The phrase “classic car” can mean many things to different people, but often the term refers to either vintage motors which are often show worthy, or more modern vehicles that have a degree of prestige, high price or rarity.
One definition of a classic car is a vehicle at least 15 years old and with an accompanying value greater than £15,000. For this reason, no two insurance policy quotations are identical, with specialist car insurers often providing unique cover tailored to the vehicle in question.
While vehicle excise duty is waived for owners of cars aged 40 years or more, insurance costs for such prestigious used cars can be more substantial. So, it’s well worth exploring the ways to keep those insurance prices as low as possible whilst ensuring you get the right amount of cover.
Many policies allow for the display of vehicles in classic car shows or special events, with some insurers including this as a standard feature. However, if you are not intending to display your car, it’s worth checking to see if any such cost can be excluded from your premium.
Similarly, some owners wish to use their vehicles on racetracks or even carry out servicing and repairs themselves, there are policies specially tailored to cover these costs.
Another key factor is mileage, in many cases it will be a much lower figure than you’d expect for a “normal” runabout. Where you might cover 10-15,000 miles annually in a standard car, a classic may only be used on special occasions, so it’s worth factoring that into your insurance policy. If you only drive 1,000 miles annually, you can save a lot of money by citing this lower figure.
Motor trade policies will not work in this way. If you’re lucky enough to be the owner of a specialist or rare car, it’s unlikely you’ll be willing to take any risks whilst driving it, this can also help with lowering policy premiums, especially if you aren’t likely to use your car on a track day or in a crowded place.
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It’s also worth shopping around if you’re a younger driver. Many insurers won’t provide classic car insurance for young drivers, partly because of the higher assumed risk among this demographic, but also because classic cars are more likely to result in an expensive claim if there is an accident due to a lack of more modern safety features.
Some insurance specialists will cover drivers as young as 17 on such policies, so it’s well worth seeking them out. Drivers who are also part of an owner’s club can benefit for a reduction in policy costs, so join up if you’re eligible as it shows that you’re interested in the heritage and care of your vehicle as much as you are likely to drive it safely.
If your vehicle is declared off the road (SORN), it’s still worth considering an off-road insurance policy as this will cover any accidental damage or theft while the vehicle isn’t being used.
It’s also important to declare any specific modifications to your classic vehicle, especially an older model, adding newer features such as alloys or an updated engine will affect both the value of the vehicle and its insurance cost.