Tow Bar and insurance

Emsylou replied on 25/08/2018 10:13

Posted on 25/08/2018 10:13

Hi everyone

I am hoping you can help out. We pick up our first caravan next weekend and have had to have a tow bar fitted to the car. After reading in a caravanning magazine that once you have a tow bar fitted it is classed as a modification to the car and you need to declare it with insurance provider. I have done this and was told that they can no longer insure the car because of this. I have just tried to take out insurance with another company to be told the same thing, however my argument with them was that they didn't ask if the car had any modifications and if I hadn't of asked if they needed this information then they would never have known. I then asked what would happen if had an accident whilst towing, would the policy have paid out and they said no it wouldn't have done. The insurance sites do not ask this question when trying to get quotes.

I guess my question is, who do you insure your cars with as I am struggling to find insurance for under £1000!!

I have done the insurance quote through the caravan club, but that didn't ask the question either, so do I just assume that because its through this website they will automatically know that you will have a tow bar?

I would really appreciate any help with this matter.


Thank you

Thank you


Milothedog replied on 25/08/2018 10:22

Posted on 25/08/2018 10:22

I've never asked that question but have always told them I will be towing a caravan and not had a problem?  Have you tried contacting the Club insurance service.

EasyT replied on 25/08/2018 10:23

Posted on 25/08/2018 10:23

RAC in my case. I have used Saga and also LV. Always declared the tow bar.

Who had you approached and when did you pass your test out of interest?

JVB66 replied on 25/08/2018 10:26

Posted on 25/08/2018 10:26

A towbar fitting is not classed as a "modification" ,i have always "advised any insurance company that one is fitted,  they have always just "aknowledge" it but thats all

EasyT replied on 25/08/2018 10:30

Posted on 25/08/2018 10:30

A towbar fitting is classed as a modification by many if not all insurers (even if factory fit option). Many will say that it is an accepted mod with no extra charge - or so I have found 

Emsylou replied on 25/08/2018 10:43

Posted on 25/08/2018 10:43

Thanks everyone.  

I have just spoken with direct line who will insure the car. They advised that a tow bar is classed as a modification. It is stated in their terms and conditions when taking out a policy that you need to contact them by phone to declare any modifications.

I won't ever just tick that box again to agree to terms and conditions without reading them!!

The other insurance companies were Zenith through Sainsburys bank (who we were insured with) and the other was through Debenhams finance through compare the market. We've both had our driving licence since 1996 so I just couldn't understand the price. I nearly fell through the chair!! Direct line are doing it for £402 which is more like it! 

Anyway panic over now! Thank you everyone for taking the time to respond.


Tinwheeler replied on 25/08/2018 10:46

Posted on 25/08/2018 10:46

I think most companies make a statement to the effect that the quote is issued under certain assumptions and one of those is that the vehicle has not been modified in any way. The onus is then on you, the insured, to tell the company about the towbar even though they may not ask the specific question. It pays to read the small print.

I always told my insurers - various companies - and was never refused cover or penalised in any way. 

Milothedog replied on 25/08/2018 11:27

Posted on 25/08/2018 11:27

I think an insurance company would be on dodgy ground if they  tried to wriggle out of a claim if the policy holder had already declared they towed with the vehicle.  surely its the same as declaring having a towbar fitted?

Then there is the argument that some makes are marketed and sold as tow cars, Land Rover being one......

With our latest policy with Churchill, I stated the car was un-modified from new  and stressed the point at least twice to the agent on the phone that we tow a 7.3mtr caravan with the car. The answer being that's fine, your covered.

commeyras replied on 25/08/2018 11:50

Posted on 25/08/2018 11:50

In my opinion it is essential that you tell your insurance company that you have a tow bar.  Failure to do so could probably be against their  T&Cs and give them an excuse to refuse to settle a claim.  Having said that, when using comparison sites for quotes if you tick 'Has your car been modified' then you probably get the option for 'tow bar'.  I have never been refused nor had to pay extra for having a tow bar fitted.

Oneputt replied on 25/08/2018 13:48

Posted on 25/08/2018 13:48

I insure with LV, I declared my towbar, no problem and no additional cost. I declared my engine rechip and price went up by £25 for the first year but subsequent years reduce the premium.

Woods with bluebells

Spring getaways

Image: Clachan Club Campsite. Member photo by member Eric Ness

Find your perfect pitch this spring with our Late Availability checker - there's still availability at many popular UK Club campsites!

Book now
Woman sitting in camping chair by Wastwater in the Lake District with her two dogs and picnic blanket

Follow us on Facebook

Follow the Caravan and Motorhome Club via our official Facebook page for latest news, holiday ideas, events, activities and special offers.

Photo of Wast Water, Lake District by Sue Peace
Visit Facebook