What is Japanese import car insurance?
If you want to stand out on the road, more and more people are now choosing to import cars from places like Japan and America. Whilst American imports are known for their classic styling, Japanese imports are becoming ever more popular.
Sometimes known as grey imports, Japanese imports are those cars which are brought to the UK legally, but just not through the manufacturer’s official channels. Popular manufacturers include Honda, Mazda, Subaru and Nissan.
Like any car, your Japanese import must have the right car insurance policy in order to be legally driven on the road. Many people choose a Japanese import in order to get a higher specification model that would normally be available to them through official distribution networks. However, savings can be offset by the high cost of an imported car.
Some insurers do offer specialist cover for Japanese imports.
Why choose a Japanese import car?
Japanese car manufacturers have a reputation for high-spec cars, with sporty designs and precision engines. Models like the Mazda MX-5, Nissan 350Z and Toyota Supra all combine great performance with a sleek design.
Often, drivers are able to source features and specifications from imported models not usually available on UK native models at a significantly lower cost. This might include more powerful engines, leather seats, or custom styling.
Unlike American imports, Japanese imported cars are right-hand drive, meaning a familiar driving experience for UK drivers.
Getting insurance for your car
Insurance for imported cars tends to cost more than those for cars bought in the UK. This is for a number of reasons.
Replacing parts on a Japanese import is more likely to cost more. This is because the parts themselves might need to be imported. Because they are harder to come by, they are likely to cost more pro-rata than replacement parts for standard UK models. This reflects a higher degree of risk for an insurer, which is reflected in policy costs.
One of the reasons many people import cars from Japan is for performance. A higher-spec engine also comes with an increased risk of being involved in an accident. This can also impact the cost of your premium.
How to get cheap Japanese import car insurance?
Driving an imported car can often mean it is tricky to find insurance coverage. Many insurers will only offer inflated premiums to compensate for the perceived risk of covering non-standard vehicles.
It’s important to think carefully about how to minimize the costs associated with
- Consider the spec of the model you choose. If you choose a very powerful, or high-spec model, you run the risk of paying extremely high insurance costs.
- Any modifications to your Japanese import will also raise the cost of premiums. If possible, avoid choosing cars which will need extensive modification.
- As Japanese imports can be costly to repair, you need to minimize the risk of damage. Keep your car stored off the road where possible. Using a secure garage will also deter thieves, and may reduce the cost of insurance.
- If you are only using your Japanese import as a second car, you could save money by agreeing to a limited mileage policy. Driving fewer miles cuts the risk of being involved in accidents, which can be a factor in bringing down policy costs.
- You could save money by joining an imported car enthusiasts club.
- Consider taking an advanced driving qualification. Schemes like PassPlus have been shown to lower the risk of accidents, which makes you a better risk when it comes to insurance.
- It’s important to shop around and compare quotes for Japanese import insurance from a range of specialist providers.