Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Modified car insurance

You can get car insurance for modified cars, but you’ll need to let your insurer know upfront.

Budget Direct

Budget Direct logo image
Promoted
  • Get a 15%* online discount
  • 24/7 Claims
  • Lifetime guarantee on repairs
  • Save by restricting younger drivers
Get Quote
*First year's premium for a new policy. T&Cs apply.

Whether you've changed your car up with window tints or a petrol turbo, your car insurance might be affected. If it has been heavily modified, you might need specialist car insurance, which tends to cost more. But before you go there, we've listed how normal car insurers cover modified cars below.

How do some normal car insurers cover modifications?

CompanyWhat does it cover?
Budget Direct Logo Image: Supplied

Budget Direct Car Insurance

Budget Direct will cover you for modifications you've told it about that it has approved in writing. If you have any further modifications planned then these should also be communicated. Get quote
Bingle logo

Bingle Car Insurance

Bingle will cover modifications and accessories that are permanently fitted to your car as long as they don't appear on Bingle's list of exceptions.Get quote
real insurance Image: Supplied

Real Car Insurance

Real states it will cover "accessories or modifications made to your car that you have told the insurer about and that they've agreed to cover", but unfortunately doesn't mention any more specifics than that.More info
Youi logo

Youi Car Insurance

Youi may provide cover to legally modified cars provided you tell it about the mods and it has agreed on specific amounts that are applicable. Examples of legal modifications include:
  • Raised or lowered suspension
  • Engine replacement, tuning or turbo
  • Exhaust
  • Disability modifications such as lifts and ramps
Get quote
Virgin money logo Image: Supplied

Virgin Car Insurance

Virgin says you must tell it before you make any modification to the car, but doesn't highlight which mods it does or doesn't cover.More info
Coles car insurance

Coles Car Insurance

Coles does not specify which modifications are or aren't covered. The PDS just states that Coles must be notified of any modifications to the car.More info
AAMI logo

AAMI Car Insurance

AAMI car policies automatically include cover for modifications and accessories up to the amount your vehicle's covered for, you just need to let AAMI know what accessories or modification you've added to your car. You'll also need to make sure your car is valued correctly and includes those modifications.More info
Picture not described

NRMA Car Insurance

NRMA states it will cover "any modifications, options or accessories that are attached to your vehicle".More info
Everyday logo

Everyday Car Insurance

Everyday Insurance doesn't state which modifications are covered, it just says you must notify it if your car has been modified.More info

What car modifications are covered by insurance?

It varies depending on provider, but modifications covered by most insurers include:

  • Alloy wheels
  • Bicycle racks
  • Bull bars
  • CD stackers
  • Chrome exhaust systems
  • Driving lights
  • Leather seats
  • Reversing cameras
  • Roof racks
  • Tow bars
  • Sunroofs

Modifications typically not covered by mainstream insurers include:

  • Custom paint work
  • Roll bars or roll cages
  • Racing harnesses
  • Nitro or hydrogen fuel-equipped engines
  • Turbo or supercharged engines

Notifying your insurer about a car modification

Most insurers will cover accessories and basic modifications without needing to be notified. There are certain things that some insurers will want to know about or even won't cover, though. If you're fitting something like a turbocharger on the car, a roll cage or getting it dipped in custom paint, it could be a good idea to get on the phone to your insurer first.

What type of insurance do I need?

CTP greenslip insurance is the only mandatory car insurance but if you'd like further protection then it's worth considering comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party property damage car insurance.

With certain modifications, such as those listed above, you may not be covered by a standard policy from a mainstream insurer. Instead, you'll need to take out one of the following with a specialist insurer, designed for modified vehicles:

  • Regular use. Personal or business purposes.
  • Recreational use. For cars not used for regular everyday driving, but still driven occasionally for recreation.
  • Limited recreational use. For vehicles driven fewer than 60 days or 5,000 kilometres a year.
  • Club/concessional use. Cover for modified cars that are registered under a club or concessional scheme.
  • Restoration/laid-up. For unregistered vehicles being restored, provided they are stored securely in a garage.

What do specialist insurers cover?

The following is a list of insurance companies who offer modified car insurance for exotic or historical vehicles in Australia:

InsurerModifications covered
Dawes logo Image: Supplied

Dawes car insurance

  • All legal modifications (but will not reimburse any modifications required by law)
  • Only offered through a broker
Enthusiast logo Image: Supplied

Enthusiast car insurance

  • All legal modifications
  • Max of $2,500 for audio or visual systems
  • Specialist cover for classic, vintage and prestige vehicles
Ryno logo Image: Supplied

Ryno car insurance

  • All legal modifications (but will not reimburse any modifications required by law)
  • Specialist insurance for classic, prestige and vintage vehicles
Lumley logo Image: Supplied

Lumley car insurance

  • All legal modifications
  • Max of $1,500 for audio or visual systems
  • Specialist cover for vintage, veteran and classic vehicles (including motorcycles)
RAA Logo Image: Supplied

RAA car insurance

  • All legal modifications
  • Offers hard to place insurance for modified and imported vehicles

When can specialist car insurance help?

Specialist car insurers appreciate that people take great care in investing time and money into their vehicles and are therefore more willing to insure vehicles with performance-enhancing modifications. Certain modifications, such as to the engine, chassis or suspension, may prevent you from securing cover from a mainstream insurer or make the premiums unreasonable.

