Car insurance for a Lotus Esprit
Eye-catching, head-turning and the envy of other motorists – anyone who has ever owned a Lotus Esprit knows all about the prestige associated with the vehicle. However, unless you’re savvy with your approach to car insurance you could face high premiums for the privilege of driving your Esprit – so here we look at how to keep those costs in check.
How much does it cost to insure a Lotus Esprit?
There’s no fixed price for insuring a Lotus Esprit as insurers base premiums on a number of “risks” – for example, the higher the risk of you making a claim, the more likely you are to face high premiums. Factors to consider include: your personal circumstances – such as whether you are married, your occupation, where you live; your annual mileage; and how you plan to use the vehicle.
Of course the vehicle itself is also a factor – insurers consider a vehicle’s age, its value, how much it would cost to repair and its security features. The Association of British Insurers has a database ranking models in groups from 1-20 (this was adjusted to 1-50 in December, 2009) with vehicles in the lower groups enjoying cheaper premiums – all Esprit models however, are classified in the two highest insurance groups – groups 19 and 20.
If you are in the market for a Lotus Esprit it’s worth factoring in insurance costs before you buy. Generally, it is the older models that fit into group 19 and the newer models that fit into group 20. For example: the 1976-78 Lotus Esprit S1 is classified in group 19, as are the 1978-1980 and 1980-81 versions of the Esprit S2. By contrast, most of the more recent models, such as the Lotus Esprit V8 SE, which was built from 1998 until production ended, are classified in group 20.
So before you buy it’s worth comparing insurance quotes for different Esprit models. Generally, insurers charge more for vehicles with larger engines because they are deemed more likely to be driven at fast speeds; while newer cars may also be more expensive as they often cost more to replace in the event of a write-off.
Where should you look for car insurance for a Lotus Esprit?
As Esprit models are classified in high insurance groups, there is added importance to shopping around and comparing as much of the market as possible to ensure you’re getting a competitive quote. Comparison websites can compare quotes from more than 100 insurers – although you should bear in mind that many conventional insurers may not offer quotes for these cherished vehicles.
This is where specialist insurers come in. Several UK insurers, including the likes of Performance Direct and Flux Direct, specialise in offering quotes for drivers of high performance cars such as the Lotus Esprit. They claim that they can offer special policy features and value for money quotes based on the fact that owners are more likely to take care of their vehicle.
Quotes from specialists should still be considered alongside those from conventional insurers to ensure they are competitive. However, you may decide that it is worth paying extra to take out a policy with one of these providers because of the features they offer tailored towards Esprit drivers. These may include:
- Agreed value cover – So you know from the outset what your Esprit is worth in case it is written-off or stolen, rather than a payout being based on market value. Some insurers even offer increasing agreed valuations to reflect the fact that many Esprit models increase in value year on year.
- Laid up insurance – If your Esprit is a project that you are working on, you may be able to get a basic policy to cover it against theft and mishaps.
- Multi-car cover – Many Esprit drivers own a second vehicle that they use for the majority of the time. Some specialists will allow you to cover the Esprit as a second car on a multi-car policy.
In addition, specialists may offer additional discounts such as:
- Advanced driving course discounts – Money off if you complete a course such as the IAM.
- Owners’ club discounts – A reward for drivers that take the time to learn more about their vehicle.
- Mileage limit discounts – If you use your Esprit infrequently you may earn a substantial discount by agreeing to an annual mileage cap.
How can Esprit owners bring their insurance costs down?
It’s not just specialist insurers that offer incentives – it is possible to bring your premiums down with almost any insurer as long as you take steps to reduce the risk of making a claim. Here are some tips:
- Drive safely: Most providers offer no-claims bonuses as a reward for drivers to stay safe on the road. This could reduce premiums by as much as 60 per cent after five years depending on the provider.
- Increase security: Adding alarms, immobilisers and tracking devices reduces car theft and if you install devices recommended by an insurer it should bring your premiums down.
- Increase voluntary excess: The excess is the amount you must pay in the event of a claim. This is normally divided into a ‘compulsory excess’ set by the insurer and a ‘voluntary excess’ which is an amount you agree to from the outset in case a claim is necessary. Increasing the voluntary excess will lower premiums although it should only be set at a level you can comfortably afford.
- Limit modifications: Modified cars can be more expensive to repair – so hold off on adjusting your Esprit until you’ve consulted your insurer.
- Pay annually: If you can afford to, pay premiums upfront as this will avoid monthly interest charges.