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A guide to classic car insurance

A guide to classic car insurance

Owning a classic car can be hugely rewarding. Not only can you spend many an hour polishing your pride and joy - your own piece of history - but you can get great pleasure driving it, whether you’re heading to a rally or simply blowing away the cobwebs on the open road.

The biggest expense when it comes to classic cars is usually the purchase price, but there are other things you’ll have to budget for, one of the most important being classic car insurance. To help you choose the cover you need, we’ve created this guide.

What is a classic car?

First things first, it’s good to understand what a classic car actually is. HR Revenue & Customs defines a classic car as being any car that’s at least fifteen years old and worth £15,000 or more[1]. However, insurers sometimes define a classic car in a different way[2], as you may discover, once you start shopping around for quotes. For instance, some brands of luxury cars are defined as classic cars by certain insurers when they’re only 5 – 10 years old[3].

A vintage car is usually defined as a car built between 1919 and 1930.[4]

Will I need car insurance, MOT and car tax?

Whatever the age of your car, you’ll be requiring car insurance unless you take it off the road and declare it SORN. If you’re driving your car, you must ensure that it’s roadworthy or you could be fined up to £2,500 and receive up to 3 penalty points[5].

Your classic car will be exempt from getting an MOT under the following circumstances:

  • If your car was built or first registered more than 40 years ago.
  • If your car hasn’t been substantially changed in the last 30 years.

You also won’t have to pay for vehicle tax if:

  • Your car was built on or before the 31th of December 1977.
  • Your car was first registered between the 1st and the 7th of January 1978.

Do I need specific classic car insurance or can I get standard car insurance?

Usually, you’ll need classic car insurance rather than standard car insurance, as your policy needs to be tailored to your particular vehicle, especially if it’s rare.

You’ll have to agree your car’s worth with your insurer when you take out your car insurance policy, so that you’d be fully covered, should you need to make a claim in the future. As many vintage cars increase, rather than decrease, in value, you may want your insurer to reassess how much your car is worth on a regular basis.[6]

How can I lower my premium price?

If you want to pay the lowest possible price for your classic car insurance, getting several quotes and comparing the cover on offer is key. The cover you choose must be adequate, or you could end up regretting it later.

You must be upfront and honest with your prospective insurers. You may receive a discount if your car is parked in a garage, as it’s seen as being more secure. However, if you park it on the street, you must still tell your insurer know, or you could invalidate your policy.

Having a low annual mileage can help you pay less, as insurers are more interested in this than how many miles your car currently has on its clock[7]. If you have another car that you use for the majority of your driving, tell your insurer.

Having a good no claims bonus and being a member of certain classic car clubs can also help drive down your premium price, depending on your chosen insurer[8].

To get a quote for Rias car insurance, click here >