Vehicle modifications
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Car insurance

What’s so bad about car modifications?

Generally, 'modifications' are any changes that weren't part of the original manufacturer spec, like non-standard alloys or tinted windows.

You need to know whether or not your car has been modified as it can make your insurance more expensive, or even invalidate it. This is for several reasons:

  • Modded cars may be attractive to thieves and vandals
  • Botched DIY projects may make the car dangerous to drive
  • Enhancements to performance could mean more damage in a crash
  • Replacing specialist parts could be difficult and expensive

These problems mean that many insurers (including ingenie) don't insure modified cars for young drivers.

But it’s not just about insurance - modifications can cause all sorts of other problems, from driving up your fuel costs to actually breaking the law.

If your car has a modification, our engineer won't be able to fit your black box and a charge may apply.

Why modifications are not as cool as they look

Fuel economy:

Because they're heavy, bigger wheels will affect your fuel economy. You might like the way they look, but you won’t like the extra fuel costs!

A sports exhaust will have the same effect - you'll get that boy racer POP but your car's actual performance will probably be decreased.

Ride and handling:

Bigger wheels can also affect how comfortably your car deals with our awful British roads, and how easy it is for you to control it. Since many are fitted with low profile tyres, they’re more likely to get punctures too.

Noise and emissions:

Sports exhausts don't only affect fuel economy - they may also breach noise and harmful emission levels, resulting in an MOT fail.

Security:

Upgraded stereos may give you a banging sound but they’ll also make your car more attractive to thieves, and your car probably won’t have the security to match. They can also cause electrical problems if they haven’t been fitted correctly.

Legality:

We often get asked why tinted windows affect insurance, and the reason that most insurers (including ingenie) won't cover cars with this modification is that they can break the law as well as potentially being unsafe.

Tinted windows can significantly restrict your vision while driving, so by law they must let in at least 70% of light. However, with DIY tint sets and unfussy installers making unsafe tinting possible, many insurers steer clear of them altogether.

How to tell if a car has modifications

It’s not always easy to tell whether a previous owner has made changes to your car but here are a few tips:

  1. The obvious way to find out about mods is to ask the person you bought it from - not always easy!
  2. The most common modifications to look out for are:
       
    • Bigger wheels
    • Adjusted suspension
    • Alloy wheels
    • Spoilers
    • Tinted windows
    • Sports exhausts
    • Upgraded stereos
  3. If you’re shopping around for your first car, you’re probably looking for something on the small side. Small cars aren’t generally manufactured with large wheels or sports exhausts so any modifications may stick out.
  4. If you’re still not sure, Google the exact spec and year of the car - does your car look different?
  5. Failing that, check the manufacturer’s website or even drop in to a dealership and ask for help.
 

If you're buying your first car, check out our top 10 cars for young drivers.


By

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .

  • Peter

    Does painting the wheels in black is considered as a “modification” for the insurer?

    • Hi Peter. Yes, painted wheels are classed as a modification by ingenie. Not all insurers have the same policies though, so it’s always best to check.

  • Guest

    Quick question does tinting the rear windows class as a modification? even if they let in more than 70% light?

    • Hi Mike. Yes, that’s classed as a modification, unless they’re factory tinted by the manufacturer before you buy the car. Hope that helps!

  • Liam

    Hi would it be ok to get my rear windows tinted by 20% it’s light smoke colour a lot of fiestas have this standard on my model

    • Hi Liam. Unless it’s by the manufacturer (i.e. you’re buying it new and choosing the window tinting option) we would class that as a modification, which isn’t covered on our policies. If you need some more help with this, call our customer support team on 0330 303 0014. Hope that helps!

  • Aaron

    Hi, i was just wondering on the restrictions in regards to changing my stereo as i would like one that has an aux cord in as my current one does not

    • Hi Aaron.

      It will depend on what stereo you’re wanting to install in your car. Give us a ring on 0330 303 0014 for more help. You can call any time until 8pm today or 9am-4pm tomorrow. Thanks!

      Honor

  • Lauren

    Hi, I was just wondering if changing the gear knob on my car would count as a modification, and if I would still be covered?

