Drivers and bikers of all abilities can take part in track days. But the high-octane entertainment can put your vehicle at risk and if the worst does happen, your standard insurance is unlikely to pay out.
This guide aims to help you find the best cover for a car or motorbike being let loose on the circuit.
Track day insurance for cars
It is difficult to rank track day insurers because they are not included in car insurance ratings from financial review services and there are few customer reviews online. Instead, here is a list of some of the most popular companies:
- Adrian Flux
- Competition Car Insurance
- Insure My Track Day
- Extreme Plus
- Peacock Insurance
- Herts Insurance
- ClassicLine Insurance
Often, the first question people ask about track day insurance is: do I need it? The simple answer is that it is not a legal requirement, although if the car is being driven to and from the track on public roads it will need normal car insurance.
Track day cover is different from standard insurance; it is designed to pay for repairing or replacing your car if you damage it while taking part in a track event. It is unlikely to include any liability or third-party cover to pay for damage you cause to anyone else’s car or the track itself.
Track day policies are also unlikely to cover you as the driver or any passengers in the car, so you won’t receive a payout if you sustain an injury.
Well-organised track events should include a briefing that explains you will have to pay for any damage to your car, even if it is someone else’s fault. Professional days should also make sure there aren’t any reckless drivers on the course and that everyone has a good understanding of safety procedures.
It’s also worth noting that track day cover is unlikely to pay for a damaged vehicle to be towed home from a course and a standard breakdown policy may not cover track day events.
That leads to the next question people have: should I get track day insurance? The answer depends on a few things but the main factors to consider are the value of your car, the inconvenience of not being able to drive it and whether you can afford to repair or replace it.
If you’re driving a supercar, classic or sports car like a Lamborghini, Aston Martin or Porsche GT3, it’s likely you’re going to want to think about cover.
At the other end of the scale, you might be driving a relatively inexpensive hatchback but if you need it to get to work every day and it would be a struggle to buy a new car, it might be worth considering getting cover.
Saying that, track day insurance can cost a lot and often comes with hefty excess. On top of the price of the track day itself, it doesn’t make for a cheap hobby.
How much does track day insurance for cars cost?
Adrian Flux says that track day insurance for cars costs from £63.60 a day and Moris says its premiums start at £63 a day. But the price will depend on a number of factors such as your age and the model of your car.
There are specialist companies that offer standard car insurance with a track day add-on. PaceWard offers a competitive premium for a 2006 BMW M5 with a £84 add-on for each track day that comes with a £2,000 excess. If you claim for a crash on the track it will not affect your no claims bonus and you will need to give them about a week’s notice before you attend an event.
We’ve seen advice on forums that says track days are safer than driving on the open road, but weighing up the risks can be difficult. The chance of crashing will be based on your skill and experience, which may be untested at high speeds, and the ability of other drivers. And pistonheads on the circuit may be inexperienced, nervous or dangerously cocky.
Also, because of the speed and manoeuvres being pulled on a track, accidents can range from scratches to paintwork to total write-offs.
Other things you may want to consider are the whether you need cover for one track day or multiple events (this may be better value if you’re planning a few days out) and whether it covers European courses, in case you’re intending to take a trip to places like Spa or Nürburgring.
Most track day insurers should cover UK circuits such as Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Oulton Park, but if you’re taking part in more risky activities, such as races and time trials, make sure you’re covered.
Track day insurance for motorbikes
We could only find a handful of companies that offer track day insurance for motorcycles.
- Four Counties
- Extreme Plus
Track day cover for bikes is similar to track insurance for cars. It is designed to pay for damage to your bike but not any you cause to other vehicles. And it is likely to have a high excess.
Moris says its track day insurance for bikes costs from £75 a day.
There is mixed advice on forums about whether track day cover for bikes is worth it. The decision often comes down to the value of the bike, the inconvenience it would cause if you couldn’t ride it and whether you can afford to repair or replace it.
However, because of the lower cost of motorcycles and the ease of adapting them, bikers do have more options than car drivers about what they take to track.
Some riders recommend buying an inexpensive, dedicated track bike so that it doesn’t matter if it takes some damage. And if you are comfortable making repairs yourself, it may end up costing less than taking it to a garage or making an insurance claim.
Others suggest adding cheaper parts to a road bike for track use and switching back to more expensive parts you don’t want to get damaged when it’s on the road.
But the bottom line is, if you damage it beyond repair and you don’t have insurance, you have to foot the bill.
It’s worth considering insurance if you’re taking an expensive, rare or classic bike onto the track.
There are events that are only for road bikes, which some riders say are safer because everyone there needs to take care of their bike, but at high speeds, anything can happen.
We’ve heard some motorcyclists suggest it’s possible to crash at a track day, take the bike home and then claim on a standard insurance policy by telling the company the accident happened on a public road. That is a terrible idea. In the eyes of the law, it is fraud and it could result in your insurance being cancelled along with making it difficult for you to obtain other forms of insurance in the future. Do not do it.