You’ve dreamed of owning a classic car for as long as you can remember and the big day is finally here.
You’ve found a seller and are ready to pull the trigger. But wait. What about insurance? This car will cost you a pretty penny and you certainly don’t want to be driving around without your investment being properly protected.
How much is classic car insurance? Where can you find the cheapest classic car insurance? What are the classic car insurance rules? So many questions! And we’ve got answers here to teach you all you need to know about classic auto insurance and how much it costs to insure a classic car. Here we go!
Table of Contents
What is classic car insurance?
Classic car insurance, unlike conventional insurance, covers your vintage or classic car for a specified value that you and the insurance company agree to.
With conventional insurance, the payout you receive in the event of a covered incident is equal to the original value of the car, minus any depreciation. Classic car insurance however, guarantees that you will be paid a pre-set, mutually agreed upon value for your automobile. This value is determined either by respected valuation guides on collectible cars, an appraisal by a licensed professional, assessment conducted by an underwriter or some document which asserts the value of the car.
Here’s an illustration of the difference:
|Type of car||Value when bought||Today’s Value||Payout in event of covered incident|
What are the different types of classic car insurance?
Types of collector or classic car insurance descriptions can vary from state to state or insurer to insurer, but there are few broad categories that can be agreed upon. It is worth noting that the terms classic car and collector car will be used interchangeably by most. Here are the categories:
|Antique Auto Insurance||Many companies agree that a car has to be at least 25 years old and either in original working condition or restored working condition to qualify for antique vehicle insurance. Some states will allow the car to be least 20 years old to qualify but other antique organizations can require as high as 45 years old.|
|Classic Car Insurance||Many companies agree that a car has to be 19 to 24 years old, restored and in good working condition. Additionally, the value of the car has to be greater than the average value of other autos of the same make and model year.|
|Kit Cars and Replicas||Many companies define these cars as automobiles that are at least 24 years old and with separately manufactured components. The car can also represent the assembled reproductions of any car that is at least 25 years old.|
|Modified Car Insurance||Many companies define this category as cars with significantly altered bodies, engines, chassis or interior. Please note that because modifications can either positively or negatively impact the original value of the car, many insurers will not provide classic car insurance for these vehicles.|
|Other||This includes subcategories within the above categories including vehicles manufactured before 1919, vintage military vehicles, vintage motorcycles and hot rods manufactured before 1949 to name a few.|
What are the best companies for classic car insurance?
It is worth doing a fair amount of research before choosing a company for insuring your classic car. Different companies offer different perks and some offerings will differ from state to state, even within the same company.
Our table below, based on classic car insurance reviews, highlights some of the best classic car insurance companies offering vintage car insurance. Take a look at the pros and cons to get an idea of which might be the best fit for you.
|Company||Where it shines||Pros||Cons|
|Superior Specialty Classic Car Insurance|
|Superior Major Provider of Classic Car Insurance|
|Superior Classic Car Insurance with Extra Perks|
|Superior Daily Drivers Classic Car Insurance|
|Excellent Specialty Classic Car Insurance|
|Best Value Specialty Car Insurance|
What is the annual mileage limit for pleasure use of a classic car insurance?
Many classic car insurance companies will let you drive your collector for everyday use such as driving to work. This option usually comes with stipulated mileage limits as well as limits on consecutive days. If you’re planning on using your classic car for pleasure, take a look at some of the mileage options of a few companies in our table below.
|Insurance Company||Allowed Annual mileage for “pleasure” use|
|American Collectors||2,500, 5,000 or 7,500 miles allowed|
|American Family, Grundy, Hagerty and J.C. Taylor||Unlimited miles allowed|
|American Modern||1,000, 3,000, 6,000 or unlimited miles allowed|
|American National||10,000 or unlimited miles allowed|
|Heacock||6,000 miles allowed|
Part of choosing the right collector car insurance for you is determining how you will be using your specialty car on a daily basis, if at all. Once you know what your planned usage is, use our table as well as our comparison tool to find the best classic car insurance for your situation.
What coverage is available for collectible car insurance?
For the most part, insurance coverage for collectible cars works much like coverage for traditional cars. Policies typically have a term of 12 months and include the usual mandated liability coverage, as well as the optional collision and comprehensive coverages. Some typical add-ons include medical payment reimbursement and uninsured or underinsured motorists. There are however, some options for insurance that are unique to classic cars; these include:
- Auto Show Medical Reimbursement: if your classic car is in a show or exhibit and someone sustains an injury—for example slipping and falling near your car–, this insurance would have you covered. The policy will pay medical expenses up to a predetermined limit, regardless of fault. in case someone sustains an injury at an exhibit or event featuring your car.
