Posts tagged modified car insurance
The Honda Jazz is one of the most popular small(ish) cars in the UK, and is particularly well-loved by one particular segment of the population.
So much so, that in a few short years the Jazz has become the archetypal carriage of people of a certain age. This has even baffled Honda – reputedly Toshiyuki Harada, one of their top executives came to Europe on a factfinding mission. As he was cruising down the M4, he was not overly surprised to see a Jazz screaming past him, like the proverbial bat out of hell. He was surprised to see that its sole occupant was an elderly woman.
In the rest of the world the Jazz is seen as a young person’s car, but Honda seem to have grudgingly accepted that its niche in the UK is as a versatile car for the baby boomers, as evidenced by the Honda UK website which emphasises ‘versatility, flexibility and adaptability’ (er, hang on, aren’t they all the same thing?) as well as the impressive safety credentials.
Compare that to Honda’s Thai site, which, by contrast, extols quite different virtues:
Life is colorful. Make up your world with powerful i-VTEC engine 1.5 litre, 120 PS, green power that is compatible to E20.
Feel sporty in every movement with 5 speed automatic transmission and Paddle Shift control.
Fascinate your world by designing and adjusting your Ultra Seat in various modes. Lets go! Your lifestyle is out there. Feel it! I’m So Jazz!
In Thailand the Jazz is the car for the young guy or girl about town, and the Honda Jazz Club of Thailand is one of the biggest automotive websites in the country with over 25,000 members posting from the comfort of their Ultra Seats.
And they modify them…
Boy, do they modify them…
Wired.com has a great podcast today covering elderly residents of Florida who have combined their passion for classic cars with their love of a spoilt walk. These geriatric motor fans have had their golf carts tricked out to look like their favourite historic automobiles.
Many of these carts have had seatbelts, wipers and other safety features added to make them street legal, and in theory there’s nothing to stop anyone in this country doing the same (but if your grandad wants to do it, he’ll want some custom car insurance from a company that offers affordable insurance for mature drivers).
There’s not really much I can add other than to exhort you to check out the photo-gallery…
Image by exfordy via Flickr
The people who make Max Power would probably encourage you to believe that car modifications took off in the 1990s, people have been customising their motors at least since Monsieur Renault decided he could improve on De Dion’s handiwork back in 1898.
Back in the 70s and 80s, bad boys around town wouldn’t be seen dead without a set of Cibiés. Other popular retro modifications included removing the bumpers, ‘shaving’ and ‘frenching’ (removing or recessing respectively anything that sticks out), adding racing stripes and decals
Image by rutthenut via Flickr
(perhaps even Martini or Gulf) and, if performance was your thing, sticking something like a Rover V8 into a Mk1 Escort, or a Porsche engine into a Beetle was a relatively painless exercise, although still not to be undertaken lightly.
But for people with only a passing interest in cars, two modifications from the age of the white dog poo tend to stick in the mind more than all of these, the Dixie Horn – soundtrack to my childhood – and the extra wide wheels, which became known as Carlos Fandango wheels, after a ludicrously exaggerated version of this mod was featured in this cigar ad:
I wonder, with the eighties revival in full swing, how many people will be doing these mods (at least the ones that haven’t been banned by Brussels) to their cars again? One thing is for sure, as long as there are modified cars, people will need modified car insurance.
Check out this supercharged “cyclist”…
22″ Spinners anyone?
This is not so much modified… But definitely the type of guy who spends way too much time on his push bike…
Finally, a video to rival Ken Block and his Subaru drifting…
It seems that Mr King would like to see legislation which would limit the ability of young drivers to carry out modifications to their cars.
If you then put [young drivers] in a modified car… then accidents are much more likely to happen.
There’s just one problem with that – it’s complete rubbish. You would have thought that an august institution with a history as proud as the AA would have checked their facts before spouting uninformed opinion to the press (why didn’t they just AAsk us?)*.
Because, since modified car insurance is one of the things we know an awful lot about, and since we keep careful records of things like claims and accidents, we actually know the truth. And the truth of the matter is this:
Young drivers of modified cars are on average 20% less likely to have an accident and make a claim than young drivers in cars with a standard specification.
What are the reasons for this – well there are several:
- Modders are enthusiasts, more knowledgable about cars than their peers
- They love their cars and take special care of them.
- The money spent on their cars is a significant proportion of their income, so they want to protect their investment.
- Modified car owners have also invested a lot of time in their vehicle – the prospect of doing all that work again in the event of a crash is not what they want.
- And in doing the modifications, the owners are getting a good understanding of mechanics, and are more likely to spot any maintenance issues too.
So perhaps, rather than calling for a ban, the AA should start campaigning to make modifications compulsory for young drivers – or more seriously for car maintenance to feature more heavily in the driving test. They should, at least, think before alienating many of the most enthusiastic of the motorists whom they claim to represent.
