows, ask at the Drag Strip ETC. They all manage somehow.


I rang Adrian Flux - a company that was started by a bunch of Hot Rodders and Custom car freaks or so I was told!  They all had the same problems, their "normal" car insurers would fall off the phone laughing or hang up! Mine did too... 

AND they cancelled my existing policy from that moment.  Adrian Flux insurance  charged me LESS money than the other big major insurance companies did for a standard car! I am not trying to get you to call them and have nothing whatsoever to do with them, just giving an example of companies that are good on price in certain narrow "niches".  In the case of Custom Cars, they were very cheap.

Reasons? They realized that far from being more likely to claim, they were more likely to do extremely low mileage, in good summer weather, and drive very carefully!  So would you if you had a one off home built show car that took you thousands of hours work! And they would also be less likely to be stolen, by their very nature and because most lived in heated carpeted garages!  So they could insure these Custom vehicles very cheaply. 

I agreed to, a low annual mileage, high excess, garaged at night, and I did not tell them initially about the Nitrous system. They only needed a good description and a photograph and I was covered. For less than 200 third party fire and theft (in 1995?? I forget)... Later on I told them I had fitted Nitrous and they simply made a note of it. No price changes. This they "saw" as a custom car and so they insured it as one.

If you however took a boy racers "hotted up" front wheel drive hatchback (neons, alloys, K & N Filter, HUGE exhaust, young driver etc) then they would undoubtedly add in the date too!  This car is LIKELY to be abused, driven in all weather, driven fast, stolen, left parked in the street, So the insurance company, ANY insurance company has to charge enough to cover all the claims!

So if you fit Nitrous to one of these (boy racer cars) then its best to do a LOT of research first!  There ARE insurance companies that will cover you, since you are doing nothing wrong regarding the law, but they are small, hard to find, and will cost you more. Remember half a day and 20 worth of phone calls is well worth while, because it can save you hundreds!

You could I suppose fit a nitrous system, but not connect up the bottle while using the car on the public highway, and use it ONLY on the drag strip, or racetrack. Or you MAY if you are lucky find your existing insurance company either does not care, or charges only a little extra. Some add a percentage related to the power increase however it is obtained.

This modified car lark also includes such things as wheels, or ANY non standard part. And how many of you bother to tell the insurance about these other mods? Well you should! Its exactly the same thing!

Other options include motor trader policies that allow you to drive any car, and other variations on this theme.

I also used to have a Norwich Union "unlimited" rider policy (Covered any bike of any capacity - no specific details required) - this allowed me to ride a two stage nitrous injected 1135cc Turbo bike, for the same price as a big touring bike.  About the only part on this bike that was not modded was the frame. They don't do these Norwich Union Rider Policies now unfortunately... Then there is the old "can drive any other car not belonging to you" line in most insurance policies.

But whatever you do, don't use Nitrous on the street without proper cover! Its not impossible to get cover, but it may involve a little work to find the best option. Without telling your insurance company, you are technically not covered! If you had an accident, and the assessor from the insurance company saw it he would probably void your insurance! Just as he could with wheels, or any undisclosed modifications.

It may help to read the forums at www.noswizard.co.uk which are quite busy. Lots of guys on that forum have cover with companies as like Direct Line, and other common names. But normally they will tell you no! Just insist on speaking to someone that knows a bit more than the phone line or websites email "front line" of sales people. Trevor at HighPower has an agreement with one big Insurance company broker (actually Adrian Flux Insurance) to cover cars that have his Nitrous Injection fitted. The same company may cover you too? They did cover me for 7 years...

Check Google's results for insurance and ring them all - there are hundreds to try! If the first few Car Insurers refuse you, or quote daft prices, then keep going! The biggest, that advertise the most such as Churchill, Direct Line, etc, are probably going to be the most expensive here, and the small specialist (and hard to find) companies much cheaper and less likely to be stressed out by modifications. The big ones seem only to cater for "normal" cars on their computer screens.

If anyone has any cover that is reading this page could you please send me the details so I can build a database of companies and vehicle specs, area, policy detail, and prices? Its for your own good!  -- Please do it!

A short list of possible insurers!

Admiral 0800 600 800 http://www.admiral.com/
Adrian Flux 01553 777 240 http://www.adrianflux.co.uk/
AON 01384 552 670 http://www.aon.com
A-Plan 0845 071 123 http://www.aplan.co.uk/
AXA 0800 015 4292 http://www.axa-motor.co.uk
Bell Direct 0800 140 180 http://www.belldirect.co.uk/
Bennetts 0990 202090 http://www.bennetts.co.uk/
Bugdet 0800 028 9044 http://www.budgetinsurance.com/
Catterall 01254 695 055 http://www.chris-thompson.co.uk/
Churchill 0800 200 331 http://www.churchill.com
Cis 08457 464646 http://www.cis.co.uk/
CoverSure (RallySure) 01829 733 880 http://www.dmatters.co.uk/
Crowthorne Insurance 01344 771626 http://www.crowthorne.co.uk
Direct Line 0845 246 8701 http://uk.directline.com/
Elephant 0870 6080668 http://www.elephant.co.uk
Endsleigh 0800 028 3571 http://www.endsleigh.co.uk
Footman 0121 651 6250 http://www.footmanjames.co.uk
Graham Sykes 0870 444 6319 http://www.graham-sykes.co.uk/
Greenlight 01277 263 030 http://www.greenlight-insurance.co.uk/
HIC - 08451 290 290
Hill House Hamond 01733 310899 http://www.hhh.co.uk/
Keith Michaels 0181 642 7868 http://www.keithmichaels.co.uk
Liverpool Victoria 0800 514 514 http://www.liverpoolvictoria.co.uk
More Than 0800 072 4186 http://www.morethan.com
Motor Quote Direct 0800 48 44 33 http://www.motorquotedirect.co.uk/
Nash Warren 0121 561 4484 http://www.nashwarren.co.uk/
Norwich Union 0870 242 0800 http://www.norwichunion.com/
Peart 0870 240 2972 http://www.peart.co.uk/
Peoples Choice 0800 614 824 http://www.peopleschoice.co.uk/
Performance Direct 08704 203896 http://www.performancedirect.co.uk/
Privilege Insurance 0113 292 5555 http://www.privilege.com/
Quinn Direct 0845 850 0845 http://www.quinn-direct.com/
QuoteLine Direct 0870 444 0870 http://www.quoteline-direct.co.uk/
RAC 0845 3000 755 http://www.rac.co.uk
Sainsburys 0800 032 0000 http://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/insurance/
Tesco 0845 300 9900 http://www.tesco.com
The AA 0870 606 0483 http://www.theaa.com
Hastings Direct 0800 00 1066 http://www.hastingsdirect.com
Esure 0845 603 7873 http://www.esure.com
Halifax 0845 608 9913 http://carinsurance.halifax-online.co.uk
Eagle Star 08459 45 45 67 http://www.eaglestar.co.uk
Lloyds TSB 0800 056 3040 http://www.insurance.co.uk
Screen Trade 0800 435 207 http://www.screentrade.co.uk
Its4me 0870 0131 464 http://www.its4me.co.uk/
The Insurance Centre 0709 2511050 http://www.theinsurancecentre.co.uk
Quote-A-Car 08707 709075







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