Using non oem brake pads is an insurance modification

I have just had an extra charge of £32 added to my premium for non oem brake pads

I declared the mods on my car,  when I sent the form back they said the “Uprated” brake pads were a modification I had not previously declared. When I asked if all non oem pads are a modification that told me yes 


? that means anyone with green stuff not declared has potentially void insurance…



… and which insurance are you with , so I can steer clear of them   

Sorry, just seen it at the top  

It means you told the insurance company who had to push a button on a computer which said “the charge for pushing this button is £32”

Simple solution, take your business elsewhere. Flux are notoriously awkward in my experience of them. Brake pads have to meet a safety standard and if Flux are too lazy or thick to know, why pay them for that?

Non-road going pads and grey import pads don’t have to meet any kind of standard. Road pads sold in the EU must meet Reg-90; perform to within 90% of original fitment.

What a con, if your car has any work done at a garage such as brake pads, maybe an exhaust, or even tyres, should you tell your insurance?

What if you bought the car with those parts already fitted,  do you have to dismantle  everything just to confirm, should you then declare that the car was dismantled???

This has become farcical! 


I would suggest its a very experienced call centre insurance sales person, going by the letter of what it says on the screen and not using any common sense at all. And I would have pursued it with a supervisor for a more informed opinion before handing over any money.  Lets face it a significant proportion of every car on the road is likely to be using some sort of non OEM part, especially if its been near one of the quick fit places, and 99.9% of people wont know it and certainly won’t think to declare to the insurers.  Dan from AF frequents this forum, or at least the insurance bit, so perhaps we should ask him for an opinion? 

It is nothing to do with brake pads or anything else other than you have told the insurance company you have made a change for which they make a standard charge for putting a note on your policy or their system. 

Understand most people are searching for the cheapest possible price which results in a highly automated system that is based on “standard” in the same way as off the peg suits cost a great deal less than even getting a simple alteration done. 

You would get a £32 charge if you told them you had removed the Mazda badge from the bonnet, not because it has in any way changed the risk, but because you are paying for someone to alter that standard policy you took out. 

And why should they not, if people are going to insist on telling a person who sits at a computer terminal everytime they get their car serviced that they don’t have Mazda brand air in their tyres, I would charge too. 

Oh bloody hell.  Are we supposed to put Mazda air in the tyres?  I must’ve missed that page in the handbook.  Where are we supposed to get it from?  I suppose from a Mazda dealer.  Any decent copy stuff available cheaper on the internet?

I have a Tesco carrier bag full of the genuine stuff here, it lasts ever such a long time, twenty quid and it’s yours. 


Hi Richard, 


Would you mind sending me a PM with your details please? I’m sure there has been a misunderstanding here. Once I have your details I will trace the policy and check this out.

Kind regards,


Wrong on so many levels…dump AF and speak to Neil at Greenlight.


TBH, not too sure what you’re complaining about. Given the number of turbo-ed, wide-wheeled,

phallic-gear-levered, bespoilered… MX5 's around, I’ve got some sympathy for insurers.

Uprated pads are completely unnecessary for normal road use, and factory spec / reg 90 pads are well up to it.

So a fairly obvious conclusion might be that with uprated pads, you habitually drive at very abnormal speeds whilst

ferrying elderly parishioners to church on Sundays.


I totally agree…oh, and you’ve forgotten bulbs, belts, oil, wiper-blades, radio-aerials, wheel-nuts, decals, hoods, etc, etc…the list of items that can be replaced with non-OEM parts is huge…I’m afraid farcical does not even begin to cover it…and of course now we see how the system works…complain (in this case quite publicly), and things happen, don’t complain and premiums & ridiculous ‘administration’ fees just go up & up meaning that every year we all have to jump on the merry-go-round trying to find the right deal…makes my blood boil 


Rant over







Oh no! I’ve been found out too 


Oh dear, I told my insurance I had mine lowered, they charged me extra. Now have I got to go back and tell them it was a non genuine part so they can put another charge on my policy?

F;lux at their thieving best !!! .I have some blyton air in tyres that Nick D fitted should I tell?

All simply falls down on whether you have fitted equivalent non-OEM pads or uprated non-OEM pads.

By just saying as per your original post “non OEM” it could mean multitude of things - ones that match the performance of an OEM pad or an uprated one.

Like it or not if it is an uprated pad designed for fast road use or track use then frankly any insurer would class it as a modification.

If it is an equivalent non-OEM pad then it is not a modification.

Looking through MX5 parts for the NC:

Non-OEM equivalent - EBC Ultimax

Uprated - any of the others

Before anyone says well I have uprated brakes for safety and why do I need to declare them. An insurers point will simply say why do you need uprated brakes?

As for not disclosing them it could be an easy way to void a policy and say goodbye to trying to get car insurance in the future.

In honesty some of the views from certain fractions of this forum are frankly childish in regards to insurance.


Just noticed you mentioned greenstuff…

couple of quotes which would almost definitely see you classed as having uprated brakes…

The best fast road brakes (Max Power mega test winner). Roadsport Compound”

Whilst dusting can be described now as average (far less than most original pads) the performance of this pad will delight any fast roadsport car user

Compare this with the description of Ultimax.

EBC black coded brake pads are a high friction premium quality friction material approved to ECE R90 brake safety regulations and as such are an exact equivalent to original pads fitted to your vehicle from the factory.”

NickD has it spot on, they press a button because you rang them and said I have a part fitted that’s non standard.

No doubt if I rang mine and told them this it could well be the same answer, but where should they or us draw the line on what is a mod, alteration etc?

Taking it to the rediculous extremes, are we to be penalised soon if we say, don’t use an authorised service centre, correctly branded tyres (all the same make on each corner) etc etc it could be endless.