Drivers warned of common car modifications that could cause problems

Martin Lewis warns viewers about drastic car insurance changes

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Many modifications can result in increased car insurance premiums, but some can actually help to bring premiums down, experts from have revealed. No matter how minor the modification may be, it is essential that motorists inform their insurer if they don’t wish to invalidate their car insurance by having incorrect or outdated information.

The pandemic saw an increase in car owners making improvements to their vehicles to personalise them or make them a little different from the standard car on the road.

The increase in sales of parts to make vehicles, faster and flashier during covid restrictions was a major contributor to the rapid growth of the UK’s aftermarket automotive industry which is now valued at £28 billion.

But some modifications may cross a line of legality and not only invalidate the insurance policy but also leave the motorists liable to pay a hefty fine.

Experts from leading UK price comparison website, have now named the modifications that can cause car insurance to skyrocket, and those that can actually help to reduce premiums.

Greg Wilson, founder of, said: “During the pandemic we saw an increase in drivers tinkering with their vehicles to personalise them in some way .

“Given the waiting lists for new cars is now over a year-long in many cases, people have been keen for a change.

“While it is true that some modifications can cause insurance policies to become more expensive, others will have no impact on the cost of insurance, and some may actually bring the price down.

“Either way, make sure the insurance provider is fully aware of any changes to your car to ensure your policy is accurate and that you are fully covered.”

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Car modifications that can increase car insurance premiums:

Anything that is illegal will void insurance

This includes under car neon lights, tinted windows restricting more than 70 percent of light and some LED headlights.


This is something that may be surprising – but reupholstering or replacing the seats with ones that are different from the original can increase premiums depending on the policy.

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Adding upgrades including spoilers and flared wings as well as body kits can dramatically increase premiums. This is because they can be seen as unsafe in crashes as they break easily.

Exhaust upgrades

Whilst improving exhaust systems relieves more engine pressure, having bigger and louder exhausts can increase premiums. Having illegal systems can also lead to fines.

Alloy wheels

Alloy wheels are seen as better than standard steel wheels, but if there is a history of alloy wheel theft in an area, this can increase insurance premiums.

Car modifications that might decrease or have no impact on car insurance premiums:

Higher performance brakes

Higher performance brakes, including high-temperature brake pads, can lead to shorter and more consistent braking in a car. Adding these to a car can sometimes reduce premiums quite significantly, whilst giving it a sports-like feel.

Parking sensors

Parking sensors are a safety feature that can reduce the risk of an accident occurring when the driver is parking the vehicle, which means adding this feature could reduce the premium.

Private numberplate

Private numberplates should not increase insurance premiums, but if they don’t comply with Government guidelines on spacing, height, and size, they can be classed as illegal and be spotted by the police.

Extra security add-ons

Anything that makes a car more secure can reduce insurance premiums, as it lowers the risk of theft – most cars come with an immobiliser but look to add a tracker and a dashcam to increase security.

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