A Guide To Car Insurance For Imports

Imported Car InsuranceIf you’re a car enthusiast enamoured by some of the latest foreign cars, it can be expensive to get a car made outside the country. Often these cars are highly desirable because they offer higher technical and engineering specifications than cars made in the UK.

However, they are also expensive to buy, import, insure, and maintain because often an imported car is designed to meet the technical regulations of their country of manufacture.

Differences in specifications can lead to usability and compatibility problems when applied to UK roads. Consequently to deal with such issues, two classifications have been designed to determine usability. These are called parallel imports and grey imports. Depending on what type of import you select, it can lead to differences in car insurance quotes.

Parallel Imports

These are cars built inside the European Union; as a result, they still retain many essential technical specifications required of UK cars like safety standards and right-hand drive. Also, all cars sold in Europe have a minimum emissions standard they must meet. These cars often come with optional features like sunroofs, and a buyer may elect to have these features if the price is right. It’s important that both warranties and technical specifications of cars from abroad be checked to see if they satisfy the requirements of UK car insurance regulations.

Grey Imports

These are cars built outside the European Union, mainly Japan, the USA, and Canada, with Japan topping the list of popular imports. Since the car may have been designed with different regulations, a buyer will have to pay to have it modified before it can pass the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) scheme. An imported car must satisfy environmental regulations and meet safety standards established for motor vehicles in the UK.

Additionally, repairs can sometimes be problematic, with technical difficulties related to specifications and car parts.

Car Insurance for Imported Vehicles

Since pre-tax prices of a foreign car are often lower than cars in the UK, sometimes importing a car can save money. For example, importing a Mitsubishi Pajero may be cheaper than official British imports. Often, too, they have superior specification standards. But there are also problems: it can be difficult to find car insurance for an imported vehicle because they may not be built to suit European standards.

Consequently, insurers may charge more because they are unfamiliar with the risks associated with an imported vehicle. For example, they don’t know if parts will be hard to find and repairs more difficult to make. They also don’t know if the car suits UK roads. In fact, some insurers may even refuse to cover the car at all.

The possibility of finding high quality, affordable car insurance really depends on one single factor: the make and model of the car.

For parallel imports, which are right-hand drive, it is much easier to find the right insurance, especially from a specialized insurer, because these cars are EU approved and congruent with UK standards.

For grey imports, the insurer will require a lot of details since these types of cars don’t conform to EU approved standards set for Europe. Getting excellent insurance may require extensive shopping and getting a lot of quotes before making a purchase decision.

Tips for Finding Cheap Car Import Insurance

Although it is not possible to always find cheap insurance since it depends on the type of import car, here are a few tips to help you shop for a good deal:

  1. Get as many quotes as you can before buying car insurance.
  2. Use the Internet for more rapid research, comparing numerous websites.
  3. Consider using a specialist, rather than a conventional, insurer.
  4. Compare offers made by different specialist insurers.
  5. Some insurers will cover a left-hand car for the same price as a right-hand one if there are no other changes.
  6. Since a modified import will already be a challenge, limit making any more changes.
  7. Use a recognized security device to get a discount on your premiums.