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Demystifying the Cost: Is It More Expensive To Insure a Foreign Car? 

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If you’re considering getting a car imported from overseas, you may be wondering if it’s more expensive to insure a foreign car. The answer depends on the type of car. 

While some foreign cars can be pricey to insure, certain domestic vehicles can also have high auto insurance costs. Understanding the factors that car insurance companies use to calculate auto insurance premiums can help you get a good idea of what you might pay for insurance on your foreign, exotic, or imported car. Once you know the basics, you can decide which type of vehicle is right for you — and your budget. 

Unraveling the Myth: Is Foreign Always More Expensive? 

When it comes to understanding insurance rates by car, foreign vehicles have a reputation for being pricier than domestic cars, which usually means higher coverage costs. However, they aren’t always more expensive. Getting a sports car or a luxury vehicle of any type will drive your prices up.  

For example, Ferrari and Lamborghini are two of the most iconic manufacturers of exotic vehicles, and they’re both foreign companies. Cars from these companies can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. As you can expect, the value of these vehicles alone can make them expensive to insure. 

But there are also plenty of American cars that have serious price tags. Hypercar manufacturers like Hennessey Special Vehicles can sell vehicles that cost millions of dollars. When it comes to foreign vs. domestic car insurance, certain types of vehicles can have expensive premiums due to their overall cost.  

Although foreign cars are often more expensive than their locally made counterparts, it’s important to consider all the details when estimating the price of buying and maintaining a new car — regardless of where it was manufactured. 

Imported vs. Domestic: Understanding the Insurance Price Gap 

Although there are several exceptions, it’s true that imported foreign cars often come with more expensive insurance policies. But why? There are several factors that raise your auto insurance rates, and many of them apply to foreign cars. For example, people often import luxury cars that are extremely powerful. This can make them harder to handle and more dangerous to drive, which increases the risk associated with insuring the vehicle. 

Even if you import a car similar to a domestic one, it can sometimes still be more expensive to insure. Getting parts or finding a qualified mechanic for repairs can be harder. All of these details can drive your premiums up. 

It’s important to note that not all foreign cars are expensive or hard to repair. For example, foreign brands like Toyota are pretty prominent in the United States. Although some of these vehicles may be slightly more expensive than domestic versions, you can expect just a small increase in auto premium costs. The insurance price difference becomes significant when importing a vehicle from overseas or purchasing an exotic, high-powered sports car. 

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Rates for Foreign Cars 

If you’re wondering how much it might cost to insure an exotic or imported car, start by reviewing the different factors that determine car insurance premiums. Below is an in-depth breakdown. 

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High Repair Costs and Availability of Parts 

When you import a vehicle into the United States, you’ll also have to import any parts you need to repair the car in the future. Having specialty parts shipped from another country can quickly add up, making repair costs much more expensive, leading to higher rates for imported vehicle insurance. Insurers use average repair costs to estimate how much they might have to spend fixing your car if you make a claim. If your chosen model is expensive to repair, your policy may be more expensive than average. 

Luxury Equals Higher Liability: The Cost of Opulence 

It makes sense that valuable cars are also more expensive to repair. Even fixing a minor scratch or dent can be a huge expense on luxury vehicles. Plus, your insurance could be on the hook for a major payout if your vehicle is ever totaled. That risk is why more valuable, luxurious, imported automobiles often come with expensive premiums. 

Availability of Specialized Mechanics for Foreign Cars 

The cost of repairs for foreign cars doesn’t just involve paying for specialty imported parts. It also factors in the cost of paying for a mechanic who can make the repairs. Especially when it comes to sports cars and other imported vehicles, it can be more expensive and time-consuming to find a qualified mechanic. Along with higher labor costs, this can lead to higher rental car bills while you wait for your vehicle to be repaired. 

Insurance Provider’s Experience With Foreign Vehicle Claims 

Some insurers don’t even know where to begin when it comes to providing foreign car insurance for specialized vehicles. If they haven’t insured many exotic cars before, they may not have much data to pull from to calculate your premium. 

The Make and Model of the Foreign Car 

The exact make, model, and year of your car always has an impact on your premium, regardless of whether your car is foreign or domestic. The type of car will make an impact, too. Compare SUV vs. sedan and which is cheaper to get a good idea of how much the type will influence your prices. The car’s age, claims information from similar models, safety features, average repair costs, and other details will influence your premium. 

The Complexities of Insuring Rare and Exotic Imports 

Insuring imported automobiles isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. This is especially true when insuring a classic car or getting a policy for a rare, exotic, modified, or collectible vehicle. Rare cars with different modifications and features can vary widely when it comes to insurance policy costs. In some cases, cars might be so rare that it’s difficult for insurers to even estimate potential repairs and replacement costs. 

Additionally, classic coverage limits simply aren’t enough for cars that cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. It’s important to work with car insurance companies with experience working with supercars, one-of-a-kind vehicles, and imported vehicles in general to ensure you get a policy with enough coverage. 

Tips To Reduce Insurance Expenses for Imported Automobiles 

Insuring an imported vehicle can be expensive, but there are several ways you can save on your premium costs. Use these strategies to get the best deal possible for your foreign automobile: 

  • Find an experienced insurer: Make sure you work with a carrier that has experience insuring foreign cars and won’t charge you extra because they aren’t comfortable dealing with imported vehicles. 
  • Limit modifications: Pick out a vehicle with standard specifications to avoid having to pay extra to cover the potential expense of repairing a custom car. 
  • Shop around: Before making a purchase, talk to several carriers about estimated costs and policy options to determine a reasonable range for your premium. 
  • Reduce your risk of theft: Luxury, imported cars are popular targets for theft, which is one of the factors that can drive up your premium. Make sure you have a safe place to store your vehicle and communicate with your insurer about any other anti-theft precautions. 

How to Save on Foreign Car Insurance 

If you drive a valuable foreign car, you could face high insurance costs. However, at Freeway Insurance, we can help you save on auto premiums regardless of the type of car you drive. Whether it’s a basic sedan from a domestic manufacturer or a luxury vehicle from overseas, we have you covered. Get a custom quote today online, call us at 800-777-5620, or visit a nearby Freeway Insurance location to estimate your insurance costs so you can drive in style without worrying about your budget.

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