    • Hi Lauren. It is classed as a modification but it depends on a few factors like cost, so give us a ring to see if it’s OK. You can call 0330 303 0014 for help until 8pm today. Thanks, Honor

  • Shaun

    Hi my bumpers have been color coded is this classed as modified

    • Hi Shaun.

      We don’t insure cars that have been modified in any way, and that includes non-standard paintwork or any changes to the manufacturer’s specs. To get more help with this, call 0330 303 0014 and one of our guys will go through it in more detail. You can call Monday – Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm.

      Thanks!

      Honor

  • elliott

    hey, my car came with a upgraded stereo with an AUX, at the time of doing my insurance, i didnt see “sound system” on moneysupermarket as a modification… so i left it blank. now i am arranging to get your black box fitted, and it says a stereo is an unexceptionable modification… and so i need to know asap if im allowed to keep it in, or what… since it is the only radio/stereo i have in the car… also since it is an 2004 car, it had a cassette player and buying a second hand car with the original player is ner impossible… also! since its old, the left hand mirrors glue has given way and the mirror fell out, it is still legal since i have 2 working mirrors… am getting it fixed either tomorrow (17) or on the 18th… ALSO i did the insurance on saturday night… and so i could not ring then, nor today as it was a sunday! and i needed insurance asap since i had the money and need car for college open day and what not.

    • Hi Elliott.

      As you’ve got your box fitting booked really soon, I’ve asked our customer service guys to email you about the problem. They’ll be able to let you know if it’s OK or not.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Jake McReary

    Just wondering if installing OEM Alloy wheels (i.e if I own a Peugeot, they would be Peugeot branded ones) would impact my on my insurance?

    • Hey Jack.

      Anything after factory counts as a modification but if you’d like to talk to someone about this, call our customer service team on 0330 303 0014. They’re available Monday – Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm. Hope that helps!

      Honor

      • Jake McReary

        Also, would fitting remote central locking bring my insurance down?

        • Hi Jake. The car is just one of many factors we look at when offering insurance so it’s hard to say what one change could save you. Aftermarket locking kits can cause wiring problems so we may not accept it if it’s not a manufacturer option. Give our guys a call on 0330 303 0014 if you need more help.

          Thanks,
          Honor

  • James Hellard

    My car has no spoiler. But looked on google and they all come with a spoiler fitted normally. Would it be okay to put one one?

    • Hey James.

      Unfortunately that would still count as a modification because it wouldn’t be fitted by the original manufacturer. If you’d like to talk to someone about it in more detail, our customer service team are around until 8pm today. You can call them on 0330 303 0014.

      Thanks!
      Honor

  • Luke Scambler

    Just cause you don’t cover modifications, don’t make out they’re the Devil’s work.

    • Hey Luke. We don’t cover modifications because they’re not a great idea for young drivers. We just want to make sure our drivers are aware of the reasons.

      Thanks!

      Honor

  • Miles

    Hi, My car has factory fitted alloy wheels (nothing fancy). Am I able to spray the wheels black without it affecting my insurance?

    • Hi Miles,

      I’m afraid that would count as a modification. If you need more help with this, you can call us on 0330 303 0014 until 8pm today.

      Thanks, Honor

  • William

    Does an after-market radio count as a modification?

    • Hi William,

      That would count as a modification but give us a ring on 0330 303 0014 to check. We’re open until 8pm today.

      Thanks, Honor

      • Jamal

        If my car came with factory black rims, will the engineer fit the box in still?

        • Hi Jamal,

          As long as they were straight out of the factory when the car was new, they should be OK. I would ring to check though as the guys in customer services will be able to go into more detail with you: 0330 303 0014.

          Thanks!

          Honor

  • Julia Fry

    Do wheel trims class as a modification?

    • Hi Julia,

      That sounds like a modification to me but best to check with our customer service guys as they’ll know more. You can get them on 0330 303 0014 until 8pm today.

      Hope that helps,

      Honor

      • Julia Fry

        Really!!! They are plastic they cost £20 a piece from ford and £15
        For four from halfords and fall off all the time seems really odd that this would class as a modification!!!

        • Hi Julia,

          Changes that make the car more attractive to thieves can be an issue, which is why I think wheel trims could count as a modification. Customer services will definitely be able to clarify that for you though – just give them a ring on 0330 303 0014.

