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Multiple questions, does a body kit make it a kit car??


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1) does an existing vehicle with a complete body kit make it a kit car that can be insured by a kit car insurance company?

2) is fiberglass the best material to make custom panels?

3)is a kit car recommended as a first car for a student?

4) downsides to a kit car?

5) is there any type of safety test, or special test required for new kit cars? And must they follow the same rules as manufacturers within reason? 

5) what should I expect to pay in insurance being an 18 year old male with no experience of driving/owning a car but a full license?   

 

Finally, could I buy for example an old boxster, and strip down the chassis and add an entirely new body kit, would this then classify the vehicle as a kit car or must it be completely built from scratch excluding donor parts like an engine and gearbox?

Apologies if this is considered a violation of sorts due to being in the wrong catagory however I was unable to find the exact/suitable catagory to ask these questions, I'm very new to this and the options given to me for a standard car bore me and are very expensive

 

 

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Dammit, how do you break up quotes in this forum software?! I'll come back later... started with the intention of typing something but it didn't work....

Edited by brumster
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The main question is whether you are going to modify the ‘chassis’ of the vehicle or not. As I understand it, Changing bolt on or bonded panels, such as a 911 style conversion kit on a Boxster should not require the car to go through an IVA test. It will still be considered a ‘kit’ car but it is not the same as a build from scratch kit where a new chassis is married with running gear and other components from one or more existing donor cars.

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2 hours ago, RallyChris said:

The main question is whether you are going to modify the ‘chassis’ of the vehicle or not. As I understand it, Changing bolt on or bonded panels, such as a 911 style conversion kit on a Boxster should not require the car to go through an IVA test. It will still be considered a ‘kit’ car but it is not the same as a build from scratch kit where a new chassis is married with running gear and other components from one or more existing donor cars.

Depending what goes as a modification to the chassis most likely, the boxster was just an example and probably not going to be a vehicle I'd purchase, this will probably sound crazy but I love the look of aston martins Valkyrie, aside from being incredibly rare and already sold out before production I can't afford one anyways and I doubt it would make a good daily, however I'd love to attempt making a super light car that is somewhat comparable, with aero and weight being two main focuses so that would most likely mean a lot of modification, especially after seeing how cheap v12 and V10 donor cars can be, is this completely unrealistic and is my young age making me naive towards this hobby? But it's definitely something I'd love to have a go at but the risk can't be too great as I don't have a fortune to neither spend or risk

 

So adding a body kit to a vehicle will make it a "kit car" where insurance premiums seem to be far far lower from kit car insurance providers and buying a car then adding a full body kit could be a viable option as a first car to keep prices low?

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I'd suggest a few phone calls to various insurance companies who specialise in insuring kits and classics. I think most of them would still consider a rebodied car to have the original identity for insurance purposes. My take on it is that they charge less for self built cars as they know you have time, effort, money, blood, sweat , and tears invested in it. You will want to take more care of it than any production car.

Your age will have a big bearing on whats viable/insurable, so best to get that out of the way first.

Probably not what youre looking for but there a few kits based on the humble CV2 which does have a separate chassis, and would almost certainly be insurable for you. That would provide a challenge for your building skills, and gain experience while you look longer term at a V12 rocket.

Best of luck, come back with as many questions as you like, we're all car enthusiasts here, and happy to help anyone make a start.

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9 hours ago, FinkPloyd said:

1) does an existing vehicle with a complete body kit make it a kit car that can be insured by a kit car insurance company?

2) is fiberglass the best material to make custom panels?

3)is a kit car recommended as a first car for a student?

4) downsides to a kit car?

5) is there any type of safety test, or special test required for new kit cars? And must they follow the same rules as manufacturers within reason? 

5) what should I expect to pay in insurance being an 18 year old male with no experience of driving/owning a car but a full license?   

 

Finally, could I buy for example an old boxster, and strip down the chassis and add an entirely new body kit, would this then classify the vehicle as a kit car or must it be completely built from scratch excluding donor parts like an engine and gearbox?

Apologies if this is considered a violation of sorts due to being in the wrong catagory however I was unable to find the exact/suitable catagory to ask these questions, I'm very new to this and the options given to me for a standard car bore me and are very expensive

 

 

1 - the best way to answer this is to just ring one up and ask them. If you're on about one of these kit cars where you basically drop a new body (or major body parts) onto a BMW Z3/etc then I suspect they'll happily quote you, yes, it's business after all.

2 - best for who? I'm not getting why you're asking - are you looking to make this body kit yourself? If so, wow, you're taking on some job there and if you're having to ask what the best material is, then I'm going to hazard a guess you're not trained in panel beating or laying up of GRP, in which case.... you might want to consider what you're taking on here :) !?

3- As someone who did most of his student life with a GTM Rossa (from 2nd year onwards), it would be awkward of me to say "No" :D but, errm... let's be honest, they might not be the most practical of vehicles... but I made it work and if you're determined enough and willing to understand the compromises, then sure, why not!

