Does lowering a car affect insurance?

21 November 2018

When it comes to the aesthetics of a car, one of the latest looks that everyone is dying to shape their car into is the appearance of a sports car. With their sleek outer shell and upgraded modifications to allow driving to become a breeze, they are fantastic to take out on a long journey or even just to go to work in style. The best way to obtain the sports car look can be by lowering the hood of your car. However, with even the smallest of moderations comes the unfortunate chance that your insurance policy is affected by it. Here are some things to consider before you lower the hood of your car.

Ferrari Spider

What is “Lowering” a Car?

Lowering a car, or a car’s hood, literally means you make the vehicle to sit closer to the ground. This is usually completed by either replacing the relevant parts of the car entirely with smaller parts, changing the outer body of the car or by purchasing a lowering kit. This will ultimately assist with the car’s performance in regards to its speed, aesthetic, braking distance and its functionality. However, with all these changes to your vehicle comes a multitude of potential risks, which is why you always need to alert your insurer to any manufacturing changes made to the exterior or interior of your car.

Accident Proof?

Despite the positives that come with lowering a car, the fact that the car is so close to the ground comes with its own safety risks. The likelihood of an accident is only increased due to the chance that the car no longer possesses an adequate front mirror, or the correct perspective of the road, to see obstacles crossing the road. Whether this is an animal, small child or a vulnerable elderly person, the combined speed of the car and the lack of traction on the wheels can only lead to a potential accident. As the wheel of the car will also be at an awkward angle in relation to the positioning of the seat, you may also find it difficult to steer out of the way of any obstacles, only increasing the risk of an accident further.

What may be worse are the potential problems that could happen after an accident occurs to your vehicle. Not only may a mechanic struggle with understanding your car’s interior due to its upgrades but lowering the suspension can also make any routine towing of the vehicle an extremely hard job. It is far more expensive to send a mechanic to your vehicle, rather than sending it to the garage. So, keep this in mind when you lower your car’s suspension. Be sure to be extremely careful when taking any sharp bends, as whilst your car may look like a sports car on the outside, sufficiently jarring turns can compromise the car’s stability on the road, especially on wet or icy roads.

Insurers will look at these risks and consider how likely they are to occur due to your vehicle and you driving the car. This may make your auto insurance sky rocket before you know it. So be sure to consider these costs before you make any potential expensive changes to your car.

Exterior Problems

Another reason why your insurer may raise the cost of your car insurance could be due to the modifications made on the car themselves. One of the most dangerous effects of lowering your car can be regarding what happens once the new parts come into contact with the older parts of the car. If your tires are too big in comparison to the car’s new frame then this can chew them up and cause the risk of a burst tire, potentially sending you towards an accident and the threat of the problems listed above. Mis-sized tires can also lead to your vehicle having uneven tire tracks, meaning less grip upon the road. A lower suspension can even make the bars inside the car sway, meaning that the outer frame or the anti-lock braking system is fragile. This only increases the chances of a potential accident, meaning that your insurer may not want to risk your car being on the road without having a higher insurance premium.

The Problem of Theft

Not only will lowering your car potentially make it more likely to encounter an accident on the road, but with its flashy appearance and sports-car performance, including its aerodynamic movement and amazing fuel mileage, if it is left outside on its own then it may become a target for thieves to either steal or vandalise.

Modifications are extremely valuable in the aftermarket, so if your car is stolen you may not even have it fully returned to you, as certain parts may be sold off.

If you ever locate it again, you may just find the outer shell rather than any of its fancy components. As remodelling your car means that each part you change is individualised, you may be faced with some steep replacement charges. Worse still, if you take it to the garage for a replacement and have changed too much in the car, your engineer may not know where to begin with fixing it. Therefore your insurance may be placed at a higher premium than a standard vehicle.

If you are looking to lower your hood but avoid this fate, be sure to always park your car in a safe area at night time, such as in a garage or out of the way of a busy party street in a hidden alley way, to avoid the prying eyes of thieves. It may not hurt to also indulge in some technology to track your car or even to modify the lock so that it becomes electronic. There has even been talk of some of the most modern cars using keycodes to obtain keys from a locked pouch to start the car, as well as a square key card to fully unlock the vehicle.

If your lowered car is unfortunately stolen, then a final way of having it returned is to ensure that a tracker has been installed in your car. This way you can track the location of the car and the potential thieves. This can allow the police to easily catch them before returning your vehicle to you.

How can I keep my car insurance low?

If you wish to go through with the modifications to your car, then finding a cheap car insurance that incorporates these new modifications may not be easy to obtain. Be sure to write down everything that you need in regard to your policy and to alert your old policy to the changes that have been made. If you do not like their updated policy, due to said changes, then you can always start to look elsewhere for a better insurance deal. Our Car Insurance Comparison websites allows you to look up multiple insurers at once and keep track of the best prices. Though be sure to also give them a phone call in order to explain your situation, that way you can see if you can squeeze any additional discounts out of their policy.

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