Compare import car insurance from UK insurance providers
Import Car Insurance
Compare The Import Car Insurance Market
- Get your quotes by filling in one simple form, compare prices, and start saving
- Cover for Grey Imports – car insurance for imported vehicles from Japan, the EU, and the US
- Left Hand Drive Cover – this will insure your car in spite of it being left hand drive as opposed to the UK standard
- Specialist Repairs – imported cars have parts that are often difficult to source, so you need to be covered for this
- Q Plated Import Cars – if your imported vehicle has been modified from manufacturer standard
- Insuring an imported car will often be more expensive due to the perceived increase in risk by brokers
- Many grey imports come from Japan, and have thus do not meet European emissions or safety standards, so you will need to bring this in as a personal import. In order to do this, and be able to get an insurance policy, you will need to ensure your car goes through the Basic Individual Vehicle Approval Test
If you’re importing a car from a foreign country you’re probably wondering if it will cost more to insure.
In short, it probably will. But it will depend on the type of foreign car you’re importing. A car imported from Japan is usually more difficult to insure than a car from a European country.
There are some key things to be aware of when shopping around for the best import car insurance, and even a few ways you can reduce your insurance costs.
Why does it cost more to insure imported cars?
Insureance companies have some fair reasons to charge you more to cover imported cars. Here are a few of the main reasons you could end up paying more:
- If it’s expensive, rare or just unique looking then it can be more vulnerable to theft
An eye-catching car can bring with it some unwanted attention. If a car stands out, it stands out to car thieves, and insurers know this, so it could affect your insurance premiums.
- Imported car parts are more expensive to replace
If you are involved in an accident and need vehicle repairs for your imported car, it could end up costing your insurer more.
Importing car parts from overseas if necessary is more expensive, and you might even need a specialist mechanic to work on your imported vehicle.
An insurance company will factor this in to their insurance calculations.
- A need for speed could cost you
If your imported car has high specs then insurers will see this as a risk. From an insurer’s perspective, a car designed to go fast is more likely to be driven recklessly, and this will up your premiums.
What are grey imports and parallel imports?
There are two types of imported cars:
A grey import is a car imported from a non-European country, like the US or Japan.
While Japanese car manufacturers like Toyota and Suzuki make cars in the UK, these aren’t classed as imports as they’re built to UK regulations.
But if your car is built in Japan and imported over, it will be classed as a grey import.
The imported car might have a higher spec as it won’t be built to UK standards. And if it’s an American car it will be left-hand drive.
A parallel import is a car manufactured in a European country shipped over to the UK.
As European standards are similar to the UK’s, these imported cars are easier to insure and won’t cost as much as grey imports.
How do you insure an imported car?
Insuring your imported car can be trickier than normal, especially if you’re insuring a grey import. Here are some key things you’ll need to get import car insurance:
- Inform HMRC within 14 days that your car is in the UK
- Pay any applicable VAT to HMRC
- Get Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) to prove your car is within the UK’s environmental and safety regulations
- Register your car with the DVLA (you’ll be sent your registration number)
- Tax your vehicle
What is Individual Vehicle Approval for imported cars?
The Individual Vehicle Approval scheme is a HMRC inspection to prove your grey imported vehicle meets UK regulations.
To get one, you first need to make sure your vehicle has a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
If your car doesn’t have a VIN, you need to contact the DVLA to get one applied.
Are Japanese import cars more expensive to insure?
Japanese cars are grey imports, which means they won’t automatically meet UK regulations.
However, once you’ve got the vehicle registered in the UK with a VIN, IVA and paid the relevant tax, you should be ok, although you be need to pay slightly more compared to standard car insurance.
How can I get cheaper imported car insurance?
- Keep your car safer – fitting an alarm or steering wheel lock, for example, can help brings your insurance costs down.
- Pay your premium all at once instead of spreading the cost
- Consider black box technology to prove you’re a safe driver
- Shop around and compare car insurance quotes – it can take time, but could save you hundreds on specialist insurance like this
- Protecting your no claims bonus
Why Do I Need Car Insurance?
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Car Insurance in the UK is compulsory under the 1988 Road Traffic Act and it is an offence to take a car onto a public highway without at least third party insurance in place.
Most basic car insurance policies cover third party, fire and theft covering third party liabilities as well as damage to the car caused by fire or loss due to theft. Comprehensive car insurance which is more expensive covers third party, fire and theft but also covers any damage caused by the driver to the car being driven.