You can always rely on them…
*For that matter don’t AA Insurance Services keep their own data on this sort of thing?
If you have anything slightly unusual is that they can be completely unhelpful. Seeing that GoCompare had added a few specialists to their panel, like A-Plan, Express and Sureterm, I though I’d run through a quote on a lightly modified Nissan Silvia, to see what their prices were like.
Unfortunately, although it happily lets you fill in all your details, it then brings up the supremely unhelpful list below. None of their panel, specialists included, could quote it. Nice one GoCompare!
It just goes to show that if you want a quote on something even a little bit out of the ordinary, you are currently still best off leaving the aggregators for Mondeo man and giving a genuine specialist broker a call. (Our number is 08000 83 88 33)
—UPDATE 16/10 —
I think some people thought I was having a pop at either GoCompare or the specialists currently on their panel. My point was really that the aggregator model, whilst very useful in many circumstances is not any help in the many cases where there is anything even slightly unusual.
I have recommended elsewhere on this blog that customers should always try to include a mixture of aggregators, direct writers and brokers when they are shopping around – If you have a classic, modified, imported or kit car, or if you are a younger driver, have convictions, female or mature, brokers can ask the questions that aggregators can’t or don’t – and that even includes the ones I listed.
At Adrian Flux, we have never shied away from sorting cover for unusual or one-off vehicles, but, just occasionally, something comes along which is truly mould breaking.
So it is with this, the CUER Affinity:
Designed by some clever bods at Cambridge University’s Engineering Department, the Affinity is the UK’s first ever road-legal solar-powered car. And the Cambridge University Eco Racing team wanted to test it out by driving from Lands End to John O’Groats.
That meant that they needed to get the first ever motor insurance policy for a solar powered car, and as specialist brokers, were able to oblige, placing the policy with underwriters Trinity Lane Insurance.
Having proved its mettle on UK roads, despite the vagaries of the British weather, there is no stopping the team and the next stop for them is Zero Rally Africa, a carbon-neutral rally across Zambia, Namibia and South Africa, followed by an entry into the World Solar Challenge across the Australian outback. Best of luck guys, and I’m sure yours won’t be the last solar powered car we insure.
Clearly Brunstrom’s crew at the North Wales police have decided that if you can’t beat them, you may as well join them, and have kitted out a police van with thousands of pounds worth of plod mods.
They reckon if they turn up at cruise events in their modified Ford Transit (resplendent in classic Martini race colours and recently retired from camera duty) they can talk to the participants about road safety. Presumably once the laughter has died down.
Predictably, many people are mocking the police for this, but I think they deserve some credit.
OK, so it’s about as cool as your dad coming out clubbing with you, but at least they’re making an effort to engage with a culture that most police forces don’t even try to understand, much less care about.
The bottom line is, that if a single life is saved, the effort will have been worth it, and by running a modified motor themselves, they might even learn a thing or two.
If any plumbers out there feel inspired enough to kit out their transit van, you know where to come for modified van insurance.
That’s modifications to your body.
Today’s Times carries the story of Welsh teenager Jessica Collins who was involved in a serious car crash in Germany. Apparently her injuries were exacerbated by her belly-button stud being pushed by her seat belt through her body and almost to her spine. Doctors described the injuries as being like a bullet wound.
There’s more on icwales.
Unlike a certain satire site, I’m not going to suggest that removing your seatbelt would be an appropriate course of action if you have a navel piercing. And much as I understand the distraught parents’ pleas for teenagers to remove their piercings, the circumstances of the accident suggest that this was a freak incident.
But what you might do, if you have a piercing somewhere in your abdomen, but which you should certainly do anyway, is to check whether the seatbelt fits you correctly. For correct operation the lap part of your seatbelt should go over the pelvis region and not the stomach. The diagonal strap should pass over you shoulder and not your neck. If your seatbelt doesn’t fit, you can usually adjust the height of the seatbelt via the b pillars, and often the c pillars too.
The danger of news stories like this is that they will either put people off wearing a seatbelt, or – more likely – give the 10% of muppets who still drive without one another convenient but bogus reason to not belt up.
By wearing your seatbelt you will significantly raise your chances of surviving a serious accident – over 2,500 lives are saved a year, which means 250 are still being lost needlessly, and that’s to say nothing of the serious injuries prevented.
In contrast injuries caused by seatbelts are rare, usually amounting to bruising, often in the course of preventing more serious injuries, and only vanishingly rarely anything as serious as has afflicted poor Jessica.
You can find out more about seatbelt safety in this pdf download from RoSPA.
So remember – “Clunk, click – every trip” – and by all means get rid of your belly studs if you want, I’m not a fan.
And remember that modified car insurance is comparatively safe!