American car insurance

Whether you have your eye on an iconic Ford Mustang or luxury Lincoln Navigator SUV, the American auto market is an attractive option for people looking to buy a vehicle. But what will buying an American car mean for your car insurance?

Whether you have your eye on an iconic Ford Mustang or luxury Lincoln Navigator SUV, the American auto market is an attractive option for people looking to buy a vehicle. But what will buying an American car mean for your car insurance?

Daniel Hutson
Motor insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 6 NOVEMBER 2019 Last Updated 6 NOVEMBER 2019

Can I insure an American car in the UK?

While it’s certainly possible to insure an imported American car, it won’t be quite as straightforward as insuring a car built for the UK market.

For starters, you’ll have less choice of policies as not all insurance providers cover left-hand-drive cars. Those that do may add restrictions, like only insuring drivers over a certain age or those who’ve held a licence for several years.

Other things to take into account if you choose a vehicle from across the pond include availability of parts, technology and modifications.

Is it more expensive to insure an American car?

Generally speaking, motor insurance for an American car is more expensive than for other cars in the UK. The exact cost will depend on the car model and your driving history, but insurance providers will typically look at:

  • The purchase price of your American car
  • The car’s insurance group 
  • Your age – depending on the car and insurance provider, you may need to be at least 25 years old to get insurance
  • The size and performance of the engine – American cars tend to be bigger and more powerful than their UK equivalents
  • Cost of replacement parts – if your car is damaged, some components may need to be imported if they’re hard to find in the UK
  • The car’s ability to conform to UK or European specifications.

You may want to look for a specialist provider that focuses specifically on imported American cars, although this can be a more expensive option.

Providers may also require an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) test to make sure your car meets UK environmental and safety regulations.

What is a grey imported car?

An imported car from outside the EU is often referred to as a grey import. These cars, although complying with their own countries’ standards, may not conform to European regulations. Some American cars may fall into the category of grey imports.

Can I get insurance for a grey imported car?

Yes, but with many grey imports fitted with high-performance engines, enhanced suspension, upgraded electronic systems and modifications, you may find premiums are higher than you expect. It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider before you buy.

What should I consider when insuring an American car?

If you own an older model, you could qualify for classic car insurance. This could actually save you money because classic cars are often driven less than regular cars and tend to be well looked after by their owners, so insurance providers see them as less risky.

If you’re planning to make an income from your American car – for example, hiring it out for weddings or exhibitions – you’ll need business car insurance

It’s also a good idea to reach an agreed value with your provider. This is the amount you agree upfront on how much your car is worth. It could be higher than its market value if you’ve put a lot of work and money into restoring it.

How can I reduce the cost of my American car insurance?

Keep in mind that the cheapest policy might not be the right option for you. We’ll show you a range of quotes, from the cheapest to the most expensive, so make sure you check the details to see which best suits your needs.

There are many different ways to help reduce the cost of your car insurance:

  • Park securely – American cars are considered high-value targets for car theft.
  • Be a safe and careful driver – this can help build up your no-claims discount and reduce your premiums.
  • Investigate whether you can remove any non-UK modifications, as these could increase the cost of your premium.
  • Increase your excess – this is the amount you pay towards a claim. Choosing a higher excess should give you cheaper premiums. Just make sure it’s not so high that you can’t afford to pay it.
  • Join a car club – insurance providers might offer you a discount if you’re a member of an accredited club for owners of American cars.

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

We can help. While some insurance providers may be reluctant to quote for an American car, if you use our comparison service we’ll show you which providers will offer you a policy.

Compare car insurance quotes with us to find the right policy for you.

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