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Vehicle acceptance criteria

The car to be insured can be owned by the proposed driver or borrowed from someone else provided that (a) the owner has given permission and (b) it has not been hired or borrowed from a hire company. The vast majority of cars on our UK roads will be acceptable to short term car insurance companies but insurers do have restrictions on the ones that they will cover. Generally speaking they will have to have been originally registered and normally kept in the UK and personal imports are unlikely to be acceptable. They must be roadworthy, taxed and MOT'd, worth at least £1000 or so and not more than about £40,000 so forget about that new Lamborghini you have your eye on. Modifications are not usually permitted (although I have heard of exceptions being made for modifications necessary to adapt vehicles for disabled drivers) and they should not have more than eight seats at an absolute maximum. Vans should have a maximum curbside weight of 3.5 GVT.

Each insurer has a list of cars and vans which are considered acceptable and these will vary from one company to another so the same advice is still valid; if you were turned down by one company then try another, you may find them more accommodating. If the vehicle that you want to insure is not on a list then there is no point in trying to get a quote by claiming it is a slightly different model; it won't work and even if you get cover it would be invalid.

Insurers tend to be very cagey about giving out the precise criteria that they will judge a case by, and sometimes a particular vehicle will be acceptable for one particular driver but not another so the answer again is to make at least one application. All you normally need to provide about the vehicle is it's registration number; the insurance company should then have access to the complete details about the vehicle and they will either accept it or turn it down so in the worst case you will have wasted just a minute or two of your time if it is refused.

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