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Don't let the sky fall down around you! Be careful when personalising your vehicle

The new James Bond film 'Skyfall' is just hitting our screens and the public is waiting to see what new added extras and 'personalisation' 007's car(s) features. Whilst we can't all add helicopter blades or the ability to turn our car into an amphibious craft, we do often choose to personalise our own car.

New research reveals that the average UK motorist spends nearly £100 personalising their car with accessories such as seat covers, soft toys and window stickers, and for some drivers the desire to decorate their car could be putting them at risk of having a crash.

From a survey of 2000 UK female motorists, it was discovered that 57% accessorised their car with a variety of accoutrements. For example:

Floor mats: 35%

Novelty air fresheners: 15%

Humorous window stickers: 14%

Fluffy dice: 4% (or that is the number who admitted to this!)

Worryingly, seven out of ten drivers with humorous stickers in their rear window actually think they obscure their view from the window. This poses the question – why do it?! Please remember though, your humour may not appeal to someone else and may actually cause offence.

One in ten motorists (11%) said they accessorise their car to stand out from the crowd. A similar number (13%) do it to express their personality. However, the most popular reason why motorists accessorise their vehicle is to make it more comfortable – or so say 29% of those interviewed.

While only one in ten motorists has added expensive performance enhancing modifications to their car, five times more are choosing to decorate their vehicles with other items. When you add up the amount of time spent in a car, you can perhaps understand why we want to make it more homely and comfortable. However, you should not do this at the risk of causing danger – such as putting a sticker where it will impede your vision. Similarly, items hung from the rear view mirror, such as air fresheners or even the dreaded furry dice, can cause a distraction – and it takes just a second to lose concentration and cause an accident.

Not everyone likes to personalise their vehicle – around 29% of us think it is cheap and tacky to decorate your car. Whilst more women (59%) than men (54%) adorn their cars with accessories, men actually spend £39 more than women to achieve their desired look investing more in pricier car graphics, wraps and special paint jobs. Women prefer to buy cheaper items such as soft toys, mats and window stickers.

Adding accessories is certainly more popular with the younger motorists. 18-24 year olds are the most likely to have personalised their car (66%), middles aged drivers in the 35-44 and 45-55 age brackets are the least likely to personalise their vehicle (52%). However, whatever age bracket you come in to, and whatever your preferences to make your vehicle 'your own' – remember that it may impact on your insurance. If you are adding expensive accessories, then make sure these will be covered by your policy – think of the chap who had his car sprayed with 24 carat gold: that probably increased his premium!

No doubt James Bond's vehicles are pricey to insure too, given the amount of 'personalisation' his cars feature, but we have yet to see him cruising along sporting a fluffy dice! Additionally, remember that if you do cause an accident because you cannot see clearly when reversing, or because a large furry dice hits you in the eye, your insurance will be affected - and not in a good way. Apply common-sense to 'decorating' your car and always, always put safety first.

Whatever you plan to do with or to your vehicle, make sure you have the correct insurance. Speak with us at Westhill Insurance Services, our friendly and professional team will be delighted to offer sensible advice to make sure you have the cover you really need for your vehicle. As an independent insurance company, we can shop around to make sure you get the very best deal to suit your budget, without compromise to the cover you really need. What you don't want to happen is to have the sky fall down around you if you are caught with inadequate or inappropriate insurance! At Westhill we also provide all types of insurance, so if your home or businesses needs cover too, speak with us: we especially like to deal with complex issues, so if you have a problem, just give us a call: and Mr Bond, if that car needs insurance.........!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 3rd November, 2012