          Thanks!

          Honor

  • Kriss

    Does putting a new stereo in cos the old ones broke affect your insurance?

    • Hi Kriss,

      It will depend on the stereo – if you replace the old one with a model that’s more desirable, it can make you more of a target to thieves. Best way to check is to call our customer service guys on 0330 303 0014. They’ll be available to help you until 8pm today.

      Thanks, Honor

      • Kriss

        It’s a Sony one with no touch screen or satnav, they said it should be fine but what happens if it isn’t?

        • I can’t say for sure if that’s OK or not but if you give us a call, the lovely people in customer service will help you in more detail. Make sure you get all the information you need before you buy the new stereo.

          Thanks,
          Honor

  • Hi Zain,

    Features that come straight out of the factory are not counted as modifications. If you’re worried, give us a call on 0330 303 0014 to check. We’re open until 8pm today.

    Thanks,

    Honor

  • Chloe Emma Troop

    Such patronising customer service. Black alloy wheels instead of silver and every person who I have spoken to has made me out to be a criminal. Shocking. Will not be renewing when my policy is up in June!

  • Cai Jones

    Would re-upholstering the seats and interior panels from cloth to leather actually count as a modification, or not?

    • Hey Cai,

      I’m afraid any changes that you make beyond choosing your specs on a brand new car are classed as a modification. If you want to talk to someone in more detail, you can get our customer service guys on 0330 303 0014 until 8pm today.

      Thanks!

      Honor

  • Andrew garfitt

    My car has no badge on the back and a black boot strip will this affect insurance

    • Hey Andrew,

      The lack of badge wouldn’t be a problem but the black boot strip would be if it’s been done after it’s come out of the factory.

      Hope that helps,

      Honor

      • Andrew garfitt

        Thanks for the advice so would i just need to replace the boot strip but not the badge

        • I would think so but you’re best off calling our customer service guys on 0330 303 0014 to make sure you know what you need to do. They’re around until 8pm today.

          Thanks,

          Honor

  • Ben

    If I change the radio in my car is this a modification? As it’s just a radio

    • Hey Ben,

      I’m afraid that most likely would be counted as a modification, because it ups the desirability of your car – making it more of a target for theft. If you’d like to double-check with customer services, give them a ring tomorrow on 0330 303 0014. Hope that helps!

      Honor

  • Nathan Hall

    Would changing the cloth interior to a standard leather interior be classed as a mod?
    Nathan

    • Hi Nathan,

      Any change after factory that makes the car more desirable is usually classed as a mod, I’m afraid.

      Honor

  • Luke Terry

    Hi, seeing all these posts makes me really worried about if I’m driving my car illegally with no insurance here’s a list of the modifications i have: an air freshener, and aux cable for my aux port, a seat cover, a phone holder. I also dented my car a bit when i drove into my bin does that make my car desirable. Please reply quick as I’m very worried.

    • Hi Luke,

      It’s always a good thing to make sure. Just a few questions:

      Is your air freshener made of gold? Did you dent your car on a bin belonging to Shakespeare or a patron saint? What about your seat cover – is it fabricated from dollar bills?

      If you can give me a bit more information, I’ll try to put your mind at rest.

      Thanks,

      Honor

      • Luke Terry

        No but seriously if i paint my rims an undesirable colour, does that make them more desirable.

        • Well Luke, colour is quite subjective. I myself favour purple but you might hate it. I would stay away from painting your rims at all if you’re trying to get affordable insurance.

          Thanks,

          Honor

  • Harry

    would a parrot handsfree be classed as a modification

    • Hi Harry,

      As they seem to be wired in like a stereo, I would think they probably are. If you’d like more information, give customer services a call and they’ll help you. They’re available on 0330 303 0014 until 8pm tonight.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Josh

    Very odd blog article, many of the points are untrue or simply require the driver to check the legalities of what they are planning to do. Completely understand why an insurance company wouldn’t want to deal with modifications as in some cases it is true that they make a car more appealing (stereos etc are easily pinched) and also modifying the engine will increase HP making it more powerful therefore a higher insurance bracket, however there isn’t a need to scare people off modifications and add to the often untrue image that all modifications are bad and only found on boy racers cars.

