Are you bringing your dream car to the UK or moving with your vehicle? If so, it’s important to remember that imported cars can be considerably more expensive to insure. If there are owners’ clubs for the type of vehicle you own or are planning to buy, then it might be useful to contact them for details of which insurers are reliable and reasonably priced, and which are out to take the imported car owner for a ride. There’s no substitute for good research and premiums are likely to vary, so get to know the market and find the best insurance deal for your requirements.
Why Choose an Imported Car?
You might want to choose an imported car for a variety of reasons. Some customers are interested in the aesthetic design of cars from abroad and may want to purchase a classic American vehicle. Imported cars are often favoured if a higher specification model is available abroad but not in the UK. There are also financial reasons for choosing an imported car, as you can save a lot of money on UK comparison prices. However, these savings may be compromised by expensive insurance for ‘grey’ imports from countries like the US and Japan. ‘Parallel’ imports are cars bought from within the EU with UK model specifications, including minimum standards for emissions and protection.
Some imported cars run into insurance difficulties because they are not build to recognised EU standards or are not EU approved. This is particularly important in terms of safety and emission standards. Insurance companies cannot easily establish the risks involved with insuring the car because it falls outside the standard policy they offer.
Imported cars may be left-hand drive or built for different driving conditions, and high-performance models are classed by insurers as at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. The presence of any of these factors can result in a considerably higher insurance quote. Repairs to imported cars can also prove more costly, as replacement parts might not be available in the UK and they might need to be carried out by specialists.
Overcoming Insurance Difficulties
If you want to drive an imported car in the UK, it’s advisable to find an insurance company that offers specialist schemes to cover imported cars. Some firms provide a ‘Grey Imports Insurance’ scheme to ensure that customers with Japanese or American cars are not unduly penalised by high insurance prices. Sky Insurance has a tradition of specialist car insurance and their list of current top imports insured includes:
Nissan Skyline R32, R33, R34, GTR
Honda Civic Type R EK9, FD2
Toyota Celica GT4 ST165, ST185, ST205, ST205 WRC
Toyota MR2 Turbo, Supercharger
Honda Integra DC2, DC5
Toyota Hilux Surf
Honda CRX Mk1, Mk2, Del Sol
It could be useful to install security devices including wheel locks, immobilisers and tracking systems to reduce the cost of insurance. If you are a particularly careful driver consider paying a higher excess as this will only be affected if you are involved in an accident. Choose a company where imported cars are understood and valued and not treated as inconvenient when it comes to insurance.