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Drivers in danger of invalidating insurance with modifications

Motors | Published:

Even simple changes to a vehicle could leave motorists without cover, says financial services comparison website

Modifications can invalidate a driver's insurance if undeclared

Motorists could be invalidating their insurance policies with even the simplest of modifications to their cars.

That’s according to GoCompare, which said that just 1.6 per cent of drivers declared modifications to their insurance providers, potentially invalidating their insurance and leaving them susceptible to fines and penalty points.

Anything classed as non-standard on a car is deemed a modification, with equipment such as uprated exhaust systems, suspension changes and tow bars all included.

Non-standard alloy wheels are also covered under the modifications banner, along with tinted windows and air filters.

Even specialist paintwork or stickers can be classed as modifications by insurers.

Matt Oliver, spokesman for GoCompare car insurance, which commissioned the study, said: “While modifications may ring bells of the bygone boy racer, it’s worth remembering that insurers don’t just class body kits, exhaust systems or suspension changes as vehicle modifications.

“The average used car buyer could find there are modifications they’re simply not aware of. Typically, modifications are anything which isn’t standard on a car, which could include alloy wheels, a satellite navigation system or even tinted windows – so it’s always worth checking what the factory standard is for your model of car to avoid landing in hot water when it comes to making a claim.

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“Under two per cent of drivers are claiming to have car modifications, but we estimate this figure to be much greater, which leaves potentially millions of drivers open to invalidating their insurance and having their claims rejected.”

The survey revealed that alloy wheels, suspension alterations and tow bars were among the most popular modifications actually declared by drivers.

The figures were based on data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, along with quotes generated by GoCompare between March and September 2018

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