Guide To Imported Car Insurance
Importing vehicles from overseas is becoming more and more popular for many reasons. It can often be cheaper to buy a car that is imported from abroad and some motorists prefer car models and specifications that are not available in this country.
Because of the increasing popularity of these cars, the import process is much easier than it used to be. There are now many specialist dealers within the UK that supply these vehicles and provide assistance with the whole import process. However, compared to UK standard models, it is still relatively difficult to source parts and perform repairs and, therefore, it can be a challenge to find affordable imported car insurance for these vehicles. The higher specification of some imported performance vehicles also increases the statistical likelihood of an accident and therefore increases the risk to insurers further.
Some of the main challenges that insurance companies have with imported cars are:
- Non-EU standard specifications
- Greater risk of theft
- Scarcity and cost of replacement parts
- Left-hand drive models
For this reason, it is important to shop around for imported motor insurance.
Types Of Imported Car Insurance
Imported cars are usually specified to meet the motoring regulations of their country of origin. The two main types of imported cars are “grey” and “parallel” imports. When considering purchasing a car from overseas it is important to understand that the cost of car insurance will be dictated by the category into which the vehicle falls.
Grey imports are usually vehicles that have been built in non-EU countries such as Japan, the USA or Canada. These vehicles are not built for EU countries and therefore need to undergo testing under the Individual Vehicle Approval scheme (previously known as the Single Vehicle Approval scheme) before they are legal to drive on UK roads. They may well require adjustments (such as changing the colour of the indicator bulbs) before they are deemed roadworthy for driving within the UK and insurance companies will require proof of this.
Many grey imports may have a higher performance specification than their European equivalents. Japanese imports in particular tend to have higher specification power output, weight, suspension and electronic systems. Some insurers will refuse to offer cover for cars of this kind but there are other specialist providers that will usually be able to help.
Fortunately, parallel imports are a little more straightforward as these vehicles are from within the EU and must adhere to the same minimum standards as cars from the UK for factors such as emissions. Finding insurance for this type of vehicle tends to be easier than for grey imports as there are more insurance companies around providing cover for these cars.
How To Keep The Cost Of Imported Car Insurance As Low As Possible.
- Use Tiger.co.uk to shop around for import car insurance. Using a comparison site can save drivers hundreds of pounds.
- Avoid paying in instalments. Most insurers will offer the option of paying in monthly instalments but it is worth investigating what the additional cost of this payment method. Typical annual percentage rates can be as much as 40% or more. Paying an annual premium using a credit card can be a cheaper alternative.
- Paying a higher voluntary excess towards potential claims normally means that a lower premium is charged.
- Make sure the vehicle is safe and secure. Parking in garage or driveway overnight will help to protect the vehicle and installing a Thatcham approved security device is another way to drive down the cost of import motor insurance.
- Accepting a limited mileage (providing that it is not exceeded) will usually lower the price of an imported insurance quotation.
Imported Car Insurance Through Tiger.co.uk.
Whilst imported vehicle insurance is quite a specialist product, there are plenty of insurers who will provide cover for this type of vehicle. At Tiger.co.uk, we understand motor insurance and can help drivers to find a great deal by accessing our premium panel of specialist insurers. We offer quotes from many insurers including Endsleigh, Adrian Flux and Performance Direct, all offering car insurance quotes for imported cars either online through Tiger.co.uk or over the phone via our sister company, Call Connection. The type of import and make and model of car will dictate whether it is better to obtain a quote online or over the phone.
How To Get A Quote
To obtain an insurance quote for your imported car, start online by clicking through to our motor insurance quotation service and fill out your details using our quick and easy to use Easyfill™ form. The quote form will return quotes from a selection of partners and provide online links to them or telephone numbers for those that can provide a quote over the phone.