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Blog: February 24, 2020

Discover the ins and outs of specialist imported car insurance


If you’re on the hunt for imported car insurance, it’s likely you own a left hand drive vehicle that’s been shipped from Europe, Japan or the United States. There are lots of good reasons for importing vehicles into the UK, the primary benefit being that cars purchased overseas often have higher specifications than UK equivalents. What’s more, these vehicles are often much cheaper to buy.

You won’t normally be able to insure your imported car on a standard policy, however, the experts at Arkwright Insurance Brokers offer the following tips:

There are lots of good reasons for importing vehicles into the UK, however it is vital you get the right type of insurance policy with adequate cover

American & left-hand drive car insurance advice from Arkwright

It’s really not the fact that your car’s an import that makes it require a specialist car insurance policy. The reason the premiums need to be carefully looked at is down to the vehicle’s origin and whether spare parts are easily available in the UK.

You’ll appreciate that any repairs or bodywork required for insurance purposes will be far more expensive if all parts need to be shipped into the UK.

Is the vehicle a parallel or grey import?

One important question any insurer will pose is whether the vehicle is a grey import or a parallel import. What parallel import means is a car that’s been made in the EU and meets all minimum standards offered by the same right-hand drive UK vehicles. In other words, they want to know whether your imported car is just a left-hand drive version of similar models already driven on UK roads. If your vehicle is a parallel import it will be fairly simple to arrange insurance, and until December 2020 the cost is likely to be similar to insuring any UK equivalent.

Where you’ve imported what you may consider a parallel model in Europe but it has a far higher specification than right-hand drive models in the UK, the insurance is likely to be higher. This increased insurance premium reflects the higher levels of performance and fitments, and the fact your car cost the same as an entry model in the range is not appropriate. Your insurance premium will be reflective of the rate charged for any UK model with a similar high spec.

The insurance term “grey import” refers to a vehicle that’s been imported from other international manufacturers, like Japan or America. Very often these cars tend to be sporty and have high-performance levels. In this respect, the imported car insurance premiums will be based on the vehicle’s performance alongside any potential difficulties in sourcing spare parts. If it seems likely that parts can only be sourced from the original manufacturer, premiums will be higher than those you’d need to pay for any parallel import.

Take time to browse our site now to discover more about imported car insurances, and compare premiums from a variety of the UK’s top insurers. If you need any support don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01204 392 525 or email us your details at Quote@arkwrightinsurance.co.uk, and one of our helpful insurance experts will be able to answer your queries!


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