Sports car insurance

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Speeding off into the distance in a fancy sports car is all well and good, but you need the right insurance first

Some of us love football. Some of us love cricket. And some of us love motorsport. The sports we like are part of our identity, and if you’re a motorsport fan you might want to express that through your choice of car.

We’ve put together this short guide to help you better understand the implications of owning a sports car from an insurance point of view.

Find out how buying a sports car impacts on your car insurance, from cost to cover. 

What to look for in an insurance policy on a sports car

There’s nothing specific you need to look for in an insurance policy on a sports car, per se, but it’s always a good idea to read the policy wording in advance if you have anything specific you want covered.

For instance, you might want to be sure you’re covered against vandalism or other such malicious damage to the tyres, paintwork or (on a cabriolet) the fabric roof.

Even if you’ve found a policy that covers every scenario you can imagine, you must fully disclose all details of the car to avoid having an insurance claim refused. This includes any optional extras or other modifications that have been made by you or a previous owner.

What qualifies as a sports car?

For the purposes of insurance underwriting, Admiral defines sports cars as cars designed as performance vehicles ‘from the get-go’: things like coupes, roadsters and GTs.

Having said that, your car may be considered a sports car even if it doesn’t fall into one of these categories.

Car manufacturers recognised years ago the demand for high-performance cars which were practical and spacious enough for the real world – cars for people with children and hobbies, essentially.

Traditional sports cars are designed to be lightweight, compact and aerodynamic, but this usually means a cramped interior and little or no luggage space.

So, over the years, and with changing attitudes towards what ‘sporty’ means, we’ve seen the arrival of the hot hatchback (as defined by the iconic VW Golf GTI), the sports saloon (think BMW M5) and, more recently, the performance SUV (such as the Porsche Cayenne).

Why is insurance on sports cars more expensive?

Every new car is placed into an insurance group based on the risk associated with it, and risk is calculated using statistics about past claims on similar cars. Risk takes into account both how likely you are to make a claim, and how much it could cost to put right if you do.

When it comes to sports cars, the first (and perhaps most obvious) thing insurers look at is their performance. Many sports cars are fitted with engines that provide rapid acceleration and high top speeds.

And they’re engineered to mimic the driving characteristics of racing cars, with responsive handling and potent brakes – all designed to help you carry as much speed into, through, and out of corners as possible. All of which increases your likelihood of being involved in an accident.

They are also, often, more expensive to repair or replace, because of their high sale prices or because parts are more specialised. And they may present a more irresistible temptation to thieves, making a theft claim more likely.

What are the cheapest sports cars to insure?

Admiral has compiled a list of the 10 sports cars with the cheapest average premium between January and July 2017.

Of course, the car itself is only one of the factors used in calculating premiums, so the characteristics of the average owner of these cars (including age, driving history and No Claims Bonus) could explain why the premiums are so affordable.

The models listed combine cars of all ages and values, including both hard-top and roadster equivalents sharing the same name.  

  1. Lotus Elise - £395.29
  2. BMW Z3 - £400.63
  3. Porsche Boxster - £442.26
  4. Mazda MX-5 - £463.90
  5. Toyota MR2 - £493.62
  6. BMW Z4 - £520.68
  7. Porsche 911 - £546.42
  8. Porsche Cayman - £594.71
  9. Porsche Panamera - £634.62
  10. Ferrari F430 - £666.87

NB: To calculate representative figures, only models on which at least 50 policies have been taken out in the stated timeframe have been included.

How to reduce the cost of sports car insurance

If nothing but a sports car will do, there’s lots you can do to reduce the cost of insuring it.

Drive within the law

Fixed penalties and points on your licence can increase your premiums

Build up your No Claims Bonus

This applies regardless of the type of car you have, and you can save over 70% by building your No Claims Bonus to the maximum nine years.

Drive fewer miles

Only using your sports car as an alternative vehicle on weekends can keep the premium cost low. 

Choose a less exotic model

Well-known or more established brands are often cheaper, because parts are easier to come by.

Fit a tracking device

A device to keep on eye on where your car is can help police and insurers to recover your vehicle in the event of it being stolen.

Consider an Admiral MultiCar or MultiCover policy

If you have more than one car, or are looking to insure both your car and home, you could benefit from a guaranteed discount with Admiral.

Resist modifications

Factory-fit optional extras are fine, but any after-market mods can push up your premiums.

Minimise the number and type of drivers

Insurers can and often do refuse to insure young and inexperienced drivers on performance cars, because their chances of being in an accident become unacceptably high.

Consider an Admiral LittleBox policy

Eligible drivers could save by opting for a telematics policy. Admiral LittleBox fits a ‘black box’ tracking device to monitor your driving style and reward safe drivers with discounts.

The device can be fitted free of charge to any vehicle manufactured after 2002, and can also be used to trace your car in the event it’s stolen. If a telematics policy sounds a bit ‘Big Brother’ to you, we’ve answered a few of the more common questions here to help put your mind at rest.

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