Car

Unique car insurance

Specialist insurers usually cover unique modifications by adding substantially to the excess you pay. They also tend to charge more for more powerful vehicles. Boosting your car's power by 20% will probably boost your premiums by at least 20% as well. You won't necessarily be able to mitigate the cost increases by installing modifications for safety, because the added value of the modifications still contribute to the overall cost of the vehicle.

Classic car

Specialised insurance for modified classic cars

Specialists are particularly good at taking care of modified classic cars. They are better able to negotiate a more accurate agreed value for the car rather than simply resorting to market value, while understanding the needs of the owner.

For example, they may offer flexible lay-up periods for classic cars which don't see much use. They are also likely to offer you the choice of your own mechanic and the option to retain valuable or rare parts salvaged from your car in the event of an accident. Mainstream insurers can rarely offer such flexibility for modified classic cars.

Should I use modified car agreed value or market value?

When looking for modified car insurance you'll have to decide with market or agreed value cover. In most cases, it will probably be best to go for an agreed value policy, as outlined below:

  • Market value. This policy pays you the car's current market value, subject to depreciation, at the time of the claim. Thus, the car's replacement value fluctuates constantly, meaning a modified car covered by this policy will almost always be underinsured. Market value is rarely used for modified or classic cars.
  • Agreed value. Agreed value is how much you and your insurer agree the car is worth. This number is locked in at the time of purchase and can only be changed at certain times. This is especially useful for heavily modified or classic cars, but generally costs more. Agreed value is almost always used for modified or classic cars.

Is it possible to get low-cost cover for modified cars?

This depends. How cool is your car? Like any policy, there are plenty of ways to reduce your premiums when buying modified car insurance. These include:

  • Driving a less expensive, less powerful vehicle
  • Nominating drivers, which can earn you a discount
  • Restricting the age and number of drivers
  • Choosing a pay as you drive option
  • Increasing your excess
  • Adding security such as a car alarm or immobiliser
  • Packaging your insurances with one provider for a loyalty discount
  • Shopping around for a no claims bonus discount
  • Insuring for market value rather than agreed value
  • Buying online to get a discount (up to 20%)

Insurance rules for modified cars

  • Is your modification legal? Naturally, all modifications made to your car must be street-legal, otherwise no insurer is even going to look at you. Also, if you are stopped by the police with illegal modifications, you could face a fine or worse.
  • Was your modification approved? In Australia, modifications must be approved by the motor vehicle licensing department in the state or territory you reside in. They must comply with Australian Design Rules, traffic rules and regulations and also with the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (NCOP).
  • Do I need to tell my insurer if I make modifications to my car? Yes. If you don't tell your insurer, it can reject your claims and cancel your policy. If your vehicle is under warranty and you don't tell the insurer, you may void the warranty entirely. And if you don't tell the licensing authorities and your modification turns out to be illegal, you could receive a defect notice and a substantial fine and have your vehicle de-licensed or impounded.

Modifications which are typically permitted include:

  • Additional lighting
  • Air shock absorbers
  • Alarm systems
  • Radio and stereo systems
  • Roof racks
  • Single tone air horns
  • Stabiliser bars

Modifications which are typically not permitted include:

  • Dark window tinting
  • Loud exhaust systems
  • Changes to the engine that do not fit the legal standard
  • Illegal changes to the chassis
  • Non-compliant changes to the tyres
  • Changes to the suspension that do not comply with legal standards.

How can modifications affect the cost of insurance?

There are 2 main reasons that a car modification will boost your premiums:

  • It increases the risk of an accident. For example, getting a custom paint job might drive up the risk of an accident if it's shinier and reflects more light into other drivers' eyes.
  • It increases the risk of your car being stolen. The same paint job could increase the risk of your vehicle getting stolen if it makes your car look fancier and thus more appealing to a thief.

Exactly how much a particular modification will affect your premiums really depends on the specifics of the modification. The only general rule is that an insurance company will be much more willing to give you a good deal if the modification has been installed by a licensed professional, rather than by you.

Ready to compare car insurance for modified cars?

The cost of your car insurance usually differs depending on your circumstances. Your gender, the type and colour of the car you drive, the amount of cover you need, your driving experience and other factors will have an impact on your quote. Always check the product disclosure statement (PDS) to make sure which product is best for you.

1 - 7 of 25
Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Car Insurance policy you take out by 22 April. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
loading

Why you can trust Finder's car insurance experts

free

We're free

You pay the same as buying directly from the car insurer. Better still, we regularly run exclusive deals that you won't find on any other site – plus, our tables make it easy to compare policies.
expert advice

We're experts

Our team of car insurance experts have researched and rated dozens of policies as part of our Finder Awards and published 330+ guides to make it easier for you to compare.
independent

We're independent

Unlike other comparison sites, we're not owned by an insurer. That means our opinions are our own and we work with lots of car insurance brands, making it easier for you to find a good deal.
help

We're here to help

Since 2014, we've helped 300,000+ people find car insurance by explaining your cover options, simply and clearly. We'll never ask for your number or email. We're here to help you make a decision.

More guides on Finder

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our 1. Terms Of Service and 6. Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site