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Classic car insurance is designed mainly for older cars which are used for leisure purposes.
There are usually stricter terms and conditions with this type of policy, such as a mileage limit and requiring the car to be stored somewhere safe. Yet classic car policies also tend to be cheaper than standard car insurance cover.
A classic car can be anything from an Aston Martin or a vintage Porsche to any make of car that's older than fifteen years. Therefore, it is possible you’ve been driving a classic car without even knowing it.
UK motor tax laws define a vintage car as one that’s 40 or more years old. At this point they become exempt from paying vehicle tax.
Leoni Moninska, Insurances Expert
Making sure your classic car has the appropriate insurance is essential to ensuring you're properly covered on the road. As classic car owners tend to drive less miles and use their vehicles for leisure, the insurance policy is often cheaper than regular car insurance, so taking out a classic car-specific policy could save you money in the long run.
There are lots of trips and tricks to lower the cost of classic car insurance, including the following:
Reducing the level of cover: If your car is not worth much you might want to consider taking out a third-party insurance policy – this is the minimum level of cover, you legally need. 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.
Getting 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’ for the agreed amount. You may want to have a classic car expert to carry out the valuation instead to make sure it's accurate.
Keeping 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.
Having an alarm or immobiliser: Classic cars will not have the same security features installed as most modern cars. Installing security features will improve the car's security but check beforehand with your insurer what impact it will have on your premium.
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 discounts 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.
Rover is the single most popular make of classic car in the UK, accounting for 10% of the classic cars sold online. Jaguar is the next most popular make of classic car sold on the web. In UK auctions, classic cars made by Rover, Jaguar and Ford are all about as popular as one another. Mercedes models also rank highly among UK classic car buyers. Over 70% of the classic cars sold at auction and online in the UK are imports.
At the higher end of the classic car market, pricier international brands like Bugatti, Lamborghini and Ferrari have a significant following in the UK. Premium British makes such as Aston Martin and Bentley are also sought after. Bugatti has the highest median asking price of classic cars on sale in the UK, followed by Lamborghini and Aston Martin.
(Data from Statista 2023)
Mileage: It’s worth checking the wording of policies when you’re comparing classic car insurance, particularly as there are often strict conditions on mileage, use and maintenance. Insurers expect you to use your classic car as a second car rather than as a main car. A mileage cap of just 5,000 miles per year is typical.
Road tax: There’s no road tax to pay if the car’s over 40 years old as DVLA will classify it as a Historic car. You just need to notify them and update the logbook (V5). A Historic car will also get a classic car MOT exemption. But remember, classic car insurance rules mean you’re still expected to keep it in tip-top condition by your insurer.
Joining a classic car club: Classic car insurance tends to be cheaper than standard car insurance, but joining a classic car club means you could still save a lot more. Some insurers will give you a 25% discount if you’re a member of a club.
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