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Kit car insurance

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What is a kit car?

It’s a car that’s sold to you as a collection of pieces to be assembled creating a fully functioning vehicle.

You may get the specialist tools required to build the car in the package too.

Kit cars can be replicas of classic sports cars or original custom designs, making it an affordable way to get the coupe, speedster or roadster of your dreams.

Senior couple laughing and looking into the camera while driving an open top car

What’s different about kit car insurance?

When you’ve built a kit car from scratch, putting in long hours in the garage, you’ll want to be sure you protect your labour of love with the right insurance.

But because kit cars are highly personalised, often unique, and not built by a recognised car manufacturer, you may struggle to find standard insurers willing to take on the risk.

You’ll probably need specialist insurance and you’ll have to tell providers everything about your car, including details of the build, motor and trim, so they can calculate an accurate quote.

Kit car insurance doesn’t have to leave you out of pocket though and we can help you find a competitive deal.

Insuring during and after the build

Kit car insurance is designed to cover your vehicle against fire, theft and damage. Here’s what you need to know about insuring your kit car at each stage:

Insuring your kit car during the build

Your kit car can be insured before it’s even finished. This is sometimes known as build-up insurance.

It covers your car for fire damage and theft while you’re assembling it. Some policies will also include accidental damage.

If you’re collecting and transporting individual expensive components and tools, look at policies that have a goods in transit add-on option. It’ll cover you for theft, loss or damage to these parts on the journey.

Insuring your kit car when it’s built

Your kit car insurance will cover you for fire, theft and repairs, depending on the level of cover you’ve bought.

Other benefits to look out for in a kit car policy

Agreed value cover

Agreed value cover is where you and your insurer decide how much your car is worth together when you take out the policy.

It’s the amount they’ll pay out if your car’s written off, or if it’s stolen and can’t be recovered.

Without agreed value cover, any claim for a total loss would be settled using the current market rate for the car at the time of the claim.

Agreed value cover takes into consideration the hard work and expense you’ve put into your car, plus its rarity.

Salvage rights

With a standard car insurance policy, if your car’s declared a write-off and a payout is made, it becomes the property of the insurance company to do with what they like. But if your policy gives you salvage retention rights, you can buy back the car or its parts. This could be important to you as a kit car owner as you may want to build another kit car with the parts or even repair the damage to the vehicle yourself.

Track day cover

If you race or compete in your kit car you can also get cover for track days and off-road driving. It covers you for accidental damage to your car when you’re driving on a circuit, like if you crash into another vehicle or a barrier.

Limited mileage discount

It’s likely that your kit car isn’t your main vehicle and that you won’t be driving it daily. If that’s the case, you can take advantage of limited mileage cover. It’s offered by many kit car insurers and will cut the cost of your premium.

Car club discount

Some insurers work with specialist kit car clubs in the UK and apply discounts to members. That’s because they recognise that people who join enthusiast car clubs tend to take great care of their cars.

Laid-up/SORN cover

UK law requires cars to be insured at all times unless you make a statutory off road notification (SORN) with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

If you keep your kit car locked up in your garage and off the road for most of the year, laid-up or SORN cover could suit your needs. It covers your kit car for accidental and malicious damage, fire and theft or attempted theft while the vehicle is off road. It won’t insure you for driving your car anywhere though.

The types of benefits above may come as standard with a kit car insurance policy or be available to buy as an optional extra.

Other types of cover to look for when buying kit car insurance include European Union (EU) cover, UK and EU breakdown cover and motor legal cover which can pay for legal expenses if you’re involved in an accident that’s not your fault.

How much does kit car insurance cover cost?

As with any type of car insurance prices will vary. Insurance providers will consider a lot of different factors including:

  • Your age and driving history
  • Your job
  • Where you live
  • Where you keep your car and how secure it is
  • Whether or not your car is fitted with an approved alarm system, immobilisers and vehicle tracking systems that can locate it if stolen
  • Annual mileage
  • Value of your vehicle
  • Car body and engine specifications
  • Any modifications made to your kit car
  • Any optional extras you add to the policy
  • Whether or not you use your car for track racing

Cut the cost of insuring your kit car

  1. Get a limited mileage discount

    If you rarely drive your kit car, let your insurer know that you do low mileage. Many offer limited mileage discounts

  2. Pay annually

    If you can afford one lump sum rather than paying monthly, you’ll avoid having to pay interest on your premium

  3. Avoid unnecessary cover or add-ons

    Refrain from paying for extras you don’t need. For example, if you don’t intend on taking your car abroad, you won’t need EU cover included in your policy. Comparing insurance should help you find the right insurance easily

  4. Increase your voluntary excess

    This can lower your premiums, but be sure that the amount you choose is affordable

  5. Install extra security in your vehicle

    Things like approved steering locks, alarms and a tracker

  6. Keep your kit car somewhere secure

    Ideally off the road and in a garage

  7. Become a member of an official kit car club

    Some insurers work with kit car clubs and give discounts to members

  8. Consider a multi-car policy

    Many kit car insurers offer discounts if you insure more than one car with them

  9. Shop around

    We can help you compare kit car insurance to find the right deal

How can I get my kit car onto the road?

Once you’ve finished building your kit car, you’ll probably be raring to get on the road and give it a test drive.

All cars must meet road vehicle regulations to be used on the road, so there’s a few things you’ll need to do before hitting the road.

You must apply for vehicle approval through the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme run by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

It checks that vehicles have been designed and constructed to modern safety and environmental standards. Your car will be required to undergo a physical inspection at a DVSA site.

After the inspection, you’ll be issued with an Individual Approval Certificate (IAC) if your kit car passes.

Next, you will have to go online to the DVLA website and follow instructions on how to register a new vehicle.

You’ll need your IAC when you register your kit car along with plans and photos of the build.

Once your kit car is registered, you’ll be given a number plate so you can tax and insure your vehicle for use on the road.

Page last reviewed: 26 January 2023

Page reviewed by: Jasmine Hembury