What is kit car insurance? (Custom, Classic, + Modified Cars)

Kit car insurance provides specialty coverage similar to a classic car policy. The average kit car insurance rates are $45/month. Kit cars are insured with agreed-value policies that ensure they're covered for the right amount.

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UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 4, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you should know...

  • Kit cars are fun investments for car enthusiasts, but they need a special type of insurance
  • Because of their greater risk of theft, kit car specialists should invest in anti-theft devices and safety features. These can also lead to greater discounts with insurance companies
  • Comparison shopping will guarantee that you get the most coverage at the lowest price for your kit car
  • Customer-built cars need to be insured with agreed-upon values so that they’re insured for the right amount of money

What is kit car insurance? Kit car insurance is a specialty form of car insurance to protect a vehicle that you make yourself. Kit cars are a lot like prefabricated houses. The pieces come to you ready to be assembled, and you put them together yourself.

Aficionados invest a great deal of money and time into kit cars and the act of building them. We’re going to learn about kit auto insurance. Let’s also look at how you should go about getting them insured.

Where can you buy kit car insurance? Get FREE online car insurance quotes for your kit car now. Enter your ZIP code into the above box.

What kind of car insurance coverage do you need for your kit car?

One feature of a kit car is that they are usually very lightweight. One reason for this is that it enhances the driving experience by allowing for higher rates of speed and greater acceleration.

Lightweight cars are at a higher risk of getting into a catastrophic accident, though. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) measures how safe different vehicles are, and they’ve found that heavier and larger vehicles are safer.

It’s pretty self-explanatory, as larger vehicles just have more car between you and the crash momentum.

Kit cars are generally light and often small to midsized, so that can mean higher premiums. There’s no other way to measure how safe kit cars are, as they’re so unique and varied by nature.

Do kit cars have expensive insurance? With this form of auto insurance, your rates are likely to be closer to a classic car than typical auto insurance. Does GEICO insure classic cars? You can certainly get a GEICO kit car insurance policy, and places like Progressive or GEICO offer classic car insurance. Here are some rates for each state for full coverage, broken down into its respective parts.

Classic Car Insurance Rates by State
Full Coverage
South Dakota$180.13$154.87$125.15$460.15
North Dakota$178.91$138.62$146.45$463.98
North Carolina$215.65$81.65$176.15$473.45
New Hampshire$240.34$66.46$184.45$491.25
New Mexico$292.82$103.54$166.19$562.55
South Carolina$316.25$108.56$159.04$583.86
West Virginia$295.10$122.57$197.80$615.47
Rhode Island$455.88$79.31$246.91$782.10
District of Columbia$377.29$139.94$281.20$798.44
New York$482.71$102.67$231.01$816.40
New Jersey$521.74$78.81$229.12$829.67
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It really does matter where you live, as you could easily be paying double the amount in Louisiana as in Idaho, for example.

You definitely want to be careful with how much your car is insured for.

How do you insure a modified car? It’s important to get an insurance policy that’s for the agreed-upon value of your car, rather than what an insurer may get from a similar Kelley Blue Book car value. This video from Heacock Classic Insurance breaks down why it’s so critical to get your modified vehicle insured for the right amount.

You don’t want to end up in an accident where your insurer will only cover a small fraction of what your kit car is worth.

Why do you even need coverage though, if you’re not using the car much? If it’s a showpiece, you might just take it out on special occasions or to a car show. The truth is that even parked and stored cars should be covered, even if it’s only comprehensive stored car insurance while not in use.

