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How to insure an imported car

Many car enthusiasts like to drive imported cars in the UK. Some prefer imported cars due their concern for the environment. Others simply like a specific model that isn't available from a UK traditional franchised dealer, and thus must import it. Still other car enthusiasts like them because the cars tend to have lower mileages and higher specifications than UK models have, while also being reasonably priced. Many people drive imported cars so they can save money. However, no matter why you drive an imported vehicle or where it came from, you'll need imported car insurance.

Fortunately, imported car insurance is available in the UK. However, you should expect to pay a higher premium than you would for a standard car purchased in the UK. Sometimes the cost of purchasing, importing, and insuring the vehicle may make it not worthwhile to import a car. It's sometimes less expensive to buy a similar UK specification model instead.

Two types of imported cars

When you're considering importing a vehicle, you should be aware that there are two primary types. There's the parallel imports, which are cars that are right hand drive and are built to EU Type Approval. These vehicles are compatible with UK specifications even though they're manufactured outside the UK. They are new cars, and are far easier to get insurance for than the grey imports are.

Grey imports are cars that are not built to European standards, such as Japanese vehicles; and thus are not EU approved. They are usually second hand cars. Finding suitable insurance cover will be much more difficult, and you'll have to have detailed information on the vehicle.

It's best to talk to a few import insurance specialists to ascertain the cost of insurance for any specific model before spending thousands of pounds on importing the vehicle. It may save you lots of headaches and stress later. You may find out that the model you had intended to buy cannot be insured in the UK, or that it's too high of an expense for your budget.

Reducing the cost of insurance

Like any other driver in the UK, you'll want to reduce the cost of your car insurance cover as much as possible. Various insurers have stated that they will have to increase insurance premiums this year. This is due to fraud, credit hire costs, personal injury claims and making up for unprofitable years. With an expected average increase of 10%-20% for everyone's car insurance premiums in 2011, who wouldn't want to save on their insurance premiums?

The best way to do this is to do some in-depth comparison shopping, especially online. You can usually get some better value from specialised import car insurance cover rather than from standard car insurance policies. The Internet now provides an easier way to collect quotes from hundreds of insurers simply by filling out a few brief forms on various insurance comparison web sites.

Most reputable insurers and some car enthusiasts clubs also provide informative web sites and forums to make comparison shopping easier. Many will even give discounts for purchasing insurance cover online. Be sure you visit at least five different sites so you can get a better selection of offers though, as many sites only provide quotes from the companies they are affiliated with.

More ways to reduce cost of your insurance

Car insurance cover vary from insurer to insurer, so it's good to shop around. It's important to read the policy very carefully to be sure you know exactly what is and is not covered. Never assume something is automatically included or excluded in the cover. Not asking questions can end up costing you money, time, hassles and unnecessary stress. Asking questions can lead to more ways to reduce the cost of imported car insurance, or any other type of insurance.

For instance, you may have to add or remove certain services, such as breakdown cover, EU travel cover, and legal costs. You may want to find out if there's any discount for a No Claims Bonus, or for living in certain areas, or for having certain occupations. You may also want to find out if there are any discounts available for belonging to an owners club for your specific vehicle. Sometimes you can get a discount for limiting the mileage driven. Proving the car will be parked out of sight in a secured garage on private property may qualify you for a discount.

Paying for an entire year of premiums instead of pay-as-you-go monthly payments can save you money, in most cases. This is due to the fact that most pay-as-you-go monthly payment plans make you accrue high APR interest on your premiums. Here's a list of some other things that might help you to reduce you premiums:

?€˘Having GPS trackers and Category 1 Security on your imported vehicle
?€˘Having a Certificate of EU Confirmatory
?€˘ Having prior experience of driving and owning an imported car, or experience driving a car from group 14 and above
?€˘Having a UK registered imported car
?€˘ Previously being a named driver on an imported car policy

It would also help to have a good credit history and clean driving history. Not having any convictions, whether motoring or non-motoring related also helps a great deal. Being over 25 years old and in good health, with healthy habits also helps to reduce the cost of insurance cover. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from your family, friends and co-workers. However, it's best to seek assistance from a reliable, knowledgeable imported car insurance specialist or insurance broker. It may not be easy, but you can indeed reduce some of the cost of imported car insurance.

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