There is a lot of confusion as to whether you need insurance for a rear car decal.

We wrote a post back in November 2017 about sign writing on vans, and customers refer to that a lot.

With so many people having one or more jobs – or portfolio careers as the politicians would have us believe – we are seeing more and more vehicles coming to us for lettering purely on the back window – either a full install or a self install.  And from just £40 why not?  The lettering lasts well and all that traffic you sit in gets a birds eye view of your business not to mention the added value when you park in a public place.

But is this free advertising?  Everything comes at a cost and it is not worth finding out the hard way.

Legally, as long as you can see behind you, using wing mirrors, your car could have its windows completely blacked out.  In reality, our vinyl lettering has no ‘backing’ so you do get clear vision around the lettering.  So legally there is nothing to stop you having vinyl lettering on your rear window.

Insurance is another matter and of course it differs from one company to another.  Sign writing is definitely a modification so you do need to contact them.

Some insurers believe that drivers with sign writing are more careful because they are promoting their own business and their contact details are on their car.

Others look at the hassle factor in case of an accident.  How to get the lettering replaced.  It is true that it is not easy to match another company’s design and exact colouring of vinyl but our experience is that rear windows are usually totally scrapped so you get a clean slate to replace the lettering (unlike vans where you might be trying to match one panel to another but ending up having to remove existing and replace it all).

So do please ring your insurer but why not ask them to exclude the sign writing in event of a claim?  With a rear car decal being less than £50 it is hardly worth risking an increase to your premium in the case of an accident when it will possibly pay for itself so quickly with the local advertising you benefit from.

Let me tell you a story about an insurance claim with a sign written car.

This happened to me, Karen, parked road side for a break when I was sideswiped by a maroon Timpsons van.  You know the company.  Key cutting and laundry delivery.  And the driver barely stopped but I got his reg number.  Of course I rang my insurance company and reported the claim, booking my car in to be mended.  So it was a maroon van I saw, but the registration number was registered to a white van.  No, the vehicle hadn’t had its plates changed nor was it stolen.  But it was uninsured.  The vehicle had undergone a vehicle wrap – where vinyl is applied all around the vehicle to completely change the design. Think Sky vans.  Except NO-BODY AT TIMPSONS HAD TOLD THE VEHICLE INSURANCE COMPANY. At the time I reported the claim, NOT ONE of the hundreds of Timpsons vans were insured.

To be fair to Timpsons, as soon as I contacted them direct they paid the repairs for my vehicle as my insurance company wanted to make it an own claim.  But imagine how serious this could have been had someone been hurt.  It doesn’t bear imagining.  So please, do make the call and tell your insurance company about ANY modifications you make.