What factors affect performance car insurance?

Performance cars go the extra mile. They may be faster, more powerful, or smoother to drive, and any car lover will tell you that driving a performance vehicle is a whole new driving experience. Although …

Performance cars go the extra mile. They may be faster, more powerful, or smoother to drive, and any car lover will tell you that driving a performance vehicle is a whole new driving experience.

Although there is no strict definition of what a performance car is, insurers will usually check the car’s ability in areas such as top speed, acceleration, and braking. Because these cars are more powerful and usually more expensive, performance car insurance premiums are often higher.

There are many factors that affect the cost of performance car insurance and it is important to be aware of them to ensure you find the right insurance premium for you.

We are going to take a look at what factors affect performance car insurance and what you can do to reduce your premiums.

What factors affect performance car insurance?

Multiple factors affect performance car insurance prices including the cost of the car, the driver’s driving history and their location, the mileage of the car, the type of coverage, and the car insurance company.

Some of the variables that determine the overall price of a car insurance premium can be changed to reduce the cost, whilst others are unchangeable.

What is a performance car?

Performance cars are generally defined as cars with high performance, or cars that are fast or powerful. Clearly, these are vague definitions that highlight the difficulty of categorising vehicles as performance vehicles.

We can think of performance cars as vehicles that have above average performance in acceleration, speed, braking, or cornering. Insurers are unlikely to define a car as a performance car, rather they will look at its spec and see if there are any abilities outside the norm and would therefore be open to more risks.

As a general rule, performance cars can be split into the following categories:

  • Grand tourer— a performance car built for high speed and long-distance driving.
  • Hot hatch — a high-performance version of the mass-produced hatchback model.
  • Muscle car — a large rear-wheel-drive car.
  • Sports sedan — a high-performance version of a sedan model.
  • Supercar — an expensive high-end sports car.

Some insurers may also look at the weight of the car in relation to its horsepower. While there is no official threshold for when the horsepower to weight ratio determines a performance car, it can be a good indicator for insurance providers.

How much does a performance car cost?

As with any car, there is no upper or lower limit to the price of a performance car. However, if a new regular car is likely to cost somewhere between £7,000 and £20,000, performance cars will usually start at around £20,000 and can cost upwards of a million.

How much is performance car insurance?

Performance cars will usually cost more than regular cars and are more expensive when it comes to replacing parts or repair costs. Furthermore, performance cars are also more likely to be targeted by thieves and vandals, as well as being more likely to be involved in accidents due to their high speeds and horsepower. For these reasons, performance car insurance is usually significantly higher than regular insurance.

As with all vehicle insurance, there are three types of performance car insurance:

  • Third-party only. Third-party performance car insurance is the cheapest option and covers you for any damage you cause to another person, their vehicle or their property.
  • Third-party, fire and theft. Third-party, fire and theft performance car insurance is the middle option and includes everything covered by third-party insurance, but it also offers cover if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Fully comprehensive cover. Fully comprehensive performance car insurance is the most expensive and covers all of the above as well as all other damage to your vehicle – as long as it’s outlined in the policy.

What are car insurance groups?

A large factor that determines the insurance premiums on all cars including performance vehicles is what car insurance group they are in.

All cars are put into insurance groups based on the make and model of the car. Car insurance groups are numbered one to fifty, with one being the cheapest and fifty being the most expensive. The more expensive and powerful the car, the higher the group. Most performance cars, therefore, are in the higher groups.

Insurance grouping is decided by a panel made up of different insurance authorities and is based on a number of factors including:

  • The price of the car bought new.
  • The possibility of damage and the price of the parts involved.
  • Repair times. Rarer and more specialised cars will take longer to repair.
  • Performance indicators such as speed and acceleration.
  • Safety features. Having certain braking features or sensors etc. will likely put a car in a lower group.
  • Bumper structure and alignment.
  • Car security.

How to reduce the price of performance car insurance

It’s no secret that performance car insurance is usually significantly higher than regular car insurance. However, as with regular car insurance, there are a number of things you can do to help bring down the overall costs of your performance car insurance.

Find out the car insurance group

If you are looking to buy a performance car and want to get the lowest premiums possible, the best thing to do is to check what car insurance group it is in. As we have already seen, the lower the insurance group, the lower the cost of the insurance, so consider purchasing a car from a lower group if possible.

Improve your car’s security

Performance cars are often targeted by thieves and vandals due to their appearance, which puts the premiums up. However, there are a number of things you can do to increase the security of your performance car such as installing a steering wheel lock, a GPS tracker, or a dashcam. You can even choose to add CCTV to your property if you park your car there. In some cars, you can also lock your car to your phone meaning that only you can drive it.

Build up your no-claims bonus

Your no claims bonus builds each year you go without claiming anything on car insurance. No claims bonuses vary between car insurance companies but they often amount to significant reductions and can fall by as much as 80% after many years with no claims.

You can usually move your no claims bonus from one car to another. So if you drive a regular car and are looking to buy a performance model in the future, consider waiting until your no claims bonus is high enough to see a big reduction in your premiums.

Lower your mileage

Having a high mileage in your car will lead to more expensive premiums. This is because the more you use your car, the greater chance there is of something going wrong – be it an accident, breakdown, or just wear and tear. So fewer miles and less usage will lead to lower premiums overall.

You can install a black box – also known as a telematics box – in your car that records both the mileage and the safety of the driver. So, as long as you drive fewer miles and drive safely, a black box will see a reduction in your insurance costs.

Park in a garage or driveway

If you have access to a garage or driveway, you should keep your performance car parked there. Keeping your car parked off the road can lead to reductions in the cost of insurance, especially in the case of performance cars.

Even if the garage is not located directly outside your house, it may be worth investing in a safe parking space as your premiums will reduce significantly as will the overall threat to the car.

Install parking sensors

Installing parking sensors is a cheap way to both reduce your insurance and the likelihood of you crashing while parking. Around 20% of all car accidents happen while parking and, for that reason, installing parking sensors brings down insurance premiums by an average of 13%.

Wait until you are older

One of the main factors that insurers consider when costing a particular premium is the age of the driver. Older drivers are more experienced and are generally more trusted on the roads. Younger drivers can especially expect to pay more for performance car insurance as insurers are well aware of the “boy-racer” mentality of many youthful motorists.

Car insurance rates drop every year from the age of 17 to 30. At the age of 25, the average insurance policy will drop by around 30%.

So if you are a young driver considering buying a performance car, you may only have to wait a few years before your insurance policy would be a lot cheaper.

Buy different insurance

Your performance vehicle may be eligible for a different car insurance policy. For example, many performance cars that are older than 15 years are eligible for classic car insurance, and classic car insurance is often cheaper than performance car insurance.

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