Everything you need to know about warranty and insurance for modified cars

When it comes to getting modified car parts, you may be wondering about insurance and your warranty. While it’s commonly believed that all performance tuners for cars and other modifications void your warranty and cause your premiums to dramatically increase, this isn’t always the case. Today, there are a number of modified car parts that will not affect your premiums or warranty - particularly if they are temporary exterior and interior car mods.

Modified car parts

Modified car insurance: is it easy?

In simple terms, you can get modified car insurance. As a general rule of thumb, modified car parts fall into two categories; engine tuning to enhance vehicle performance and power, and styling mods. Permanent car tuning parts and mods must be declared to your insurers, especially if you do need financial protection at some point. If you do end up in trouble and haven’t declared the performance tuners for cars, for example, you could invalidate your insurance, costing you more in the very near future.

When you do discuss the interior car mods and tuning, for instance, with your insurer - be as truthful as possible. They will need to do an appropriate risk calculation. However, it’s not as daunting as you might seem, and may not add too much to your insurance cover.

Likewise, there are a number of reasons to buy a modified car - especially as they can massively improve your driving experience. The likes of upgraded wheels can better support the car, and even car tuning parts - such as petrol and diesel tuning boxes - can even enhance fuel economy and lead to a better throttle response. More information is available on the reasons to buy cars with modified car parts here.

What about the warranty?

If you do choose to get performance tuners for cars, it’s unlikely that you will void your warranty. However, if your car does fail due to the modification, there’s a high chance the dealer will void the warranty for that part. Therefore, you will have to pay for the parts yourself. Ultimately, though, if they cannot prove the failure or issue was due to the aftermarket modifications; it’s likely they will not void your warranty.

If you are leasing a car but want to customise your car, we suggest temporary engine and interior car mods. For instance, car tuners - such as tuning boxes - are only temporary car mods, and do not leave a trace in the vehicle should you choose to remove if you are returning, or selling the car. It’s best to avoid more permanent modified car parts - especially if you are worried about the manufacturers.

Different types of modified car parts

As mentioned above, we suggest erring on the side of caution for car tuning parts and the like. Temporary interior car mods and engine mods are the most suitable - especially as they will cost a lot less than permanent remapping. Plus, they are untraceable when removed, which means you don’t void your warranty and the manufacturer is none the wiser should you return the vehicle.

Permanent engine and mechanic modifications must definitely be declared to your insurance provider. For instance, adding a turbo or supercharger could increase the risk of accident, and see your premiums rise. Therefore, opt for temporary mods if you are unsure about the insurance provider. Similarly, upgrades to the brakes or modified suspension will change the car handling, meaning you should let your insurer know of the changes.

It’s also worth noting that some permanent interior car mods can also affect your insurance cover. For instance, removing the seats and changing the pedals are relatively large modifications, and therefore, need to be reported.

Basically, temporary car mods - such as car tuner parts and boxes - can save you time and hassle.

Car modifications to protect your warranty

Due to the nature of permanently modified car parts, many will void your warranty - unlike temporary performance tuners for cars. However, there are some aftermarket mods that are less likely to lead to any issues and void your warranty.

Wheel upgrades can improve the vehicle performance and driving experience, and can be seen as a huge benefit to cars - especially if all-weather tyres. If you are worried, speak to your manufacturer and check they are approved before going ahead with the modifications.

Essentially, you can get modified car insurance but expect high premiums for permanent alterations - such as car remapping. For those who are unsure about car tuner parts and the like, go for temporary mods that you can remove and even install on separate cars - such as tuning boxes.