If you’re planning to drive your kit car at all, you’ll need to comply with state laws for car insurance. Each state has its own requirements for how much liability coverage you need. See below and search for your state’s requirements compiled by the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Minimum Liability Car Insurance Requirements by State
StateInsurance RequiredMinimum Liability Limits
AlabamaBI & PD liability25/50/25
AlaskaBI & PD liability50/100/25
ArizonaBI & PD liability25/50/15
ArkansasBI & PD liability, PIP25/50/25
CaliforniaBI & PD liability15/30/5
ColoradoBI & PD liability25/50/15
ConnecticutBI & PD liability, UM, UIM25/50/25
DelawareBI & PD liability, PIP25/50/10
D.C.BI & PD liability, UM25/50/10
FloridaPD liability, PIP10/20/10
GeorgiaBI & PD liability25/50/25
HawaiiBI & PD liability, PIP20/40/10
IdahoBI & PD liability25/50/15
IllinoisBI & PD liability, UM, UIM25/50/20
IndianaBI & PD liability25/50/25
IowaBI & PD liability20/40/15
KansasBI & PD liability, PIP25/50/25
KentuckyBI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
LouisianaBI & PD liability15/30/25
MaineBI & PD liability, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25
MarylandBI & PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15
MassachusettsBI & PD liability, PIP20/40/5
MichiganBI & PD liability, PIP20/40/10
MinnesotaBI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10
MississippiBI & PD liability25/50/25
MissouriBI & PD liability, UM25/50/25
MontanaBI & PD liability25/50/20
NebraskaBI & PD liability, UM, UIM25/50/25
NevadaBI & PD liability25/50/20
New HampshireFR only25/50/25
New JerseyBI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5
New MexicoBI & PD liability25/50/10
New YorkBI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10
North CarolinaBI & PD liability, UM, UIM30/60/25
North DakotaBI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
OhioBI & PD liability25/50/25
OklahomaBI & PD liability25/50/25
OregonBI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20
PennsylvaniaBI & PD liability, PIP15/30/5
Rhode IslandBI & PD liability25/50/25
South CarolinaBI & PD liability, UM25/50/25
South DakotaBI & PD liability, UM, UIM25/50/25
TennesseeBI & PD liability25/50/15
TexasBI & PD liability, PIP30/60/25
UtahBI & PD liability, PIP25/65/15
VermontBI & PD liability, UM, UIM25/50/10
VirginiaBI & PD liability (8), UM, UIM25/50/20
WashingtonBI & PD liability25/50/10
West VirginiaBI & PD liability, UM, UIM25/50/25
WisconsinBI & PD liability, UM, Medpay25/50/10
WyomingBI & PD liability25/50/20
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In addition to liability, you’re likely going to want collision and comprehensive. See the video below for a quick explanation of the types of insurance, but we’ll look at why you should get full coverage right below.

You have a unique vehicle. Unless you have a lot of money in your bank account to cover damages, you want to get full coverage. If you cause a wreck, you can submit a collision claim to cover your own damages.

Comprehensive coverage might actually be most important for a kit car.

That’s because a lot of kit cars are collector’s items, so they don’t see daily use. But comprehensive will cover things such as a tree branch or tool falling onto your car in the driveway, theft, and scratches that could happen at a car show or just while parked somewhere. Also, you could be hit by an uninsured motorist, which is actually likely. About 13 percent of drivers in the country are uninsured, and some states have more than 20 percent uninsured.

If you put that much time and money into your kit car, you don’t want to leave it uninsured and yourself financially vulnerable.

Another characteristic of the design of the kit car is the fact that they are usually equipped with engines larger than the one would normally put in a smaller car.

By doing this, you increase the ratio of power to size and get a faster and more powerful car. With these features and benefits, however, comes a downside as well.

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The Downside of Car Insurance for a Kit Car

Smaller cars that are lightweight with large engines are a known target for car thieves according to the car insurance companies because the large engines are more powerful and can be removed and be put into larger vehicles. Thieves will find a great deal of joyriding from the theft.

Unlike traditional insurance policies, another pitfall of kit cars that can actually affect the cost of their insurance policies is the utter lack of safety features and some of the vehicles including high-impact crumple zones, airbags, and antilock brakes.

Here’s a video of one man’s attempt to get his kit car registered in his state.

If you own a kit car and your regular insurance company has turned its back on you or made your premiums so high that you can no longer afford it, read on to get some invaluable tips that will help you get custom-built car insurance.

What’s a kit car?

A kit or garage-built car is one that you’ve built yourself. They’re usually really cool rides, the result of hours upon hours of effort and often a lot of money. And, while we might consider Knight Rider’s KITT to be a kit car (even the replicas), that’s definitely not the only option out there.

Check out some kit cars below.

