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Lifestyle Guides

Guide to classic car insurance

Find out more about how classic car insurance is different from insurance for other vehicles, and why you should invest in it

A classic car is something that many people aspire to own at some point in their lives. Classic cars combine beautiful craftsmanship, style and a unique driving experience.

With so many models to choose from, and a variety of classic car communities out there to welcome you into their ranks, buying a classic car can be an enjoyable and invigorating experience.

Owning and insuring one, however, comes with its own set of questions and challenges, so before you leap in, read our handy guide to make sure you’ve got all your insurance questions answered.

What is classic car insurance and how does it differ from ‘normal’ insurance?

Essentially, it’s classic car insurance is insurance tailored to owners of classic cars. It differs from regular car insurance policies because your insurer needs a bit more information about the car’s specialist nature.

You might be asked a few more questions, or to provide pictures, for example. This is because your insurer will want to know the car’s standalone features and the potential difficulties it may run into, as it will quite likely have a different engine and build to a modern car.

Admiral agree the value of your classic car based on its condition, rather than market value. This means that your car can be revalued at any time if you do more work to it. Admiral limits its classic car value at £25,000.

Is classic car insurance cheaper?

Classic car insurance can be cheaper than regular insurance, but this is in no way guaranteed. It’s impossible to say if any car or combination of car and driver would be cheaper. Each classic car has its own character, so the insurance you buy is bespoke to that. As with any insurance policy, the best thing to do is to get a quote before buying your car.

How old does a car need to be for classic car insurance?

To get classic car insurance, Admiral requires a car to be over 35 years old and under 70 years old. This varies depending on which insurer you go with, so it’s worth checking whether or not your car is classed as ‘classic’. If your car was made before 1940 it will be classed as vintage.

What do you need to consider when buying and insuring a classic car?

When looking to go classic, most people already have a particular model in mind. Nostalgia and desire often play a large part in the buying process, but be mindful that, along with making your dreams a reality, you also need to consider the practicalities of owning a classic car and whether your lifestyle is compatible with owning one. There are a few things you might want to think about.

What am I buying it for?

Perhaps the most important question of all - what do you want to do with the car? Do you want to gaze at it longingly, or will you actually drive it?

Consider, also, the people who may use it with you. If you need something for the weekly commute, or a spacious family SUV, then a classic car obviously isn’t for you.

Remember, lots of classic cars aren’t big on comfort or reliability, but people buy them because they want an aesthetic and an immersive driving experience that modern cars simply can’t provide.

How often will I use it?

While they may not be fit for the weekly commute or long family journeys, classic cars do need to be driven regularly, otherwise their condition deteriorates. Your insurer will expect you to have the time and enthusiasm to keep it in a well-maintained condition.

The Most people already have a regular car they use and buy a classic model as a luxury, or for the occasional fun trip out. It’s worth keeping in mind that if you do want to use it a lot, a majority of classic car policies are based on a limited number of miles per year, and that running costs won’t be cheap.

Do you have room for a classic car?

You may have room in your heart for one, but having the space a classic car (and your insurer) needs can be something else altogether. A garage is ideal because it’s safe and secure, and will protect your car from bad weather. Some insurance providers will actually require you to keep the car in a garage at the same postcode as your house, so read the small print before you buy.

Are there any other risks?

Classic cars are, by their very nature, more complicated beasts to own. They aren’t as economical, efficient, or even as safe as modern cars, and lack the intuitive technology that’s now a standard part of daily life. But this is also what makes them a joy.

As long as you’re willing to commit to its upkeep, and have a safe and secure place to keep it, you and your classic car should get along just fine. There are a number of single-car policies out there, and you can also add your classic car to a multi-car policy if that suits you better.