    Many cars come with big wheels from the factory and often the same model having larger wheels offered as a factory option. You are also saying that putting smaller wheels on would be a modification but would make the car “safer” based on what you have said.

    Good quality sports exhausts are an item created to help the cars engine perform better. Now this doesn’t mean it will add 50HP and make it drive like a ferrari but it can help make the engine run better and also tends to save weight on a factory set up. Not all sports exhausts are loud and Boy Racery, good quality systems can be almost as quiet as a factory system and will last much longer as they are made from stainless steel, many offering lifetime guarantees. Sports exhaust systems also don’t affect a cars emissions in themselves so won’t affect your MOT. The catalytic converter is the item which helps reduce emissions so as long as the stock cat is left in place, there is no affect on emissions.

    Again with tinted windows, its a matter of checking the legalities. many cars come with factory installed tints now a days. The front windows can’t be tinted (as most are very slightly tinted from factory) where as the rear windows can be. This can be useful for a number of reasons from protecting children from UV rays and also helping to reduce the amount of heat in your car meaning the air con doesn’t need to be used as much (saving you money as air con affects your mpg).

    My suggestion would be that new drivers avoid modifications on existing cars as you won’t always know the workmanship is up to scratch (the same is true on any car bought second hand though) and also allow them to learn to drive a “normal” car. No need to scare people off, just make it clear you as an insurer won’t insure modifications, because that is the agreement you have in place.

    • Hi Josh,

      We only class features as modifications if they’re post-factory, so we will insure cars that have some of these things. However, it’s going to cost you more to insure with some extras and they’re not a great idea for new drivers (tinted windows for example, when you’re still getting to grips with being on the road). Even if a driver isn’t insuring with us, modifications on a small budget are a pretty bad move.

      General advice: don’t get into fancy extras until you can afford to do it right and your insurance isn’t costing more than your car.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Honor

  • Connor

    I’m just wondering I’m geting a black box put in my car but I’m thinking of geting a update stereo and I’m just wondering is it classed as a modification and the engineer won’t fix the black box

    • Hey Connor. Unfortunately that would be a modification but if you get a black box and save a bunch of money for driving well, that’s an even better stereo in the future.

      Honor

  • jo

    Hi if my son’s car has reversing sensors would that mean it’s a modification and would the black box still be able to be fitted?

    • Hi Jo. Were the sensors an option he chose when he got the car? If it’s a new car they wouldn’t be a problem but if they’ve been added post-factory, that would count as a modification I’m afraid.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Connor

    Im just wondering? When the black box gets look at every 3 months do there comeout or is it done online?

    • Hey Connor,

      Everything’s done online, using the data from your box. We send you feedback through the ingenie app around every 10 days so you know how you’re doing, then 3 times a year, we give you any discount you’ve earned for your good driving. You can track everything through the app so you always know what’s going on.

      Hope that helps!

      Honor

  • Adam Hall

    Are wheel trims classes as a modification?

    • Hi Adam,

      Yep, wheel trims are a modification I’m afraid.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Danny

    The argument of making the car more attractive to thieves is completely illogical IMO. Modifications should only include things that actually have an impact on the cars overall performance, for example fitting an aftermarket turbo, I wouldn’t accept a ‘sticker’ on the back of a car to be classed as a modification in anyway shape or form as it does nothing to the cars performance. Insurance companies are a joke full stop. They pick and chose whatever they want to be classed as a modification because they know 9/10 people will have some form of sticker on their car for example and they will use this poor excuse for them not to pay out, outrageous .

    • Hi Danny,

      We have to go by the rules we agreed with our underwriters (the people who actually pay out the money!) and this is one way we can give people cheaper insurance because statistically, cars with modifications are more likely to be stolen, keyed or involved in crashes. By not insuring them, we have fewer crashes and insurance stays lower-cost.

      Was it some nice flames you were wanting or an ‘I love Mum’ sticker? It’s really the go-faster stripes and other idiot badges that are the worry.

