Most people in the car insurance sector know that lockdown was a godsend for every car enthusiast. Suddenly, there was plenty of time to do all those long-delayed jobs. Plus cash freed up from cancelled holidays, or regular commutes. Now the kit car market is a specialised thing and some classic car fans will not even accept that evocations, or replicas, are ever as good as the real thing. But for brokers who understand the enthusiasm someone has for an MR2 transformed into a Ferrari, or the go-kart simplicity of the Caterham 7, kit car fettling becomes a way of life.
The trend towards DIY or modified cars is growing, according to new figures from Quotezone.co.uk.
The car insurance experts recorded a surge in demand for kit car insurance from January to August this year, up 45% year-on-year, and already surpassing figures for the whole of 2020.
The firm says demand for kit car insurance fell by 18% in January to August 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, as lockdown restrictions hit road use and financial uncertainty gripped the nation. But with restrictions easing and the economy recovering this year, the situation has turned around.
The figures show this is a serious hobby, with average kit car prices coming in at £13,200, although some enthusiasts are spending £50k or more.
Many owners are particularly careful with their kit cars – only 7% declared a conviction and 10% an insurance claim in the past four years – and with an average age of nearly 48, these drivers are likely to enjoy cheaper insurance as they are seen as more experienced and therefore safer and more risk averse.
Quotezone.co.uk’s figures are based on a sample of over 5000 policies from January 2019 to August 2021. The most popular kit cars are from manufacturers Robin Hood Engineering – 11% of all quotes – and Tiger Racing – just over 6% of quotes.
Quotezone.co.uk’s Founder and fellow car enthusiast Greg Wilson comments: “Initially demand for kit car insurance fell in 2020 compared to 2019, which is understandable given the nation was thrown into lockdown with restrictions on our roads and the unknown financial implications of covid. But as people started to see an increase in savings, more time at home and a thirst for a socially-distanced hobby, it made sense for 2021 to witness a significant surge.
“I can see the attraction of hitting the open road in your kit car once the daily miles from your home limit was lifted, especially when there were still strict restrictions in place across sport and entertainment. With the average kit car owner age being 48, it’s likely lockdown gave many people extra time to explore hobbies they are always putting off and actually build that kit car they’ve been dreaming about growing up.”