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How to Build a Kit Car: An Introductory Guide

If you are looking to build a kit car there are a few key steps we believe you need to take throughout the process to ensure that you are prepared for the task ahead!

Building a kit car can be tough, whether you’re a trained mechanic, hobbyist or new to the idea of a car build. It is therefore important that you have the support and guidance of a Specialist Kit Car Parts and Accessories supplier such as Europa.

One of the main key steps to building a kit car is research and planning. It is important that you get to know the type of car that you are building.

Here are a few key steps we believe you need to take throughout the process to ensure that you are prepared for the task ahead:


how to build a kit car


1. Visit specialist car shows – research is key

If you want a more hands-on learning experience, then specialist car shows can be extremely helpful. You’ll find fellow enthusiasts, and an array of different custom builds ready to influence and educate you on your own build. Look out for shows coming to your local area and go and explore the exciting world of building kit cars first hand.


2. Join owner’s clubs

For an even more personal introduction into the self-build world, try visiting a local owner’s club. If you can find one in your local area you can talk to current members who have built, registered and now drive their very own kit car. Members and fellow enthusiasts are usually more than happy to provide support and advice, and may even offer to help you with your build.


3. Carefully research what parts you will need

To do this, of course you are going to need to decide on the car model you are aspiring to build yourself. On top of this, you need to make a series of decisions that will take you down different paths when building your car.

You can supply parts from a donor car, build it from scratch, supply parts yourself or contact a Specialist Spares Supplier that will be with you every step of the way.

The first 2 points of this article (Specialist Car Shows and Owners Clubs) should be able to help choose the right path for the type car you would like to build.

Donor cars are a cheaper option to start with, while supplying and sourcing parts on your own throughout the whole build can be difficult and time consuming to get the right items. Though, traders like Europa Spares can supply parts for a number of cars from Westfield, AK, Pilgrim, Caterham, Ultima and Quantum, while specialising in replica Shelby Cobra parts, a widely popular self-build replica car.

View our range of Cobra Car Parts.


4. Manage your budget and time frame 

While usually working out cheaper than purchasing a factory model, building your own car relies on good money and time management. With an average build costing between £10,000 and £15,000 it is a large investment which needs careful consideration. It is therefore important that you source the right parts for the job!

You also need to take into account how much time you have available. Building a car is a time consuming process. Setting up personal goals and time frames is a great way to ensure that you finish the project with the desired outcome!

Additionally, there are other factors to take into account, other than the car build itself. Looking into kit car insurance will help you get a good price for what you need rather than regular insurers, especially due to many kit cars being performance or sports cars. Finally, road tax and MOT are also needed to be taken into account for your budget.


 5. Prepare your garage for a long-term stay

Many people who are adventurous enough to embark upon building their very own car have the false sense of just how much time it will take up. Rather than finishing up and being ready to drive within a week, typically it will take upwards of 2 years and 600 man hours. This is where setting up your personal goals and time frames in the step above will help.

Due to the amount of time needed for these projects, it is advised not only that you have a comfortable working space for that time frame, but also be prepared to have a safe and clean environment for your car too. Kitting out your garage before kitting out your car is essential for success!


6. Check that the finished car is legal to drive

Make sure you are insured - Just like every other vehicle on the road, your car will need to be insured before it is legal on the road. Special kit car insurance is available and should be taken out as soon as you are ready to drive it.

Get an IVA Test - An individual Vehicle Assessment is a very thorough MOT for your kit car, which will evaluate it to make sure that it is safe and road legal. This is an absolute must before you introduce your self-built car to the open road.


Help and advice is just a phone call away!

Now that you have read our introductory guide, you can get stuck in!

Because every car is different, we find that the majority of questions occur on the way! As Specialist Kit Car Parts suppliers we can help you make some of the key decisions within your build and help you source the parts and accessories that you require.


Get in touch today!