4- Depends on the car. There are lots of different kits, just like any 'normal' car, some with more space than others, etc. you need to think about what you want out of a car, and then assess every kit car you're looking at against those criteria. Think about weather protection, reliability, performance, boot space/interior space and practicality, economy, cost to run, cost to insure, safety, security... if you've got not garage or secure parking, for example, then buying a Lotus 7 replica with no roof for a car you've got to drive into college every day come rain or shine, including the winter.... I'd say yeah, there's a downside ;) !

5 - Yes, Look up "IVA inspection" or "guide to the iva scheme"... some bedtime reading there!

5 - Quite a fair bit, I suspect!

 

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1 hour ago, Bob Tucker said:

I'd suggest a few phone calls to various insurance companies who specialise in insuring kits and classics. I think most of them would still consider a rebodied car to have the original identity for insurance purposes. My take on it is that they charge less for self built cars as they know you have time, effort, money, blood, sweat , and tears invested in it. You will want to take more care of it than any production car.

Your age will have a big bearing on whats viable/insurable, so best to get that out of the way first.

Probably not what youre looking for but there a few kits based on the humble CV2 which does have a separate chassis, and would almost certainly be insurable for you. That would provide a challenge for your building skills, and gain experience while you look longer term at a V12 rocket.

Best of luck, come back with as many questions as you like, we're all car enthusiasts here, and happy to help anyone make a start.

My v12 rocket would be a long term goal, but something that would let a v12 slot right in would be ideal.

 

The cv2 you refer to is the very old citroen? 

 

I'm pretty confident on my ability to put together a kit despite never having any experience with cars before I can rebuild computers, custom cooling solutions, make stud walls, capinets, I think of myself as an all around handy man, I recently just plumbed in a sink and built a cabin kit in our garden with my dad if any of that will he useful

 

I recently saw an "eagle SS" for sale near me which is a kit car and the current owner has built it off a believe an original beetle chassis and engine, now I personally think it's one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen but would that be ideal in facilitating larger engines and custom panels to your knowledge? I'm not asking you to read through the instruction manual and write me an essay back, I don't want to suck up your free time but if you could give me any tips on what would make an ideal chassis for a kit car etc that would he great

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Most people these days buy at least a starter kit from a recognised company (GBS, Tiger etc) as that gives you a modern, clean chassis to start with. I don't know for sure but I imagine you'll struggle to get a VW Beetle or 2CV these days and they are a lot more work even if you do as they will almost certainly need some work to repair rust etc.

What you need to decide is this; do you want a car to drive now or do you want to build it first?

If you want to build it, it's going to take a lot of time and money. If you're very dedicated and work on it every single day, you may get it done in 6 months. More likely, allow at least 2 years, so you'll probably be 20 before it's ready to go on the road, so insurance costs now are irrelevant.

If you need a car now and want something interesting, get an MX5. My son recently bought one and even though he is only just 18, insurance was cheaper than an older Toyota Yaris. I guess that is because it is a 2-seater, so no chance of having your mates in the car egging you on? 😉 However, he also sold it after 3 months BECAUSE it only had 2 seats and he couldn't fit his mates in 😮. He now has an older Golf GTi, with insurance almost twice as much.

Sad to say but kit cars are generally less reliable than a normal car because they haven't been built by perfect robots, so be careful what you look at.

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16 minutes ago, nelmo said:

Most people these days buy at least a starter kit from a recognised company (GBS, Tiger etc) as that gives you a modern, clean chassis to start with. I don't know for sure but I imagine you'll struggle to get a VW Beetle or 2CV these days and they are a lot more work even if you do as they will almost certainly need some work to repair rust etc.

What you need to decide is this; do you want a car to drive now or do you want to build it first?

If you want to build it, it's going to take a lot of time and money. If you're very dedicated and work on it every single day, you may get it done in 6 months. More likely, allow at least 2 years, so you'll probably be 20 before it's ready to go on the road, so insurance costs now are irrelevant.

If you need a car now and want something interesting, get an MX5. My son recently bought one and even though he is only just 18, insurance was cheaper than an older Toyota Yaris. I guess that is because it is a 2-seater, so no chance of having your mates in the car egging you on? 😉 However, he also sold it after 3 months BECAUSE it only had 2 seats and he couldn't fit his mates in 😮. He now has an older Golf GTi, with insurance almost twice as much.

Sad to say but kit cars are generally less reliable than a normal car because they haven't been built by perfect robots, so be careful what you look at.

The eagle SS has already been build and already has the VW engine installed with a pretty rusty looking exhaust system 

I was looking for a mid/rear engine car but I might have to look into your suggestions about the mx5 further. 

https://completekitcar.co.uk/2021/06/28/eagle-ss/

Here is a link to the eagle SS, it's in a pretty run down state from what I can see, I'd look to knock them down on the price further but should I just forget this all together?

