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A simples guide

How can I reduce the cost of insuring my imported car?

Of course, that just begs the question ‘what kind of imports are we talking about?’ Broadly speaking, vehicles imported into the UK are either Parallel Imports or Grey Imports.


Grey import vehicles are those which were never officially sold in UK dealerships, such as certain high-spec Japanese and American cars. These are the ones that require special insurance cover. Parallel Imports, by comparison, are your Peugeots, Volkswagens and Fords. These don’t typically cost much more to insure than a domestic model of the same type.

Why is import car insurance more expensive than domestic?

The thing about Grey Imports is that it’s harder for the insurer to predict how much of a risk they are taking to insure them. If your fancy American muscle car suffers an engine problem, are the parts to repair it even available? Will it need a specialist garage? For example, if you have an expensive car and a set of tyres is therefore also expensive, will you be tempted to get them changed less often than you should?

For that matter, there is a question about the actual quality of the vehicle. UK insurers know what to expect from Peugeot and Volkswagen. However with imports they don’t know as much about the parts that went into your vehicle, so they don’t know what to expect.

Any uncertainty means that they have to charge more, because they have to be prepared to pay out more when something goes wrong. 

compare import car insurance

How can you save money insuring you imported car?

To be fair, you’ll never get the premiums on a fancy grey import down to what you’d pay for last year’s Peugeot 307, but there are things you can do to reduce your premium.

- Keep your car in the garage overnight. This is especially important for luxury models or sports cars that are highly sought-after by thieves. Taking extra precautions lowers the insurer’s risks, and may lower your premiums.

- Stay away from sports cars, or at least choose one with fewer after-market modifications.

- Consider taking a higher voluntary excess – just make sure you can afford it. Also don’t forget that because it’s a grey import there may also be a higher compulsory excess too.

- Work towards a long time no-claims bonus

- Use our online comparison service to ensure you receive a range of competitive quotes. 

bonnet of a red imported car

So, in the end there are two ways to reduce the cost of import car insurance.

One: Choose a less risky car. Two: reduce your insurer’s exposure by being careful how you drive and store your car when you’re not using it. Neither of those is really surprising, but then insurance is all about avoiding surprises, right? So start a quote, telling us a bit about you, your car and what level of cover you’ll need. Our online comparison service will do all the leg work for you and provide you with a range of competitive quotes that suit your needs.

imported cars on a lorry on the motorway

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