Footman James - What is the point?

So my car insurance is shortly up for renewal.

The car is modified (enough to prevent me obtaining quotes through most comparison websites). Adrian Flux (current holding brokers) have quoted slightly less than last year but only if I add my partner to the policy (which makes no sense as she’s had an own-fault claim in the last 5 years). So I needed a competitive quote.

[Performance Direct did give me a higher quote, rang me up and asked me if they should try and find an alternative insurer with a better price. Now I work in insurance, if you want to obtain a Customer, you don’t ask them if they want you to do your job, they expect you to provide your best possible terms. Even if they provided a ridiculously low quote, I don’t think I could accept knowing they’re likely to be incompetent at their job, but I digress]

Now I can see that most members have already moved away from Footman James due to price but I thought I’d give them a try.

Apparently Footman James can’t provide me with a quotation because I don’t have access to a second vehicle and use my 5 everyday. So I ask, what is the point of an Owners Club having a ‘Scheme’ with an Insurer whom won’t let you only insure your beloved 5?

Lastly, if anyone knows of a Motor Insurer whom is likely to provide a competitve quote on a modified 5, please let me know.

 I tried FJ & like you, found they don’t want me to use my only car everyday…let alone insure it for…work use ShockHitting head on wall (have to say they’ve never been able to give me a good quote even when doing less milage)

I’ve done a few ‘mods’ …changed the colour of my seat covers, gaitors & dialsShock…enough to put off some insurers…

imagine their heart rate when I said “oh & bigger, different colourer wheels, engine brace, new hood & teddy bears”ShockShock …seems they didn’t want my money so stayed with Adrian Flux…who gave me some information when I first went for a quote, which, when I asked my then current insurer about they begrudgingly gave me the answer AF did so I stayed with them.

Sorry  can’t help you with insurer…I’m not likely to modify mine but let us know how you go, its always useful to know about insurers as you’re finding out  

FJ was at the recent Prescott Hill event and I assumed they would be able to confirm if my insurance would b very different with a Supercharger to add to the mega list of mods that are currently on my car. The girls that where on site was unable do any quotes and pointed me online it was a waste of time them being there as they had no means of calculating or quoting.

Look good but failed to deliver, no freebies it looks like they are just going through the motions.

I have seen a link to a discussion on Insurance companys in reference to Superchargers, but the telephone details should still be good.

link is;



i had a renewal notice from FJ up £35 to £258. 

due to good advice from fellow member (thanks mal jones) i

went to saga & signed up for £136!!!

At last, a breakthrough:

I tried Sky modified car insurance: (tel: 03303 331 250) and they’ve just beat the Adrian Flux quote by over £100.00, with (what sounds to be) better policy coverage, like for like on modifications and include DOC cover whilst allowing a named driver.

I found their service was total rubbish.

I sent emails and left messages for a quote and guess what, no replies.

I would never deal with them again.

I feel a bit bad about jumping on the bandwagon of negative comments about Footman James, but their customer service needs a bit of an overhaul. They were my best friends when I was shopping around for quotes when buying a '5 ringing me back, etc, the usual sales related calls. When I had queries about the policy during the course of the year the service was blunt, impolite, etc. Won’t be recommending them!

 When I bought my first car, in 2010, my 1967 Rover 2000, I was insured with Footman James. They offered a fairly competitive deal for someone my age, and until renewal I had no real issues with them. When my renewal came through, it was a lot more than it had been previously. They wouldn’t budge on price, so I insured the car through Lancaster, as a modern car. So, when my renewal came up this year, I saw an advert in P6 News (the club magazine) saying that they would offer competitive rates to ALL owners club members. They refused to quote me, because of my age. When I said to them that they were using false advertising, they just refused to answer my questions! I wouldn’t mind, but I’ve contributed to the P6 News magazine, and my car is fairly well known in the club, with me, so quite why I’m no included in ALL P6 club members, I don’t know. I’m 21, and insurance for classic cars has just about been completely ruined for young people. In the end, I insured the car with Peter Best, who have been absolutely fantastic, and offered a price far lower than I ever expected. I’m very disappointed with Footman James, and now, even if they would quote me, I’d be unlikely to take them up on their offer, because their service is so poor.

Insurance for the MX-5, in my case, is as a modern, daily drive, as it is my main car.

 Very disappointed with FJ when on the phone to them this morning…after phoning around one gets a little tired of “silly” questions one of Fj’s was along te lines of

“How long have you been a resident of the UK?”