 

 

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3 hours ago, brumster said:

1 - the best way to answer this is to just ring one up and ask them. If you're on about one of these kit cars where you basically drop a new body (or major body parts) onto a BMW Z3/etc then I suspect they'll happily quote you, yes, it's business after all.

2 - best for who? I'm not getting why you're asking - are you looking to make this body kit yourself? If so, wow, you're taking on some job there and if you're having to ask what the best material is, then I'm going to hazard a guess you're not trained in panel beating or laying up of GRP, in which case.... you might want to consider what you're taking on here :) !?

3- As someone who did most of his student life with a GTM Rossa (from 2nd year onwards), it would be awkward of me to say "No" :D but, errm... let's be honest, they might not be the most practical of vehicles... but I made it work and if you're determined enough and willing to understand the compromises, then sure, why not!

4- Depends on the car. There are lots of different kits, just like any 'normal' car, some with more space than others, etc. you need to think about what you want out of a car, and then assess every kit car you're looking at against those criteria. Think about weather protection, reliability, performance, boot space/interior space and practicality, economy, cost to run, cost to insure, safety, security... if you've got not garage or secure parking, for example, then buying a Lotus 7 replica with no roof for a car you've got to drive into college every day come rain or shine, including the winter.... I'd say yeah, there's a downside ;) !

5 - Yes, Look up "IVA inspection" or "guide to the iva scheme"... some bedtime reading there!

5 - Quite a fair bit, I suspect!

 

Thanks for your time to respond, I was looking at creating my own body kit, can always learn! No doubt it will be quite troublesome.

Thanks for all your answers I'm still looking around, there's so much choice I can't really decide, and when it seems I set my mind on something there's a huge caveat, might have to put the entire idea of a kit car as reliability is somewhat important to me, I'm quite rural and still attending college and an academy for football, thanks again

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Ah, OK, you're talking about actually buying one second-hand...

Personally, I like the look of that BUT I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole 🙂. Whenever someone admits "it needs a bit of work", I get wary. There sounds like a lot to do with that one and fixing someone else's build is MUCH more difficult than starting from scratch IMO; you've got rusted parts, unknown electrics...not for the beginner IMO but you may feel you can do it. I would imagine this guy thought he could as well but you have to wonder why he hasn't?

My son's 10-year old MX5 in really good condition cost £3,250 - it was a lovely car...

I rabbit on about this in more detail in my blog: https://zerolifebuild.blogspot.com/p/for-beginners.html

Edited by nelmo
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To reply to your original first question number 5 (yes you have two question no 5s), You want to know how much of the car has to be non standard before various tests are required. This is all explained at the .gov website, look down the list of degrees of modifications, from rebuilt vehicles to radically altered vehicles and see whats needed to get them on the road. Not all need a type approval test.

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration

 

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On 7/14/2021 at 4:59 PM, nelmo said:

Ah, OK, you're talking about actually buying one second-hand...

Personally, I like the look of that BUT I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole 🙂. Whenever someone admits "it needs a bit of work", I get wary. There sounds like a lot to do with that one and fixing someone else's build is MUCH more difficult than starting from scratch IMO; you've got rusted parts, unknown electrics...not for the beginner IMO but you may feel you can do it. I would imagine this guy thought he could as well but you have to wonder why he hasn't?

My son's 10-year old MX5 in really good condition cost £3,250 - it was a lovely car...

I rabbit on about this in more detail in my blog: https://zerolifebuild.blogspot.com/p/for-beginners.html

Quite the blog, That was a very interesting and informative read! Thank you very much for the advice and link, I've given it lots of though and I have concluded that in my current situation a kit car is not as viable as originally anticipated, I'll still most likely be dreaming about building my own track focused rocket but I don't think now is a good time to do so, but it's a good time to save up for everything I need as your blog suggests

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10 minutes ago, Sparepart said:

To reply to your original first question number 5 (yes you have two question no 5s), You want to know how much of the car has to be non standard before various tests are required. This is all explained at the .gov website, look down the list of degrees of modifications, from rebuilt vehicles to radically altered vehicles and see whats needed to get them on the road. Not all need a type approval test.

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration

 

Thanks for the link, quite helpful!

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57 minutes ago, FinkPloyd said:

Quite the blog, That was a very interesting and informative read! Thank you very much for the advice and link, I've given it lots of though and I have concluded that in my current situation a kit car is not as viable as originally anticipated, I'll still most likely be dreaming about building my own track focused rocket but I don't think now is a good time to do so, but it's a good time to save up for everything I need as your blog suggests

Thank you - glad you enjoyed it.

I'd love to encourage you to go ahead anyway but I feel it would be a bad idea at your young age - there are better things to do with your time and money IMO (save up for a house, travel and see the world etc). 

There is a reason most kit-car owners/builders are grey-haired - we're old enough to have some money spare but not young enough for Magaluf or parachute jumps  😉

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