Compare performance car insurance

Sports cars – they’re definitely up there on the list of aspirational purchases. But while most of us expect to pay top dollar for a sports car, the costs of performance car insurance could still be a shock. Don’t panic, we can help.

Sports cars – they’re definitely up there on the list of aspirational purchases. But while most of us expect to pay top dollar for a sports car, the costs of performance car insurance could still be a shock. Don’t panic, we can help.

Written by
Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
Last Updated
21 JULY 2023
9 min read
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What is performance car insurance?

Performance car insurance works in much the same way as any other car insurance. The rub is that it will usually be more expensive and may have specialist cover added to it.

Performance cars can reach high speeds and tend to be driven faster than run-of-the-mill cars – this makes them more prone to accidents. Meanwhile, their alluring aesthetics and powerful performance make them magnets for thieves. All of this escalates the risks associated with them and could add to the cost of cover.

That said, sports cars can generally be covered by standard insurance providers, with the exception of modified cars. ‘Grey imports’, which are cars imported legally but through unofficial channels, are also an exception. These might require a specialist insurance provider.

What is considered a sports car by insurance providers?

Essentially, a sports car features some of the performance characteristics of a racing car. Coupes, roadsters and GTs are commonly classed as sports cars, but even some family hatchbacks can be defined as ‘sporty’.

While there’s no universally agreed definition of a sports car, the basic criteria usually include:

  • A two-seater car with greater performance or power than most standard cars.
  • Lower to the ground than an average car and lighter in weight
  • Cars in a high insurance group.

What insurance groups include sports cars?

Car insurance groups run from 1 to 50, with cars in group 50 being the most expensive to insure.

Sports cars fall into higher insurance groups. This is because, in the eyes of insurance providers, these vehicles pose more of a risk than less powerful cars. Take the Mazda MX-5 as an example – it usually falls into groups 25-34 depending on its specifications.

Insurance providers determine a car’s group by looking at a whole range of factors. These include:

  • The car’s price when new, which is relevant in case they have to pay out for a write-off
  • Its top speed
  • The cost of parts
  • The likelihood of the vehicle being targeted by thieves.

What does sports car insurance cover?

Like standard car cover, insurance for sports cars offers three levels of cover.

Third party is the legal minimum level of insurance. It could cover the cost of any damage you cause to someone else, their vehicle or their property. But you won't be covered for the cost of any damage done to your own car.

Third-party, fire and theft includes everything in third-party insurance, plus cover if your sports car is stolen or damaged by fire.

Comprehensive cover is the highest level of insurance you can get, but not necessarily the most expensive. Cover includes third-party, fire and theft plus any other damage caused to you or your car.

Sports car policies could also cover some more unusual incidents, like:

  • Soft-roof damage – get your soft-top convertible fixed if it’s targeted by vandals
  • Malicious damage and vandalism – cover for repairs if your sports car is damaged by vandals
  • Modifications – your insurance provider might allow you to make certain changes to your car or agree to insure it if it’s already modified
  • Driving abroad – get cover for EU and overseas travel if you want to cruise along foreign highways
  • Track days – you can get specialist cover for taking your car to race around a track to reach top speeds. Some providers may automatically include track-day cover in your policy as standard.

As with all insurance policy shopping, don’t assume they are all the same. Some specialist sports car insurance policies may include additional cover as standard. However, others may charge more for extra cover.

It’s wise to compare different types to see which ones may offer better value. Also take time to check out the small print. Making the effort now could save you a lot of hassle later.

Top tip

The more unusual the vehicle or its modifications, the more of a challenge insuring it becomes – it could potentially push the cost of cover even higher. If you can’t resist tinkering with an already special vehicle, consider a mainstream modification, fitted and tested by independently qualified specialists.

How much does high-performance car insurance cost?

You should expect to pay more for sports car insurance than for a standard car. But like any car insurance, the cost of your sports car cover isn’t just about the vehicle itself. Insurance providers will also consider your personal circumstances, including:

  • Your age young drivers and over 80s will typically pay more for their car insurance, as they’re considered a greater risk on the roads.
  • Your address – if crime rates are high in your area, there’s more risk of your sports car being stolen or vandalised, so your premium is likely to be higher.
  • Where you keep your sports car – keeping your car in a locked garage overnight could result in cheaper insurance than parking it on the street.
  • Claims history – any recent claims on your car insurance will bump up the price of your premium, while building up a decent no-claims bonus could earn you a handy discount.
  • Motoring offences – it can be tempting to push your sports car to its limits, especially on the motorway, but a speeding ticket will inevitably push up the price of your premium.