According to the Motor Insurers Bureau uninsured drivers (approximately two million motorists according to the department of transport) inflict approximately £380 million of damage on UK roads which is passed on in higher insurance premiums.
Under the law a car must have a valid car insurance policy if it is taxed or not or whether it is kept on a public highway or not and whether it is driven or not.
If a car is not being used its tax disc must be redeemed and the relevent declaration (SORN) completed to confirm that the car is being kept off public roads. The scheme will provide a new fixed penalty for people who ignore official reminders that their insurance has expired. the maximum penalty for offenders is £5,000 and an automatic endorsement of your driver license with 6 to 8 penalty points.
What Are The Different Types Of Car Insurance
Type of Car Insurance
Car Insurance Features
Comprehensive Car Insurance
|As the name suggests provides cover both to third parties but also to you and your own car and passengers in the event of an accident. This type of cover usually allows you to drive another car (may only be on a third party basis).
Car Legal Expenses Insurance
Normally sold as an add on to car insurance and provides legal expense cover in the event of a dispute e.g. if you are in an accident that is not your fault you may wish to claim back uninsured losses and legal expense cover will help you fund the legal costs.
Third Party Car Insurance
|Third party car insurance is the minimum cover required by UK law on a vehicle used ona public highway. If you have an accident this cover will protect you from having to pay for damage to other vehicles. You cannot make a claim against your own vehicle.
Third Party Fire and Theft Car Insurance
|In addition to covering third party liabilites this cover also provides financial protection in the event of damage to your car in the event of fire or loss due to theft.
How Do I Get The Best Car Insurance Rates?
Things to consider:
If you are under 25 you will generally pay more for car insurance. For teenagers the cost of car insurance can be very high. Some insurers provide young driver car insurance schemes e.g. The Co-op and Young Marmalade provide specialist insurance for younger drivers
To keep the cost of car insurance down many insurers provide you with the option of a voluntary excess on any claim. This is paid over and above any compulsory excess on the policy.
In the past specialist women’s car insurance providers could offer a better deal. Women generally tend to make less expensive claims than men, and so insurance companies historically reflected this in offering cheaper premiums. However, in March 2012, the European Court of Justice ruled that insurance providers cannot discriminate on gender. This ruling came into effect from December 2012.
Some car insurers will adjust their car insurance premium based on the mileage you do. It is important you give an accurate indication of expected annual mileage to ensure you are not paying more than you need to. Check with your existing car insurer (if relevant) – If you already have an existing car check with your existing insurer about adding a second car onto the policy. Some car insurance companies will provide you with a discount for including a second vehicle – often called multi car insurance.
Using a Comparison website
Online comparison websites provide a useful and easy way of getting car insurance quotes. No car insurance comparison website covers the whole market so it makes sense to use more than one source to ensure you are getting the right cover at the right price. You should also note that some insurance companies do not appear on comparison websites e.g. Direct Line Car Insurance and Aviva Car Insurance
Using a Car Insurance broker
If you are not sure what cover you need or want somebody to help you through the process there are many car insurance brokers who will be happy to help. A good insurance broker will not help you in buying car insurance but also provide support in the event that you need to make a claim.If you intend to use a broker you should check their FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) registration on the FCA website.
Providing correct information
In assessing the insurance risk an insurance company will rely on the information that you give as being accurate. Information provided will determine whether insurance is provided and the cost of premiums. It is therefore important that any information you provide is correct e.g. information on any driving offences where you have been given points can have a material impact on the premium you are required to pay. Non disclosure of such information at the time of application can result in a non payout in the event of a claim. If you are using a car insurance broker this is where valuable advice can be provided.
Cheapest is not always best
With insurance you generally get what you pay for so before you sign up to an insurance policy you should be aware of what you are covered for and what is excluded. You should consider what you need and ensure you are adequately covered. This may mean you have to pay more to get what you want.
When you buy car insurance and you pay by direct debit some insurance companies will automatically renew your car insurance policy at the renewal date. You should receive a written notice of the car insurance renewal and any increase in the premium. If you are not happy you need to be proactive and shop around before the renewal date and cancel the existing policy before renewal.
Changing your mind
You have the right to change your mind within a set period normally 14 days from purchase of the car insurance policy and have your money returned.
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