A lot of kit cars are partial imports, with pieces from vehicles across the pond. The International Trade Administration reports that about 50,000 used vehicles are imported each year, meaning many people are searching for import car insurance.

Used Vehicles Imported to the U.S. from Around the World
YearUsed Passenger Vehicles
201953,652 units
201849,055 units
201745,361 units
201661,171 units
201545,245 units
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Some of these are kit cars or get turned into kit cars. Importing vehicles is a complicated process where you have to meet emissions standards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and most of these are going to be over 25 years old. You get to the garage and get to work if you didn’t already import the completed kit car. When you finally finish, you have a car that’s definitely going to turn heads.

This video from VinWiki talks a little about building a supercar yourself.

The need to insure a kit car is unique. Purchasing specialty parts from vintage and classic automobiles and then assembling them after restoring them in their original form is a truly rewarding practice. Making a tribute car can be a meticulous and fun process that pays off at the next car show.

What is a tribute car? In case you didn’t already know, it’s just that — a tribute or recreation of an already existing vehicle. You should investigate the insurance needs of any vehicle before purchasing it.

So, the next question is how much does it cost to insure a kit car? Let’s find out.

Helpful Tips for Getting Car Insurance for Your Kit Car

Below are a few tips to help with getting kit auto insurance:

  • Contact your insurance company first: Call your regular insurance company to see if you’re getting the best rate that you possibly can. There’s a chance that you might get a reduction based on your past or an exemplary driving record. No claims bonus discounts are available for the most reliable drivers.
  • Compare quotes online:  Once you’ve contacted your insurance agent, search online for modified car insurance, also known as restomod insurance, depending on the type of car you have. You may be surprised at the number of different insurance companies from which to choose. Look for online muscle car insurance quotes to compare several companies’ rates at once.
  • Investigate in-person:  Contact companies found while researching and ask about further discounts from each, remembering to perform due diligence with each one. Before you decide, make sure to get recommendations from friends and people that you know and only focus on sites that you trust.
  • Pay attention to detail:  Read the fine print. Don’t forget to check all the different conditions and terms and restrictions before making a final decision.
  • Look for extra features: Don’t forget to practice savviness. A regular insurance company’s only interest in the numbers. However, an insurance company that specializes in special vehicles can appreciate the way you feel about your car. Often this is reflected in the premium that they offer you. Shop around, get the best price, and get ready to enjoy your vehicle.

Once you actually have your insurance, there are several things you can do to keep your premiums low. Here are a few of them:

  • Purchase some kind of an immobilizer to protect against theft. This will deter would-be thieves.
  • As difficult as it may be, purchase the smallest engine you can possibly stand to fit into the frame of your vehicle. By doing this, you make your car less attractive for theft.
  • Be completely honest about the specs of your vehicle when working with your insurance company to get a car insurance quote. This will help to prevent issues in the future if you have to make a claim later on.

Kit cars can be a fun and exciting hobby. However, insurance for kit cars isn’t the same as regular car insurance, and therefore should not be treated as such.

There are several things that you can do before and after you buy kit car insurance:

  • Shop around for a reputable company
  • Buy the smallest engine that you can live with
  • Buy some type of a mobilizing object to prevent theft
  • Be honest with your insurance company as to all the specs of your kit vehicle.
  • Ask about optional coverages and any what the additional premium might be
  • Understand the policy and description of coverage for your kit car

By following these simple tips, your hobby will continue to be an enjoyable and rewarding one.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare free kit car insurance quotes online now.

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What is kit car insurance?

Whether you’ve already built our vehicle or you’ve been browsing kit cars for sale, there are always a few more questions. We have a couple listed below.

Can you get temporary car insurance for your kit car?

If your kit car sits in your garage 99 percent of the time, you may want to think about short-term car insurance: try weekly or even 24-hour car insurance. You can also get month to month car insurance in some places or daily car insurance. However, some of these companies are not very reputable, so it’s best to use caution.

What if you’re just driving your kit car from where you bought it to home?

If you have no intention of driving your car for a while since you just bought it and want to work on it in your garage for a while, you may be able to just get driveway car insurance, which covers the vehicle only on the drive home.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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