Classic Car Insurance Buyer’s Guide

What is the definition of a classic car?

Classic Mini MetroThe definition varies between different organisations. For example, HM Revenue & Customs’ definition for company tax purposes for a classic car is having a value exceeding £15,000 and being more than 15 years old. If your car were built before 1 January 1973 you are exempt from paying road tax.

Some motoring clubs would say the vehicle must be at least 20 years of age. Therefore, a classic car could, for example, be an old Rolls Royce or Ford Cortina.

Who provides Classic Car insurance?

A number of the mainstream car insurers provide cover for classic cars but there are also several specialist companies.

To qualify for classic car insurance some insurers will insist on the car being at least 5 years old, some 10, some 15 and some 20 so, for this reason, it is always better to check with the classic car insurance provider what their criteria are.

What does classic car insurance cover?

There are four levels of cover: –

  1. Third Party. This is the minimum legal requirement but only provides cover for injury or damage to third party property and persons. No cover is provided for your own car.
  2. Third Party Fire and Theft. In addition to those risks covered in Third Party your car would be covered if damaged by fire or if stolen.
  3. Comprehensive. In addition to those risks covered in Third Party and Third Party Fire and Theft your car is covered for accidental damage.
  4. Laid Up cover. If the car is off the road and kept in a garage say for restoration then it could be covered for theft and fire.

How much does classic car insurance cost?

Classic car insurance tends to be cheaper than cover for a modern vehicle as it is perceived that owners take more care when driving their prized possession and they are not driven as frequently as a modern car thus the risk is lower to the insurance company.

It pays to shop around for cover as premiums tend to vary between insurance companies.

A member of a recognised classic car club will often receive a discount.

If one or more security devices are fitted and/or the car is kept in a locked garage the premium may be reduced.

A no claims discount is not available with classic car insurance.

What is “agreed value”?

If your insurance were only to pay out the “market value” this may be below its real worth so some classic car insurance companies are prepared to insure it on an “agreed value” basis sometimes requiring a professional valuation.

How many miles can you drive in a year?

Most insurance companies will limit the number of miles you can drive your classic car to a maximum of 7,500 per annum.

If you were only anticipating driving say 1,500 miles per annum then the insurer may well agree this lower figure and charge a lower premium.

Can you visit shows?

Most policies allow you to take your classic car to classic shows and rallies in the UK at no extra cost. If the show is overseas you may need to pay an additional premium.

Will classic car insurance provide cover whilst taking the car abroad?

Many insurance companies include overseas cover but restrict the number of days you can do this in a year.

Hopefully you now have a clearer idea of what classic car insurance covers.