      Honor

      • Danny

        Haha hilarious aren’t you, ‘I love you mum sticker’ instead of working for ingenie how about you try stand up comedy? I was using stickers as an example so in reality you’re laughing at your own rules. And I fail to understand how it would be a ‘worry’ if a 50p sticker is classed as a modification to you, you should allow it aslong as they pay 50pence more for their insurance along with any other thing you consider to be a modification, for another example – a stereo. And also you have fewer crashes for not insuring those with a single sticker one their car? I highly doubt that in afraid.

        • I would love to try stand up Danny, glad you like my routine.

          Stickers come under mods simply because claim stats tell us the kind of people who have big flame decals are more likely to have crashes. To keep insurance a good price, we have to agree these kinds of compromises with our underwriters. A few years ago, insurance was costing under-20s up to £4,000. It’s quite a lot less than half that now in our community.

          Have a super weekend,

          Honor

  • Hi Danny,

    Hope you had a great weekend.

    Insurance has traditionally worked like this: the kind of car you choose, your age, where you live, the mileage you expect to do etc. are checked against all the claims people have had in the past to see how likely it is that you will claim. This is how your price is set, and before black box insurance, insurers had to stick to this – it was the only way.

    Now, we’re able to see how an individual drives, so we can give a person discounts for driving well. That makes it way fairer and cheaper. We still have to make compromises though, in order to make the underwriters (the people who pay out if you crash) happy to take on the bigger statistical risk a younger driver represents. Modifications are one of them – because we know that someone who has modifications is more likely to crash or have their car stolen.

    You can find out more about how insurance is worked out here: https://www.ingenie.com/young-drivers-guide/how-is-car-insurance-worked-out

    Thanks!

    Honor

  • Hi Toby,

    Getting your air filter changed is general maintenance so that should be fine. I would be very surprised if it caused an insurance issue if it’s just a straight swap.

    Thanks,

    Honor

    • toby

      Thank you and if I wanted to get a non standered would it make it go up in price, If it wasn’t a performance one ?

      • Hi Toby – sorry didn’t get a notification for this!

        It shouldn’t be a problem but it’s always worth ringing up your insurer to let them know.

        Honor

  • Toby

    My car has a different colour badge and break pedals does this class as a modification?

  • Hi Andrew,

    If you can remove the sticker that will be OK but with it on, yup, that’s a modification.

    Thanks,

    Honor

  • Callum

    Hi, i have a mk3 Clio and if i was to change my radio from Renault standard to a Bluetooth JVC radio would that be classed as a modification. Thanks

    • Hi Callum,

      That would class as a modification because you’d be upgrading to a fancier stereo.

      Thanks,

      Honor

      • Callum

        Even though its a removable faceoff stereo and i always remove the face after i leave the car and take it with me ? By the way its only the stereo (not speaker or subwoofer )

        • The best thing to do is call our customer service team on 0330 303 0014 so they can answer for sure.

          Thanks,

          Honor

  • Julee

    My car has factory fitted privacy glass in the rear windows, is that classed as a modification? Thanks

    • Hi Julee,

      As long as it’s straight from the manufacturer it should be fine.

      Thanks!

      Honor

  • Gobby

    I have a Ford fiesta Zetec with Ford fiesta alloy wheels which were a option at when purchased new from the dealer, is this a modification?

    • Hi Gobby (great name),

      If the wheels were a manufacturer spec option, these shouldn’t be a problem.

      Thanks!

      Honor

  • Kieran Melling

    Hi, had my Ford Fiesta Zetec for a few weeks now and been thinking about making a few changes..

    Just have a few questions about what would class as modifications.

    – my silver alloys are pretty shot at and I was going to paint them black, was told by my box fitter that he wouldn’t bother as it may class as a mod. But, what if I had them refurbished to the exact same colour (still the factory standard alloys and same colour, minus the scuffs and tough grime.

    – mud guards, really annoying after I wash my car and a day or so later all the wheel arch panel is filthy. Wouldnt even be “sporty” ones just basic ones to keep my car clean for more than an hour or so.

    – brake calipers, they are standard matt black but really old and a bit rusty, I was thinking about cleaning them up and re-painting them the exact same colour again

    – a few other little changes I’m wanting to make which would consist of removing old parts and putting new parts (exact same part and spec, just newer) i.e. Old plastic black trim that has a few scuffs and faded gray over years to a new shiney black one?

