MOTORISTS who use modified cars are substantially more likely to be involved in an accident, according to a car insurance study.
A survey by MoneySupermarket.com has found drivers of cars fitted with aftermarket parts are 27% more likely to be end up in a collision. Of the drivers who were surveyed, 28% of modified car owners had been involved in an accident over the last five years, compared with 22% of drivers of standard vehicles.
Before images of tuned Vauxhall Corsas and Golf GTIs with silly bodykits come to mind (our choice of image won’t have helped — sorry), it’s worth pointing out that car modifications can be more subtle than that.
A fifth (20%) of the 27,000 insurance enquires looked at involved fitment of a tow bar as a flagged modification, with the next most popular being alloy wheels (15%) and aftermarket rear parking sensors (9%).
It appears, however, that many motorists don’t actually notify insurers of the changes they’ve made to their cars. In a separate poll, nearly half (45%) confessed they’d kept the extras they’d added to their motor a secret from their insurance provider.
While car insurance premiums can become more expensive once you’ve notified your insurer about a car modification, it is a necessary requirement. In the eyes of providers, an adjustment they weren’t aware of can be in breach of a car’s cover agreement, meaning the driver risks missing out on a payout when they make a claim even if the crash wasn’t their fault.
Tom Flack, MoneySupermarket’s editor-in-chief, said: “There are numerous reasons why you might want to modify your car, from improving performance to making it more aesthetically pleasing.
“While we generally think of modifications as loud exhausts and body kits, something as small as getting a parking sensor installed can count as a modification, so it’s worth notifying your insurer whenever you make any change to your vehicle.
“Different insurers have alternative views on what constitutes a modification, so it’s worth taking the time to check if any changes you make will impact your policy. If in doubt, talk to your insurer.”