Looking for American Car Insurance?
Whether you’re looking to import direct from the States or buy from a UK American dealer, if you have your sights set on driving an American car on UK roads, you’re going to need American car insurance.
From Pontiac and Chevrolet, to Cadillac and Dodge, there are some awesome American car brands that are seriously attractive to UK drivers. Here’s a quick guide to what to look out for when insuring an American import.
Are American cars more expensive to insure?
All imported vehicles represent the unknown to insurers, which is never a good start. UK insurers prefer to be able to neatly classify vehicles within one of the ABI’s 50 Group Ratings and clearly, they can’t do that with an American grey import.
Add to this the increased costs in parts and repairs, the fact that American models are desirable, eye-catching and often powerful, making them attractive to thieves, and it’s easy to see why American car insurance can make standard vehicle insurers nervous.
Insuring modified American cars
Modifying vehicles is an important part of American automobile culture. Chances are your American car will be modified in one way or another, or possibly you are planning on modifying it yourself? Insurers open to American car insurance are likely to be knowledgeable in this area, familiar with insuring non-standard and modified cars and so less-likely to panic at the mere mention of modifications.
However, if your modifications tamper with or enhance performance in any way, insurers will most likely take a dim view. As a general rule of thumb, the greater the performance, the greater the risk, so expect this to be reflected in the cost.
If your American car is modified, consider like-for-like cover for modifications or you may only get the market value for a UK equivalent in the event of a claim.
Different types of American car insurance
Look for insurers able to insure based on the chassis number to be sure your covered and legally compliant during the registration process.
Look for laid-up insurance. This will cover your vehicle against fire and theft whilst you’re working on it.
It’s not uncommon for UK owners of American cars to keep a few spares to hand, particularly if they would take ages to import and replace when needed. Consider spare parts cover if this applies to you.
What to look for with American car insurance
American car insurance may be niche, but it’s a growing and competitive market. Many UK insurers will offer attractive add-ons and incentives if you insure with them, which can make it worthwhile. It’s a good idea to look out for:
How to save money on American car insurance
Insuring an American car is no different from insuring any car when it comes to finding ways to get the best deal. Top things to consider include:
Many proud owners of American cars in the UK use them as second vehicles. Cars made in the USA are not the easiest on UK roads if you just need to pop to the shops or use for your daily commute. If you have more than one car a multi-car policy can be an economical option since in the eyes of insurers, multiple vehicles equals shared mileage, equals reduced risk.
If your super-charged V8 muscle car is only used for weekends and holidays, it makes sense to take advantage of a limited mileage policy.
Joining a club
Insurers view members of owner’s or enthusiast’s clubs very positively. Very often they are affiliated with particular clubs and offer significant discounts to members.
Designed for special vehicles over a certain age, many specialist insurers will offer attractive rates on cherished vehicle policies.
Classic car insurance
Many imported American cars are classic cars, not least because vehicles tend to age better in warmer American climates than their European counterparts. Classic car insurance is a great option if this applies to your American car.
American Car Insurance – Useful FAQs
American cars make stunning wedding cars and are especially popular as Prom cars. If you are thinking of using your American car for a friend’s weddings or special event it’s a good idea to let your insurer know. However, if you are receiving financial gain from using your American car as a wedding car or similar, then you will need private hire cover, so it’s worth looking into wedding car insurance.
If you keep your American car off the road, in a private driveway or better yet in a secure garage or storage facility, you should be able to get a better deal on American car insurance.
To be honest it’s unlikely. If your American car is a performance car, modified, turbo or supercharged, then pretty much, definitely not. Most specialist insurers offering American car insurance will only insure drivers over 25.