    I would just like to know if these points above would class as modifications?

    Better making sure before I start doing them all.

    • Hi Kieran,

      Replacing things with the same part is absolutely fine, as is cleaning things up. Your box fitter was right about the black alloys but new versions of the the same are fine. The mud guards will be fine as long as they’re not ‘sporty’ as you say!

      Hope that helps,

      Honor

    • Kieran, you’re doing exactly the right thing! The last bits are a bit beyond me but I’ll ask my colleague and get back to you tomorrow, OK?

      Honor

      • Kieran Melling

        Okay. Let me know as soon as, thanks for all your help.

        • Hi Kieran,

          If they’re from the manufacturer this won’t be a problem. The things most insurers view as desirable are more like nice stereos, vinyl stickers, fancy alloys – things that make the car stand out and would make someone take another look. A masked robber probably isn’t going to be looking for car mats and seat covers – so you’re probably alright there. 😉

          Good luck with the makeover!

          Honor

          • Kieran Melling

            Right I’m sorted then, think il leave the big mods till I’ve been driving a few years and can afford the insurance for a modded car.

            Thanks for all your help

          • Music to my ears! It’s just not worth it until you have a few years’ No Claims under your belt.

            Good luck and props for checking everything first.

            Honor

  • Sam Flintoft

    ive got a enquire, my manifold had a blow in it so i decided to get a new one which is better because its stainless steel and wont rust as quickly as cast iron manifolds, would this be ok for when the box fitter came

    • Hi Sam,

      If it was the same part that would be fine but as it’s a different one, I would get in touch with our customer service guys on 0330 303 0014 to check with them.

      Thanks,

      Honor

      • Sam Flintoft

        thank you

  • Sam Wolfe

    So I know cars with modifications are more likely to be crashed or stolen because they’ve been made faster or stand out, but what about if the modification was one to improve fuel economy? What about if an engine was remapped to improve its efficiency? It wouldn’t make the car faster and the modification is invisible?

    • Hi Sam,

      I’m just asking someone clever than me about your question – I’ll get back to you ASAP.

      Honor

      • Sam Wolfe

        Thanks, It is a bit technical 🙂

        • Hi Sam,

          The general response from our underwriters (the people who pay out if you crash) is that this is fine as long as it’s a manufacturer option: a choice on your spec sheet that will be factory fitted. This is because you can rely on that being safely and professionally done.

          Hope that helps!

          Honor

          • Sam Wolfe

            What about if the remapping is done by a reputable company who offer £2 million comprehensive Insurance backed work, zero impact on manufacturer warranty, and custom written software for the vehicle? They also claim to have not had any issues with vehicles going wrong and are rated the best company in the UK for Vehicle Remapping? (Sorry for the persistence)

          • Don’t worry, I understand! I think it would be best if you give our customer service guys a ring on 0330 303 0014. They’re open until 8pm today and they’ll be able to look at this in detail with you.

            Thanks,

            Honor

          • Sam Wolfe

            Okay, Thanks 🙂

  • Paul Starling

    does replacing my 2005 Renault Clio MK3 with brembo brakes count as a modification

    • Hey Paul. I’m afraid that would be a modification.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • toby

    Am I able to change the colour of my standard corsa alloys for silver to black?

    • Hey Toby,

      I’m afraid changing your alloys would be classed as a modification.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • That’s a modification I’m afraid Toby. If you’re a new driver, I’d skip the mods until you’ve got a couple of years’ No Claims Discount and your insurance has come down.

    Thanks,

    Honor

  • Reuben Kumar

    I have an aftermarket stereo in my car, how will this effect my policy?

    • Hey Reuben,

      If you have a modification (this stereo probably counts but check with your insurer) you should let your insurer know. It could affect your policy by increasing your premium because the stereo may add value to your car or be an incentive to break into your car.

      If you don’t tell your insurer you have it, the cost of the stereo wouldn’t be covered by your insurance and you could actually get your claim refused because you didn’t declare every fact when you took out insurance.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Hi Sam,

    If it’s one you can remove just like a satnav you should be fine – just lock it away in your glove box if you can when you’re not using it. We don’t cover dash cams though, so if it was stolen or damaged, you couldn’t be able to claim for it.

