Kit cars are smaller, sportier vehicles that are tailor-made for track days and are usually assembled by the owners themselves, but some manufacturers will sell them in a fully-fitted state.
Kit cars are popular with enthusiasts who like the challenge of assembling a vehicle – anything from a small sports car to more unusual vehicles such as dune buggies – they are the perfect vehicles for those who like to tinker with and assemble the vehicles themselves.
Many kit cars are sold in parts, from the chassis to which you attach the body kit to the engine itself. There are a number of manufacturers on the market from smaller, more bespoke manufacturers such as GKD Sports Cars, to some of the most well-known manufacturers including Lotus, Caterham, Tiger Racing and Ginetta, a lot of whom have had, or continue to have successful racing teams of some sort.
Indeed, it is the appeal of racing that draws some enthusiasts to these small and sporty vehicles, particularly when it comes to older, rarer vehicles and more unusual vehicle types such as dune buggies.
So what should you think about when looking for a kit car? Whether you’re looking to build one from scratch or just buy an assembled vehicle from the manufacturer, you need to bear in mind a few things when it comes to deciding what to buy.
Where Can I Buy A Kit Car?
Kit cars are available to buy either in parts from stockists and manufacturers, from internet auction sites or from the manufacturers themselves. Auction sites are a good resource for both fully-completed kit car sets, partially completed projects, replacement parts, and body kits.
When researching your ideal kit car, it is vitally important to ensure that your manufacturer is still in business, for while discontinued makes and models might be rare, they can also be more difficult to find.
Research is key when it comes to buying a kit car, particularly as they can be expensive to run and sink time into. Kit cars can be bought readily assembled or in pieces for self-assembly, but whichever state you wish to purchase your vehicle, it’s important to first…
Take A Test Drive
Before committing to a purchase, consider what you want first. Motor shows are a great place to start, especially if you’re able to have a test drive in the model you want to buy. When deciding on a model for you, remember that it’s important to ensure that you not only fit the car but that you have the workspace and storage space available for you to assemble one.
Can I Buy A Fully Assembled Kit Car?
Some manufacturers will offer completed kit cars for sale, allowing you to drive off almost immediately. But for many enthusiasts, it’s the challenge of construction that appeals to them, so many will choose to buy their vehicles in their incomplete stage and assemble the rest themselves.
On the plus side, fully-assembled kit cars will be instantly available to insure.
Buying Second Hand
Be careful when it comes to buying a second-hand kit car, for the vehicle may not be what is promised on the site, so unless you are able to view the car yourself and take a test drive, you may be taking a risk when it comes to buying the vehicle.
Who Should I Talk To?
If you’re starting off in the world of kit cars, it can be worth looking into joining an enthusiasts club in your local area in order to gain an insight into aspects such as what to buy, what to look out for when it comes to parts and even details of upcoming track days and meets.
It can be worth talking with the manufacturer as well, which is why it is handy to meet them at events and motor shows to get a feel of the vehicle, where best to source parts, and how best to insure your vehicle.
I Only Want To Use It On A Track
Many enthusiasts will use their kit cars as part of track days, races and meets, so making sure you’re insured for these is essential, as you’ll need to be covered both on the journey to and during the event itself, whether you transport the vehicle on a trailer or drive it yourself.
If you only use the vehicle on an occasional basis it can be worth speaking with your broker about the possibility of putting the vehicle on a more short-term insurance policy, maybe even a temporary ‘per-trip’ basis to help save you money on your insurance due to the infrequency of use.
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What About Insurance For A Kit Car?
Kit cars are designed for short-term use, usually for track days and motor shows. There are some enthusiasts who like to use their vehicles for longer periods, but kit cars are essentially not designed for everyday use, which makes insuring them an interesting experience.
The price of your kit car insurance will depend on how readily-assembled the car is. Because of the nature of kit cars and their manufacture, no two vehicles are the same, and so it is important to ensure that all your paperwork is correct when it comes to supplying information for your kit car insurance broker. On the other hand, you may check our guide on How to Reduce the Costs of Your Car Insurance.