The first point to make here is the most obvious. We are talking about a car that has been positively modified rather than a classic collectable car.
Approaching the insurance of an old vehicle that is essentially in its original condition or which has been rebuilt is a different exercise. The customized car may have a different form of suspension to make it a lowrider, or have engine modifications to make it a muscle car, or there’s a paint job that makes the vehicle look special. Each modified vehicle will be the love of the owner’s life. Whether someone has taken the trouble to do all the work or has simply paid out dollars to buy as is, there will be an immense pride in the ownership. Equally importantly, there will be a dollar value to protect. This is exactly the same as any other collectible. The moment you are looking at an object that has limited availability or, indeed, has elements of uniqueness about it, insurance is a high priority.
The problem in getting auto insurance quotes through the websites is that the computer systems are set up to quote for the standard range of makes and models.
The moment you present with something not in the manufacturers’ lists, the computer will not give you a realistic quote. Indeed, many are programmed to give a high quote to deter you. Your best strategy is to approach insurers specializing in the insurance of customized vehicles. This is not simply because you are more likely to find cheap auto insurance rates applied to the vehicle. One of the key problems in every case involving a customized vehicle is to agree the value of the vehicle. The standard insurer uses trade guides to establish fair market value, i.e the retail cost less depreciation. This does not work for a modified vehicle. The value you need is an estimate of how much it would cost to replace your vehicle should it be a total loss. This usually requires an appraisal although, in the first instance, sending photographs and a list of the modifications made may well produce agreement.
A second factor to consider is where the customized vehicle is going to be stored. Most owners do not drive their vehicles every day. Some will only bring their vehicles into the open during an exhibition or competition. Since you will presumably be asking for comprehensive cover against the possibility of vandalism or theft, a secure place will give you lower auto insurance quotes. Similarly, you should also qualify for a low mileage discount. For these purposes, you should ask whether a pay-as-you-drive policy would be appropriate to prove infrequent use on public roads and very careful driving. This may not be appropriate if your vehicle is a lowrider with hydraulic systems for bouncing the vehicle up and down. You should discuss the insurance implications before you customize your vehicle. That way you can keep your cheap auto insurance rates.