    Honor

  • King Kunta

    aftermarket head light and tail lights. would this affect my policy?

    • Hi there,

      If they’re different from the standard lights that the car came with (like a different colour), that would be a modification.

      Thanks!

      Honor

  • Daniel

    HI my VW Bora is full factory spec mechanically but it has an aftermarket stereo with a sub woofer in the boot (this can be easily disconnected if needed), how would this affect my policy?

  • Maddison

    Hi, i have alloys already that are original with the car, im thinking of having them sprayed black would this affect my insurance?

    • Hi Maddison,

      Spraying the alloys would count as a modification I’m afraid.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Annonomous

    Can you have a tow bar fitted to your car

    • Hi there,

      As long as you’re using the car to tow one trailer, trailer-caravan or broken-down vehicle and you’re not charging for it!

      Thanks,

      Honor

      • Annonomous

        Ok thanks

  • Pat D R

    ive just bought and insured a car and ive got the black box fitter coming on friday.. what will happen if there are mods? my step dad has sorted my insurance claiming there are no mods but i think there is. Can i not just claim them on my insurance? i dont want to loose out on money ive had to work hard for and spent on insurance..

    • Hi Pat,

      ingenie policies don’t cover any modifications I’m afraid. It’s an agreement we made with our underwriters (the people who pay out if you crash) so we can offer lower premiums. If you car does have them and you’ve declared that it hasn’t, your insurance could be invalid – which essentially means you’d be driving without insurance.

      If the box fitter thinks the car has modifications, he won’t fit your box. You still have a bit of time, so if you think there are mods, you could replace them with a standard option. What is it that you think might be a problem?

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Chris Bones

    Hello,

    I’ve bought a fiesta 2004 flame. It has 17″ custom alloys already added. The black box engineer came today and said that the insurance wouldn’t allow it and i’ve got 7 days to make it standard.

    What size alloy wheels and makes can i use that the insurance will allow? There are so many different types and makes etc. These mods were done before i had the car so I’m not sure what the rules are.

    Many Thanks,
    Chris

  • ali

    Hi There,

    I am thinking of buying a fiesta for my son and want to make sure it has no mods on before we insure this, the calipers and drums have been cleaned up and sprayed back to original black, so therefore no fancy colour or anything, would this be ok?

    A

    • Hi Ali,

      Great to hear you’re thinking ahead! Black calipers and drums don’t sound standard though, so you might want to give us a ring on 0330 303 0014 to go through what would be acceptable.

      Thanks,

      Honor

      • ali

        Thanks for your reply, these have only been tidied up, ie removed the rust and made them look clean? not standing out or anything, I think they have been done purely for maintenance to give them a longer life.

        • Usually black wheels would be a red flag for me Ali – could you return them to the original colour? If you’d like more details on what’s OK, give us a call on 0330 303 0014.

          Thanks!

          Honor

          • ali

            Hi thanks again but they are not the wheels that I am asking about ? It is the brake calipers so would this be ok ?

            Thanks

          • I’m afraid that wouldn’t be an acceptable modification Ali.

            Thanks,

            Honor

  • Ellie

    Hi, Ive just bought a fiat punto Grande Active, Its the addition with the added white stripe stickers to the side of the car. These came out of the factory like this which the dealer informed me when i purchased. Will this be okay as I’m having my black box fitted in a few days.

    • Hi Ellie – think I just replied to you on Twitter! For everyone else’s sake – this is fine because it’s straight out of the factory. Changes after are the problem.

      Thanks!

      Honor

  • Hey Chris,

    I’d ask around if I were you. Respraying can be super expensive! Depending on what the problem is, it can be more affordable to just do the parts worst affected. When I scraped my car on a post, I just had the bumper done so it cost £200 rather than thousands.

    If you can’t get a recommendation, ring around local garages to ask if they can do it and get a quote.

