Motorists warned about uninsured vehicle modifications

GoCompare is warning drivers not to inadvertently invalidate their car insurance by not advising their insurer of any modifications they make to their vehicle.  Modifications include performance or aesthetic changes to the bodywork, engine, wheels – even fitting a roof rack or tow bar.

The warning comes after an insurance company threatened to void a Welsh vicar’s car insurance policy when she tried to claim, as she had not told her insurer that she had adorned her car with religious stickers.

All modifications, including those made to the original specification on new cars, should be declared to insurers. Failure to do so could leave drivers out of pocket as the majority of insurers would not pay out for damage or loss of undisclosed altered parts.

Analysis of car insurance quotes by Gocompare.com has revealed that only 2% of drivers declared that their car had some kind of modification – that means that just over half a million cars on UK roads have been modified in some way, which includes everything from a new sound system to a tow bar.

Modifications are any changes to a car that aren’t as standard – so, any changes that have been made to the car since it left the factory or car showroom. By law, vehicle keepers must tell the DVLA about changes such as colour, engine number, chassis, monocoque body shell and model description. There is no legal requirement to declare changes to the gearbox, suspension, or cosmetic additions such as trims, spoilers and tow bars, as well as other electronic modifications to the DVLA, but insurers will want to know about any of the changes above, plus any other non-standard additions or alterations.

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