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The HMRC taxman says cars regsietred before 8 January 1980 are 'historic' and pay no road tax. They should be cheaper to insure too.
Many classic car insurers offer discounts for cars more than ten years old.
Owners who love their cars and look after them well, keeping them secure and away from prying eyes and the elements get rewarded.
We've answered common car insurance questions to help you understand what you need and to decide what car insurance is best for you.
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When you think of a classic car you probably picture an Aston Martin, an original VW Beetle or a vintage Porsche, but some insurers will define a car as a classic once it’s over 10 years old. So, it is possible you’ve been driving a classic car without even knowing it.
Another category for older cars – over 40 years old – is historic cars.
To claim the road tax exemption, HMRC defines classic cars as being:
over 15 years of age
valued at £15,000 or more
However, if your car is over 10 years old no matter its value, it can be considered a classic car by some classic car insurers.
This may help you to get a better deal on your insurance because classic car insurers may show up in your comparisons alongside regular insurers.
Although different insurers define the age of a classic car differently, some will define a classic that is just 10 years old. It is not a historic (classic) car for road tax until it is more than 40 years old.
The older your car is, the more options you will have when it comes to insuring your classic car.
Classic and vintage cars will be both covered by classic car insurance. While an insurer might define a classic car as one that is over 10 years old, UK motor tax laws define a vintage car as one that’s 40 or more years old.
Vehicles became exempt from paying vehicle tax if they are 40 years old or older on January 1 40 years ago. HMRC defines these as historic (classic) vehicles.
Despite the fact that HMRC insists a car is 40 years old to be a classic, many insurers will treat a car just two years old as a classic for insurance. Classic car insurance is a specialist area, so the more you know about your car’s history the better.
If you have modified your car or have it restored in some way, you will need to let your insurer know otherwise you risk invalidating your cover.
Classic car insurance is usually cheaper than standard car insurance because classic car insurance policies tend to cover vehicles with relatively low annual mileage driven by older, more mature owners who care about their cars.
If you have an older car and just use it as a runaround you might be eligible for a classic car insurance policy. Classic car insurance is more widely available to drivers over the age of 25 – if you’re above this age, your car is over 10 or 15 years old, and your mileage is below average, you could get a great deal on classic car insurance
It’s important to read the terms before deciding on an insurer, as your cover could be invalidated if you exceed any specified mileage limits.
Now that you know you’ve got a classic car, it might also be worth reconsidering its value, especially if you’ve owned it for a long time. Some older models have soared in value in recent years, such as older Golfs and Ford Fiestas. Make sure you give your insurer an accurate value.
You may also get an agreed value from your insurer – an independent expert will decide and you may need to pay for that.
You do not need to pay road tax if your vehicle was built before 1 January 1980 (40 years ago).
If you do not know when your vehicle was built, but it was first registered between 1 and 7 January 1980, you do not have to pay vehicle tax.
you must apply for a vehicle tax exemption to stop paying vehicle tax. This is sometimes called putting a vehicle into the ‘historic tax class’
you do not have to apply to stop getting an MOT for your vehicle each year. However, you must still keep it in a roadworthy condition
you can be fined up to £2,500 and get three penalty points for using a vehicle in a dangerous condition
Reducing the level of cover: if your car is not worth much you might want to consider taking out a third party only (TPO) insurance policy – this is the minimum level of cover, you legally need – or third party, fire and theft (TPFT). Third party cover only pays out for damage and injuries to third parties in the case of an accident, and you won’t get any pay-out to repair or replace your vehicle. But check: sometimes comprehensive quotes are cheaper. If your car is of value then this might not be the right type of cover for you.
Get a correct valuation: your insurer can give you what is known as an ‘agreed valuation’. This means you are covered if you have a ‘total loss’. You may want to have a classic car expert to carry out the valuation.
Keep it in a secure place: some classic car insurance providers will expect you to keep the car in a garage at the same postcode as your home, or at the very least on a private driveway.
Fit an alarm or immobiliser: classic cars will not have the same security features installed as standard in most modern cars. Consider adding additional security, although this may not reduce your premium, so check with your insurance provider first.
Track it: depending on the value of the car, having a tracking device installed may offer peace of mind. Again you may want to check with your insurance provider to see if it will reduce your premium before you fit one.
Use it less: the less mileage you do in your classic car the less insurance premium you will pay.
Join a club: some specialist insurance providers offer a discount if you join a recognised classic car enthusiasts’ club. Being a member of a specialist club means you may also be able to get advice from other experienced classic car motorists.
Consider temporary car insurance: if you only drive your classic car occasionally, and it is safely stored at home, consider taking out temporary car insurance for each individual journey.https://www.uswitch.com/car-insurance/temporary/