    Thanks,

    Honor

  • maisie

    Hi! I have a mini one (black midnight I think the colour is called), however I would like to change the wing mirror casing to a reflective silver. Would this be classed as a modification and will this affect my policy? Thanks

    • Hi Maisie,

      Sorry – missed your comment! I’m afraid that would count as a modification.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Steve

    Hi
    I have a Peugeot 107 that has silver alloy wheels with the Peugeot logo on I’m not sure if these were a factory option or not.
    Would the black box installer be able to tell me or would I need to get proof etc that they are a factory part .
    What would happen if I couldn’t get proof ?

  • Lisa

    My daughter was due to have the box fitted to her car today. Engineer refused due to the roof & door mirrors being resprayed a different colour. Is this really classed as a modification??

    • Hi Lisa,

      I’m afraid nearly any change from factory standard is classed as a modification. This is an agreement we have with our underwriters so they’ll give us good rates for young drivers. If you need more information and advice (like rebooking or cancellation), please call us on 0330 303 0014.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Abu Taseen

    Hi, i just bought a car and realised the no mod policy. I have a vauxhall Astra Active and it has some side skirts which im not sure if they come with the car originally. If it is a mod would they decline my insurance or just increase the price?

    • Hey Abu, the engineer that comes out will probably say he can’t fit your box. You would need to get the car back to its original state.

      Honor

  • george halpin

    Are two stickers on the back of my car a modification?

    • Hi George – technically, yes and it would be a good idea to get them off if you’ve got a box fitting booked because the engineer could refuse to fit the box. I know it’s a pain but it’s an agreement we have with our underwriters (the people who pay out if you crash) so they give our drivers good prices.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • connor

    i have a subwoofer in my car boot. is that anything to do with the insurance as its my belonging?

    • Hi Connor – that would count as a modification I’m afraid and would need to be taken out the car boot. Keeping it in the car could void your insurance.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • connor

    is it only void with this company then? it may not be void if i was to ask another company

    • Other companies may treat mods differently, but you do have to declare it and it may make your insurance more expensive. It’s an agreement we have with our underwriters (the people who actually pay out if you crash) so they’ll give younger drivers better prices.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • connor

    okay thanks

  • Rhea

    If I bought a car with alloys wheels that weren’t original to the car but replaced them with the standard wheels for that model would that be okay or is it still classed as modification? Thanks

  • A.RazaQ95

    My car didn’t come with a cd player just cassette. Can I put a CD player in there?

  • Hannah Spurrier-Best

    Hi my son has a nissan micra. He want to change its plastic wheel hubs as they are all scratched. He wants to put new plastic ones on. Would that class as a modification?

  • Jamie

    Hi, I’ve brought a car with a cd player already fitted, could I still be allowed to have my black box fitted.

  • reece lugton

    hi just a quick question would extra interior lights count as a modification as the pre installed ones are not very good? they would only be small stuck on ones thanks.

  • Adam J. Shickle

    Okay, I see the sense in this. But, it also confuses me.

    I understand that stickers are a ‘cosmetic mod’ but does have a small sticker stating that you’re a fan of this company, or that really invalidate your insurance? And on that note, if adding ‘any’ sticker risks invaliding your insurance that doesn’t that include the Ingenie’s window sticker? Because wasn’t stock on the car…

    I’m really struggling to understand how a ‘Burton Snowboard’s’ (for example) sticker, or the colour of the brake callipers, or the colour of the alloy should effect the insurance at all let along invalid it? They’re not performance mods, they’re not in anyway shape or form making the car faster, sharper, or enhancing it. They’re just the owner trying to express themselves through their “pride ‘n’ joy”

    (FYI, I’m not insured through Ingenie, I was insured through you for two years.)

    • Hey Adam,

      The sticker we have says ‘Black box on board’, to help our drivers feel a bit more confident about sticking to their guns if someone tailgates them. We designed it with our underwriters (the people who pay out if you have to claim) so they accept that particular sticker. It’s also not an actual sticky sticker; it’s a transparent static cling so it can be removed really easily.

      Part of the reason for not allowing modifications is that claims data shows cars with modifications are involved in claims more often – they crash more. We just advise that young drivers leave the mods for later, after they’ve built up their No Claims Discount and are looking at lower insurance costs.

      Hope that helps!

      Honor

  • Ryan Page

    Hello, so if you have caps on your car and you want alloys and they are the same make as the car can it be changed ?