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American car insurance

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Can I insure an American car in the UK?

Whether you’re the proud owner of an iconic Cadillac or an impressive Mustang, your American car is likely to have cost you a lot of money. So you’ll want to protect your investment with a motor insurance policy that’s tailored to your unique vehicle.

Many mainstream insurance providers won’t cover imported left-hand drive cars that aren’t designed for the UK market. Others are reluctant to cover an American car as they regard it as higher risk than a standard vehicle. So it could be more difficult to find insurance, but certainly not impossible.

As well as some mainstream insurers, there are plenty of insurers who specialise in providing cover for this type of vehicle.

Whichever provider you go with for your American car insurance, you may find there are age and driving experience restrictions.

For example, you may need to be at least 25 to get cover. You may also be required to have held a driving licence for a minimum of two years and have at least a year’s no-claims bonus. These restrictions could increase if your American car is particularly powerful and in a high insurance group.

Insurers will have their own individual criteria, so bear that in mind when comparing quotes.

You may also need to arrange for your imported American car to  be tested under the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme to ensure it’s legal to drive in the UK.

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Is it more expensive to insure American cars?

As there are less insurers to choose from, your policy is likely to cost more than it would to insure a standard UK motor.

Insurance for an American car is also likely to be more expensive because:

  • American cars tend to be larger and more powerful than UK cars
  • The cost of parts will be higher as they might need to be imported from abroad - particularly for American classic cars with older parts which are difficult to source
  • Specialist mechanics might have to handle any repairs
  • Higher risk of theft and vandalism. Unfortunately, as they’re such a rarity they can be a target for thieves

What should I consider when looking for American car insurance?

Your American car insurance policy should feature everything that a regular car insurance policy does, including cover for theft and damage.

You’ll need to choose from a fully comprehensive policy, third party only or third party, fire and theft cover.

Other things worth looking for in an American car insurance policy include:

Agreed value cover

This type of cover could be important if you’ve spent a lot of money on restoring your car and keeping it in excellent condition.

It’s where you and your insurer decide on an agreed valuation for your car together when you take out the policy. This is what will be paid out if your car is written off or stolen.

Without agreed value cover, you’d only receive the market value of your car. This could be a lot less than what it’s actually worth, because it won’t take into account things like rarity and restoration costs.

With an agreed value payout you’re more likely to be able to replace your beloved vehicle with another model of a similar quality.

You’ll need to provide information and photos to the insurer as evidence to show your car’s condition so you can negotiate the agreed value. A valuation may even be required.

Your choice of repairer

If you have a valued garage or repairer who regularly works on your car that you trust, then you may not like the thought of anyone else tinkering with your treasured possession. Some insurers will allow you to choose your own repairer if your car requires them, rather than take it to the insurer’s approved mechanic.

Classic car rates

If your American car is an older model, you could find a classic car policy at a good price. That’s because insurers know classic cars tend to be well looked after and driven less than regular cars. As such, they’re less likely to be damaged in an accident.

Modified car cover

This is an additional type of cover that you’ll need if you've made, or intend to make, vehicle modifications that deviate from the factory standard. Things like installing a larger engine, new suspension, replacing seats or specialised paintwork all need to be declared to the insurer to be covered.

What’s a laid-up policy for an American car?

If your American car is off the road for an extended period of time, this could be the right type of policy for you. This could be while you do some restoration work on it, or perhaps you keep it locked up for most of the year until it’s time to show it at an exhibition or competition.

A laid-up policy covers your car for accidental and malicious damage, fire and theft or attempted theft while the vehicle is off the road. It won’t insure you for driving the car anywhere though.

Wedding hire cover

If you hire out your American car for weddings, then you’ll need extended car insurance cover for ‘hire and reward’. It could include public liability cover as standard, or you may need to buy it as an additional extra.

How can I cut the cost of American car insurance?

It’s going to be more expensive than standard car insurance, but there are a few things that’ll help cut the cost of an American car insurance policy:

  1. Value your car accurately

    If you’ve got an expensive car, it’ll cost more to insure. Agree your car’s value with your insurer before your policy starts. That way, you’ll know how much they’ll pay out if you need to claim

  2. Choose a newer car

    Newer cars can be cheaper to insure as they have more safety features installed

  3. Limit your mileage

    If your American car isn’t your main vehicle, it’s likely you don’t drive it much. If that’s the case, you can opt for limited mileage cover which will cut the cost of your premiums

  4. Avoid certain modifications

    If your car’s been modified you can expect to pay more for your insurance

  5. Add security

    Approved alarms, trackers and dash cams can help reduce the risk of your car being stolen

  6. Join an official car club

    Being a member of a specialist car club can mean discounted insurance quotes

  7. Build up your no-claims bonus

    Insurers will give you discounts for each year that you don’t claim

  8. Multi-vehicle cover

    If you have more than one American car, you could be offered a discount by insuring them under one policy

£4 million refunded to customers with free excess cover^^

If you need to claim, we’ll pay £250 towards your excess^. Just another reason to make your life choices on Go.Compare.

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^Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply.

^^Based on Go.Compare analysis of successful claims, August 2019 - June 2022.

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It can be more expensive to insure an American car & your choice of insurers might be limited if you’re driving a left-hand car. Compare quotes today and see if you can save.

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Where can I find great value cover for an American car?

You can compare policies with us to find insurers willing to offer you a policy, helping you to get the right cover for you and your American car.

Is it cheaper to insure an American car if I belong to a club?

Yes, it can be. Some insurers work with American car clubs in the UK and apply discounts to members. That’s because they recognise that people who join enthusiast car clubs tend to have great pride in and take good care of their cars.

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