Why  I don’t know, my parents were HM forces, we lived abroad for a few years when I was a kid, and I couldn’t remember how many years altogether, and told them that I did not think it was relevant. I was also in the armed forces, and not always in the UK ( sometimes the government like you to go abroad and kill people/or do “hearts and minds”) so again I couldn’t give, and if i’m honest not prepared to answer a question that does not have anything to do with the “risk” i pose to the road users of the country of my birth. I pointed out I’m a UK citizen, born here, passed my test in 1984, have full no claims, no accidents etc… etc… so why would where I might have lived as a child have anything to do with them?..crap question…my business will go elsewhere

On phoning around I have had quotes from £650-AA to £242-Adrian Flux on a MK3, 06 plate, 4000miles per year, garaged, with legal cover, £250 excess, next best was "A-Plan in eastleigh for £259, and for an extra £30 would give me cover of 25% extra from them if car written off on agreed write off on car following an accident, which does not sound bad

My Insurance is due, got the renewal through from FJ and it had gone up just over £25.

Car is a MK1 Import made in 1989 so in July it will be about 24 years old.

I contacted them and ask for the list of all the modifications from the agreed valuation / vehicle condition form.

I had listed all the mod’s and there are a lot, I also asked if they could add the Supercharger to the quote and what would be the new quote. They have just got back to me with;

"Dear Sir

In relation to your enquiry yesterday, the underwriters have confirmed they would decline cover for the vehicle if fitted with a supercharge.

They have also requested the total costs of the modifications that are already on the vehicle to keep the policy updated.

Please accept our apologies in this matter

Many Thanks"

It seems that they have not added any of the modifications to the policy since I took the policy out in 2004. 

I will be changing my insurance company or as a last resort selling the complete Supercharger install kit. 

Steve, that’s a bummer but it doesn’t surprise me. I noticed our renewal quote a few years ago didn’t include an accident we’d already told them about so I wondered then if it would be their way of getting out of any future claim. A friend had exactly that happen when he had an accident. They “just run through your details” when you report it then, in his case, said, you didn’t tell us about those last points for a speeding ticket. Yes I did he said, no you didn’t they said…

After carefully detailing my last tweaked car with chip, suspension, etc to AF and having them take the mick with the quote I vowed never to bother modding a road car again. Get the one we want. Even a set of alloys bumps the price up. The moment you can’t say “no modifications” they’ve got you and the available number of companies willing to quote is decimated.

I am starting to  have some success with the quotes:

Lancaster are £35 over my FJ quote and this is with Supercharger fitted, will be between £270 > 290 but will get some online discounts and  no claims bonuses in future. 

I am awaiting the RH Classics quote, they want a full list of all Mods, lucky I have them listed with approx values for what I paid and for s /hand.

Going to get some more quotes so I can compare.


It’s still a lot cheaper than my  fully moded LHD Mk2 RS2000 with the RS500 engine in it, when I was a  26 year old.

So, Saga now insuring imports?


yes Geoff, if the logbook docs say “Mazda MX5” like wot mine does for some reason they will accept DVLC’s word. Big Smile .

one of our fellow members pointed this out as he had done the same, after all who are we to argue with dvlc?


Good luck if you have to claim Joe


Your registration document may well say “Mazda MX5” so does mine but under section 3 “Special Notes” on the 1st page it also says “WAS REGISTERED/USED OVERSEAS. DECLARED MANUFACTURED 1989”.

On my other car’s registration document under section 3 it says “DECLARED NEW AT FIRST REGISTRATION”.

When you obtain a quote for insurance, whether from the internet or over the phone you are asked if the car is imported. On an internet quote ( for example) you have a drop down list for you answer :-

No - Standard UK Model

Euro Import - UK Spec 

Euro Import - Non UK Spec

Japanese Import

US Import

If you answer no to this question you are giving false information and as such could have your insurance made null and void and in a worse case be charged with fraud.

As Geof says, good luck with any future clam.



Its gets better just had a quote for £216 (with extra £32 you get full Uk and Euro breakdown)  from AF.

It gets worse because FJ are now texting me to inform me I need to renew, taking the P!zz.

I may have to thank FJ as I may end up saving some money, that is probably going to be spent on the car.

I get a good deal with Carol Nash -who insured my bikes over many years -My previous ‘5’ was insured through them and my layest 5(3.5) is actually cheaper to insure and that includes business use …

I rang FM but they wouldn’t quote because my car is not garaged overnight. I didn’t even get to where I live.

If I’d got onto the turbocharger I think they’d have had kittens or something!