What are the cheapest sports cars to insure?

How much a car costs to insure will depend on your individual circumstances as well as the car itself. But versions of these performance cars fall into the mid-range insurance groups, which could make them cheaper to insure:

Mazda MX-5

This is one of the most popular two-seater roadsters in the world. Fuel costs are reasonably low and insurance groups are in the 20s and 30s. It’s also one of the most affordable sports cars to insure if you pick the right model.

BMW Z4

If you’re looking to keep running costs to a minimum, opt for the entry-level versions of the sleek and stylish BMW Z4.

Audi TT

The newest versions of the sporty Audi TT coupe are lighter, faster and more economical to drive. They also tend to hold their value well, which can offset some of the running costs.

Jaguar F-Type

A brand-new Jaguar F-Type doesn’t come cheap. The most cost-effective version is the P300 with a starting price of just over £58,000. But the 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo offers superb performance, and it could be cheaper to insure than six-figure versions and rivals in group 50.

Remember – before you buy a new car always check the insurance group for the exact make, model and trim. Your added extras could push it up or down a group, potentially costing you more to insure it.

How can I get cheaper insurance for fast cars?

Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the fact that sports cars are notoriously expensive to insure. But there are a few steps you could try to reduce the cost of your car insurance:

  • Limit your mileage – if you don’t do many miles in the car, a limited mileage policy may lower your premium. You could also look into pay-as-you-go insurance.
  • Pay a higher voluntary excess – this is the amount you pay towards any insurance claim. The more you agree to pay, the lower your premium will be. Just make sure you can afford to pay the excess if you need to make a claim.
  • Boost security – a nice car is always going to be a target for thieves. If it doesn’t already have one, fitting a car alarm or an immobiliser could deter thieves and vandals, and it might help to lower your premium.
  • Compare car insurance – shopping around and comparing quotes really could help you find a cheaper deal.

Where can I find affordable sports car insurance?

We independently compare a wide range of trusted UK providers, so compare with us today to see if you can find affordable sports car insurance at the level of cover you need.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a high-performance car?

A high-performance car is one that has a lot of power and not much weight. They’re built to be slick and fast, with tight steering and the ability to hug curves. These cars are tuned for a better performance in speed, handling and braking.

Many sports cars are high performance, but top-end non-sports cars – like some SUVs and saloon cars – are also classed as high performers.

Why is sports car insurance so expensive?

Sports cars are more expensive to insure than other cars for several reasons:

  • Higher speed capacity means there’s a greater risk of accidents.
  • They’re more likely to be attractive to thieves and vandals.
  • Parts are typically more expensive and difficult to source, so repair costs can be higher.

Is insurance high for older sports cars?

Insurance for an older sports car might be more expensive than for a brand-new model. This is because it won’t be fitted with the latest security features or driver assistance safety tech, which can help prevent accidents.

Depending on the age of your sports car, you may want to consider classic car insurance, which can sometimes work out cheaper if you keep it in good nick and don’t drive it all that often. 

Check first though, as different providers have varying age and value criteria for what they define as a ‘classic car’.

Can I modify my car to bring the insurance costs down?

It depends on the modifications. When an insurance provider quotes a price, they’ll take into consideration the original specification of the car.

Typically, any modifications that boost the power of your car, make it more attractive, or increase its value, will likely push up the price of your car insurance.

That said, some changes might help lower your premium, especially if you’re improving the car’s security system.

Just make sure you’re honest with your insurance provider and tell them about any modifications so they can ensure you’re properly covered and your policy remains valid.

Is there young driver sports car insurance?

If you’re under 25, it could be difficult to find affordable sports car insurance.

Even standard insurance will cost you a lot more. Statistically, younger, less-experienced drivers pose a greater risk and are more likely to be injured in a road accident than older people.

It might be better to spend your money on a sensible car in a lower insurance group, and wait a bit to build up your no-claims discount before investing in a sports car.

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