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Car insurance for Q-plate registrations

Car insurance for Q-plate registrations

All vehicles in the UK have a unique number plate that identifies them. However, with certain cars including kit cars or radically modified vehicles, the age and original identity can be tricky to determine.  
In these situations, they’ll be issued with a Q-plate. But is it harder to get car insurance for a Q-plate car? 

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
posted 03 MARCH 2020

Why do some cars have a Q-plate rating?

Standard registration plates can tell you a lot about a car, including its age, date of manufacture and where it was first registered.  
But it’s not always straightforward to determine a car’s history or origins. In some cases, they might not even have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This is the unique number that identifies your car and is usually stamped onto the chassis. 
If any aspect of a car’s history is unknown, it will be issued with a Q-plate registration.

What types of vehicles need Q-plates? 

Vehicles that might need Q-plates include: 

  • Kit cars. This is a car you’ve built yourself  
  • Radically modified vehicles
  • Reconstructed classic vehicles 
  • Former military vehicles 
  • Self-imported vehicles 
  • Vehicles without a VIN. This might have been lost if you’ve rebuilt or radically modified your car. Unless you can prove what the VIN was, you can’t keep your original registration. 

How are Q-plates issued?

Q-plates are issued by the DVLA. To apply for Q-plates, your car will need to pass an Individual Vehicle Approval test (IVA)
You’ll need to apply for this test if you’ve: 

  • imported your car 
  • built or rebuilt your car 
  • radically altered your car 
  • reconstructed a classic car

If your car already has an original registration number, it will become invalid once you’re issued with a Q-plate.

Is it difficult to insure a Q-plate car?

Yes, it can be trickier to find car insurance for a Q-plate car than for a standard vehicle.  
That’s because it's harder for insurance providers and underwriters to calculate the risk, if they don’t have the car’s full history to go on.   

Where can I find car insurance for a Q-plate car?

You’ll most likely find that mainstream insurance providers don’t provide car insurance for Q-plate vehicles.  
To get the right level of cover for your Q-plate car, you may need to find a specialist provider or car insurance broker. 

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