- Spare parts coverage: Any back-up parts you have for your classic car would be protected by this vintage vehicle insurance in the event they are stolen or destroyed. The policy would cover them at a predetermined, agreed upon value.
- Specialized Roadside Assistance: this includes towing with a flatbed tow truck that prevents wear and tear during transport to a repair shop, or your home.
- Coverage while Traveling: this policy can reimburse you for any costs associated with a breakdown while traveling, including: lodging, food, a rental vehicle, and even personal items.
- No Attendance Required: this provides coverage even when your vehicle is not in your custody or control. For example, if you allow a trade show of American Classic Cars to use your car in an event and you are not present, you would be covered.
What are the requirements for classic car insurance?
Insurance providers provide differing definitions of what qualifies as a classic car so before you can purchase this type of insurance, you need to determine if your car even qualifies for it. There are however, a few major factors which tend to determine whether a vehicle qualifies as classic or not. These are:
- Age: This is the most obvious factor. Most insurers will define a true classic vehicle as one being between 19 and 25 years old. There are other categories beyond classic, such as “Antique” which requires the car to be older than 25 years old so the categories specific to your insurer will determine how your vehicle is classified.
- Condition: In order for a car to be considered “collectible”, it must be in working condition. This type of insurance is not for the heap of rusted parts laying around in your average junkyard. The closer the classic car is to its original condition, the better.
- Value: Perhaps the most important factor is that the classic car’s value needs to be greater than that of other vehicles of the same model, make, and year. If the vehicle hasn’t been restored, the value will be depreciated.
Beyond your vehicle meeting certain requirements, you will also have certain qualifying factors that you will need to satisfy. These include:
- Age: It is common for the minimum age requirement to be 25.
- Driving History: As with any insurance, have a clean driving record will work in your favor. To qualify for vintage car insurance, you may need to have one that is free of major accidents or traffic violations. A long, clean driving record of 5 to 10 years can sometimes be required.
- Location: Some insurers only offer classic car insurance in certain states so your options may be limited.
- Other Vehicles: If you already own other classic cars, this will be a plus for you, especially if they are well maintained. This shows that you have experience caring for and maintaining these types of vehicles.
How old does a car have to be to be treated as a classic car?
There is no single answer.
The age requirement for classic cars can vary from provider to provider but generally, many insurance providers:
- Have an age requirement of at least 10 years old
- Vintage cars tend to have a higher range of between 15 and 25 years
The best course of action is to speak with your insurance provider to understand their eligibility requirements. Use our comparison tool now and get minimum age and other requirements for your classic car.
The process itself can look very different from one company to another but most insurers will gather quite a bit of information before determining if your vehicle qualifies as classic, collectible, vintage or any other category that the insurer has established.
How much is classic car insurance?
Classic auto insurance is almost always less expensive than conventional car insurance, because the insurer assumes you will be driving much fewer miles per year and that you will keep it sheltered and in good condition. Our research revealed that collector car insurance can range anywhere from one third to a half the cost of regular car insurance.
So, for example:
|Annual Conventional Car Insurance Cost||Possible Classic Car Insurance Cost|
|$860||$258 to $430|
The exact cost of coverage will of course depend on the type of car you’re insuring, as well as the details of your personal situation. There are however, several discounts that could apply to reducing your classic car insurance rate. These vary by insurer but below are some circumstances that could allow you to qualify for classic car insurance discounts:
- A clean driving record with no accidents or claims in the last few years
- Carrying multiple policies with the same carrier
- Having more than one insured classic vehicle
- Protecting your classic car with an anti-theft device
- Completing a class such as “defensive driver”
When shopping for the cheapest classic car insurance, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you are getting the best coverage for your car. The first step is to use our comparison tool to compare the cost of coverage across insurers. After that, use the following tips to make sure you’re getting coverage you’ll be happy with:
- Choose an agent or carrier who is experienced in covering classic cars
- Pick a company with an in-house claims department to make filing claims easier
- Read to fine print. Make sure you understand what’s covered, what’s not and what’s restricted
- Make sure your agent or carrier has approved the repair shop you use or plan to use
- Review your policy annually to stay on top of any changes
Is classic car insurance cheaper?
Yes. It’s a fact that antique car insurance or collectibles car insurance is cheaper than the cost of coverage for conventional cars. Our research shows it can often be half the cost of conventional car insurance. The reasons for this are simple:
- You will drive your classic car much fewer miles each year than your everyday car and
- You will most likely take better car of it in order to maintain the value
Remember that the point of insurance is to protect against risk so the lower the risk of a mishap, the lower the cost of the insurance. Collectible cars simply are not put through the wear and tear that conventional vehicles are and are typically not used in the normal situations that most accidents take place such as every day driving to work. Therefore, the insurance company is assuming less risk in insuring your classic car and you will benefit from that in the form of a lower premium.