Q-plate car insurance

Q-plated vehicles can be more difficult to insure than other cars - find out how to get the right insurance today.

Alice Morgan

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What's Q plate insurance?

Cars have Q plate registrations if the history, age or identity of the vehicle is unknown.

If you have a Q plate vehicle, you’ll still need to get car insurance to drive it on the road. You’ll probably need a specialist policy though, as most mainstream insurers won’t cover them.

It’s harder to get insurance because it’s difficult for an insurer to work out the value of your car and how much of a risk it poses out on the road.

Key points

  • Q plated vehicles have unknown age, identity or history and it’s harder to get insurance for them
  • There are specialist insurers available - you might have to call them directly
  • Make sure your car is described accurately in your policy documents
  • You might need to add cover as an extra, or pay an additional excess if you claim

Cars that tend to have Q plates are:

  • Self-builds
    These are customised and not built by a recognised manufacturer
  • Ex-military
    Some ex-MOD vehicle paperwork is still deemed classified
  • Radically altered
    Some are changed so much that their original parts can’t be identified
  • Self-imports
    If there are gaps in your car’s document history, it’ll be given a Q plate
  • Cars without vehicle identification number (VIN) plates
    This could be for any of the above, or if it's been in a theft or accident where the VIN plate was removed

There are specialist Q plate insurers - get a quote with us and we’ll give you details of a specialist insurer who can help

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How to get insurance for your Q plate car

You’ll need to give insurers details about every single aspect of your car.

That includes:

  • The full spec
  • Performance info
  • A breakdown of parts used
  • A full report on the build if it’s self-constructed

You’ll also have to send the insurer photos and you’ll need an expert to carry out an independent valuation.

Each policy is unique because of the level of detail required. That’s why most specialist providers or brokers can’t give you a quote online - you’ll need to talk to them directly.

If you’re building a kit car, you can take out insurance before your car’s even finished to make sure you're covered for theft or damage to your car parts.

Can you replace a Q plate with a normal reg plate?

No – there’s no going back. Once your car is given a Q plate, it’ll keep that registration for as long as it’s on the road and you won’t be able to apply for a normal registration for it.

If the DVLA gives you Q plates for your car, the original reg plate will become invalid – you must display your Q plates, and not your original reg plate.

You can’t put a private or personalised reg plate on your Q plate car either.

Is it safe to buy Q plate cars?

That depends on whether it’s passed an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

The IVA tests whether the car meets safety requirements, so if it passes, you can be confident it’s safe and road-legal.

Test centres can be found in major UK towns and cities so you should be able to find one near you.

You’ll usually pay around £199, but the test could cost up to £450 for certain types of car.

If you’ve got a kit car, a specialist policy with goods in transit cover could cover you while you transport the car to the test centre.

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