If you’ve invested in a car for your business, that’s probably for one simple reason above all: to get to and from the workplace. However, the possibilities don’t have to end there, and that’s why you may be tempted to make a few additions and tweaks to your otherwise factory-fresh vehicle.
Alas, that’s where problems can arise if you aren’t careful about which modifications you choose or indeed, fail to properly consider whether you ought to alter your vehicle at all.
MIGHT YOU ALREADY HAVE ALL – OR MOST – OF THE CAR YOU NEED?
Naturally, a key part of getting a young business off the ground is minimising its outgoings as much as practically possible. Hence, your bootstrapping efforts might even extend to your automobile.
In an article for MarketWatch, the investment strategist Jared Dillian of Mauldin Economics recalled how a heavily-salaried Toronto Raptors basketball player still drove a 20-year-old beater SUV. He justified his unassuming choice of transport as thus: “It runs… and it’s paid off.”
You may be inspired to follow his philosophy by converting an existing personal vehicle for work use. Still, you should be careful with your vehicle’s upkeep – and that’s where the occasional well-chosen modification, or “mod”, might pay off in the long run.
HOWEVER, EXACTLY WHAT PURPOSE WOULD YOU WANT YOUR CAR TO SERVE?
Yes, you read the plural there correctly with “purposes”. Your vehicle could, for example, do double duty as both your mode of transport and another entrepreneur’s advertising space. Small Business Trends outlines various other moneymaking opportunities your car could unlock.
Nonetheless, many of those possibilities might require – yes, that’s right – modifications. Offering a removals or delivery service, for instance, may be impractical if your vehicle lacks space or isn’t the easiest one to take items in and out of. Meanwhile, your car may need signage installed on top if the advertising idea appeals.
BUT THERE’S SOMETHING ELSE TO THINK ABOUT: INSURANCE
Before you start getting too excited at the prospect of kitting out your car for all of these commercial adventures, you should stop to consider how all of this could impact on your insurance. Sadly, adjusting your vehicle’s factory state in any way could count against you here.
That’s because, as the specialists in modified car insurance at MoneyBeach advise, modifications to a vehicle bring a higher level of risk in the eyes of most insurers. Any changes to a vehicle after it has left the factory cannot be guaranteed, so an insurer is unable to ascertain that a particular modification won’t compromise the vehicle’s integrity.
NOT ALL MODS ARE DEEMED EQUAL IN INSURER’S EYES
In calculating premiums for drivers of modified vehicles, insurers often rely on what you might consider to be unfair assumptions. These might include that a cosmetically enhanced car is likelier to be stolen, as well as that a performance-boosted one is likelier to be involved in an accident.
However, some mods capable of making a vehicle safer, such as security systems, alarms or tracking devices, might actually help to lower premiums. There’s also the question of which insurers you approach. Those that actually focus on modified car insurance, for instance, are likely to have a greater understanding of, and empathy with, the needs of a driver of a modified vehicle.
So, in summary – whether or not it is a good idea for you to modify your car as an entrepreneur will probably depend on a wide range of factors, including costs and how you intend to use the altered vehicle. Good luck!
Photo Credit: Malte Luk