Car audio system cover

Love music? You might be thinking of upgrading your car’s sound system to something a little more impressive than the standard factory-fitted audio it came with. But did you know this could affect the cost of your car insurance? Here’s why – and what you can do about it.

Love music? You might be thinking of upgrading your car’s sound system to something a little more impressive than the standard factory-fitted audio it came with. But did you know this could affect the cost of your car insurance? Here’s why – and what you can do about it.

Julie Daniels
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Last Updated 7 SEPTEMBER 2022

Will my sound system affect my car insurance?

Possibly. A high-end sound system is pretty desirable – so desirable that it could make your car more attractive to thieves and increase the risk of it being broken into or stolen.

In fact, any kind of changes or ‘modifications’ you make to your car could have an impact on the cost of your insurance. Even a slick bonnet sticker advertising your new Bose sound system could raise your premium.

Why do modifications affect my car insurance?

Modifications affect car insurance because upgrades and improvements generally make a car more attractive or powerful. Car insurance calculations are based on risk. And for insurance purposes, a modification -even a minor one - makes you a riskier proposition. That’s because a modification could:

  • Make your car more likely to be stolen
  • Make your car more powerful and increase the risk of an accident
  • Increase the value of your car, making it more expensive to repair or replace. 

Will my new stereo and sound equipment invalidate my car insurance?

Installing a new stereo and sound system alone won’t invalidate your car insurance – but not telling your insurance provider about it could.  

The most sensible thing is to talk to your insurance provider before investing in an audio system. They’ll be able to tell you if it will affect your premium.

How much more will I have to pay?

A modest sound system probably won’t make a difference to your premium, but if you’ve gone for a top-of-the-range infotainment system, you might have to pay more for your cover. And it’s not just car stereos you need to look out for – getting a new state-of-the-art sat nav or changing your car interior (by say, replacing the seats) needs to be reported to your insurance provider. And they could see your premium going up. 

In some circumstances, an insurance provider won’t cover the extra equipment or won’t give you enough cover to replace it if it’s damaged or stolen. In that case, you may want to re-consider your purchase, or shop around to find someone else who will provide the cover you need.  

How much is my sound equipment insured for?

Most insurance providers will limit the pay-out offered to replace audio, sat navs and dash cams. This can be a set financial limit or a percentage of the car’s value - whichever is lower.  

Others might offer you unlimited cover, but only on standard factory-fitted systems, and any upgraded equipment will still be capped. Always check your policy’s terms and conditions so you know exactly what’s covered and how much for.  

How can I reduce my car insurance premium?

Investing in an approved security system, building up a no-claims discount with safe driving and increasing your voluntary excess are just some of the things that could lower the cost of car insurance. Check out our top tips for cheap car insurance. 

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