To many of us, our car is so much more than just another machine. We're happy to replace our dishwasher or microwave but feel a real sense of attachment to our motor! For this reason, many cars that last a long time, and have some level of nostalgia, become known as classic cars. This might be for any combination of their looks, rarity or performance, sometimes even their place in popular culture.
Owning a car like this is a dream for many of us, and if you're thinking of realising that dream and getting yourself a classic car, you're definitely going to need to be clued up on how to insure it! Classic car insurance, like other specialist insurance groups, is a different ball game to the standard policies most of us have taken out in the past, and if you want to get cheap car insurance
for your vintage Alfa or Morris Minor, you need to know the landscape. Read on for a run down of the questions we frequently get asked about classic car insurance...
Why insure classic cars?
Insuring your car on a classic car policy is very likely to save you money compared to a standard policy. When a car is a treasured possession rather than a daily run-around, it's assumed that you'll take better care of it, and the prices reflect this.
It's also possible when insuring with classic car insurance, to protect your car up to its true value to a collector. While it's often easy to estimate a car's market value, the murky waters surrounding how desirable a potential collector piece car is can depend on a lot of factors. By insuring up to an agreed value you are able to ensure you get the real value if any accident occurs.
Finally, as the owner of a classic car, you're generally considered to be a great asset to insurers, who want to get a customer on board who's passionate and protective over their vehicle. They know they're less likely to have to pay out for someone who's car is their pride and joy!
What cars are considered “classic”?
You probably have an idea about what a classic car looks like. The MK1 Mini Cooper's from the Italian Job, or a finely polished Ferrari GTO. What you might not know is that almost any car can be considered a classic for insurance purposes, eventually.
Age isn't the only factor, and many modern classic cars exist, but it's generally accepted that a classic car will be more than 15 years old. Most insurers also stipulate that to be considered for classic car insurance you would need to keep the mileage on the car low. A general scale would be between 2,000 and 5,000 miles per year. Because of this you'll have to use this car as a second vehicle, and it will be insured as such, rather than as your main car.
So, if you have an older car, drive it rarely and treat it well you could be in for some savings with classic car insurance. It won't work as a replacement for a standard policy for a day to day car though.
Classic car insurance is also great for those who plan to race their vintage motor at track days. Some insurers will cover you for these events so long as you let them know how often you intend to drive at them.
Will it save me money?
Almost always. A whole host of factors make this the case. Classic cars are usually not taken out to the supermarket or away on the family holiday, and so they generally see much less of the wear and tear you expect in most cars.
Added to this, their owners are generally much more careful when driving them than they would be with their main car. That isn't to say that they are dangerous drivers in a hatchback, but the amount of thought going into driving a classic car means it is likely to be under much less stress!
Your classic car is hot property for insurers, who know they are much less likely to have to pay out on a vehicle that is almost always driven in perfect weather conditions, rarely leaves a garage otherwise and is dutifully looked after.
All these factors mean the risk to an insurer is much lower and this is reflected in your premiums, which are likely to be far smaller than in a standard car insurance policy. It's still always worth using our tool to compare car insurance between other suppliers, just in case another policy is even better!
What is an agreed valuation?
An agreed valuation is the part of a classic car insurance policy that allows you to insure your car up to its valuation as a collector's item. While using this could increase your premiums, and it would be wise to compare car insurance deals to work out the extra cost, it does allow you to get a level of cover that's tailored specifically for your car.
An independent vehicle valuation expert will be able to go over your car’s modifications, as well as its place in the market, and decide what its real value is. This can be complicated for an insurer to work out themselves and so without an agreed valuation the pay out on an insurance claim might be far less than would be expected, for example with an extremely rare car that wasn't very expensive when it was first released.
In short, a valuation certificate, allowing you to get an agreed valuation, is extremely helpful when applying for classic car insurance!