Car insurance is a necessity for any driver, no matter what type of car you own. However, if your taste in cars is a little more vintage than most, you may need to find yourself taking extra measures when obtaining insurance.
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Since antique cars are older than most other cars on the road, the insurance premiums are often higher, since replacement parts are more expensive and harder to come by. Be sure to keep the following points in mind when insuring your car and you may be able to save yourself some money in the long run.
The Age of Your Car
You’ll need to determine whether your car even qualifies for classic car insurance. Typically, a car has to be more than 15 years old in order for it to be considered a classic. There are also many types of car that do not qualify for classic status due to increased production in the 1970s.
Of the more recent models, foreign sports cars or vehicles with intriguing body shapes are often the only types that will qualify for classic car insurance.
Your Car’s Classic Category
You also need to take into account the type of classic motor vehicle your call falls under. There are three main categories:
- Veteran – Veteran cars are models which have been made any time before December 1904.
- Edwardian – Edwardian vehicles consist of cars manufactured between 1905 and December 1918.
- Limited – Limited cars, as the name suggests, generally extends to any car that was made in small numbers or that were created purely for a special purpose.
The Age of the Driver
Even for regular cars, car insurance is typically more expensive for younger motorists, as their inexperience on the road tends to lead insurance firms to see them as a greater risk (particularly young men).
However, when it comes to insuring a classic car, most young drivers are not allowed to be on the policy at all. Many companies that offer classic car insurance insist their drivers are at least 25, with many requiring a minimum age of 30.
Other Driving Options
You will often have to prove to any company willing to insure a classic car that you own another automobile that is modern, and that will be used for day-to-day activities.
Classic cars are expensive to maintain, can be temperamental and are often worth a lot of money. All these factors add up to the fact that they shouldn’t be used every day. An insurance firm may even refuse to insure you if you don’t have another car.
In a similar way to ensuring you have a second car, insurance companies will also often impose a maximum number of annual miles that you are allowed to travel in your classic vehicle.
The limit of miles you are able to travel differs from company to company, but the average is about 2,500 a year. This will generally provide you with enough room to take the car out for a Sunday drive, but will prevent you doing the morning commute in it!
More and more, car insurance firms are clamping down on reckless drivers who are a risk to them. It is common for drivers who have regular incidents on the road to lose their no claims bonus and even their insurance altogether – and that’s just for regular cars!
If you have points on your license or a bad driving history, you may find you’re unable to get insurance for your classic car at all.
Classic Car Storage
Classic cars are valuable, and as such are a magnet for thieves and carjackers looking to sell the vehicle for a quick profit. You may have to prove that the car is stored in a safe place with locks and additional security measures in order to obtain classic car insurance.
Parking the car outside your house or covering it with a blanket is not enough to deter thieves, and so is not enough for an insurance company to want to take you on as a customer.
Choose the Right Insurance Provider
A classic car is a highly specialist item and many standard insurance companies may be unable to provide the range of protection and services you need to look after your vehicle.
It is much better to deal with a company that solely insures vintage models and older cars, as their expertise will prove invaluable in the long run. Such of these companies include Hagerty, Grundy, Parish Heacock and Leland West.
How to Insure Antique Car
There’s clearly plenty to think about when insuring a classic car! However, once you make the decision to go ahead with insuring a classic car, how exactly do you go about it?
Here are a few steps to guide the process:
- Value Your Car – You should start by working out exactly how much your classic vehicle is worth. You will need to produce any receipts you have for maintenance and labor costs on repair work you have had done to the car.You may even want to hire a dedicated classic car appraisal expert to make sure the value you place on your car is accurate.
- Find a Company – As mentioned above, there are a number of specialist companies that deal exclusively with insuring classic cars and vintage models. Check the Internet for suitable firms, or if you know of other classic car enthusiasts in your local area, ask them for advice.
- Analyze your Policy First – Unlike most cars, classic vehicles actually increase in value as they get older, which mass produced models do not. If you can, secure a policy that pays out the ‘agreed value.’ This will ensure that, should you have an accident and total your car, the insurance company will pay you a previously agreed amount based on the value of the car, rather than any depreciated value that it might incur after being damaged and rebuilt.
- Reappraise the Car – Many insurance policies for classic cars have an automatic appreciation clause included, meaning that as your car gets older and becomes more valuable, the value of your insurance policy will also increase.However, if you are unable to take out a policy with this automatic increase included, make sure you revalue the car each year in order to protect your investment.
- Be Careful at Home! – As your car is unlikely to be on the road for any extended period of time, it is probable that any accident or damage your car is exposed to will occur around the home or in the garage.
If you have young children, keep them away from your car, as they may damage it completely by mistake. You should also clear out your garage or storage facility to ensure there is a minimum amount of clutter on shelves or cabinets that could fall on your vehicle and damage it.
Insuring a classic car is definitely more than taking care of a regular model. The added number of restrictions and clauses that need to be observed can also mean that insurance is more expensive.
However, once you have taken care of basic details such as valuing your car and preparing a safe place to store it, the rest of the process should follow smoothly. One thing is for sure – you certainly shouldn’t let the complications of insuring a classic car prevent you from living your dream or driving and owning your very own vintage vehicle!