Standard policies estimate the market value of your car, but they might not reflect the actual value of your classic car. If you want an agreed valuation for your car, speak with the insurer before you buy. An agreed valuation on your policy helps ensure you’re not left out of pocket if your car is damaged or stolen.
How does classic car insurance differ from standard car insurance?
There are a few things that make classic car insurance different from standard car insurance, including:
- You may need to insure your car for an agreed valuation
- Your policy may have an annual mileage cap
- It may be cheaper than insuring a modern car
- Specialist car insurance policies can have stricter terms and conditions
You may need to insure your car for an agreed valuation, rather than for its market value. This is an amount your insurer agrees to pay if your car's written off in an accident. Check with the insurer that you can do this before you buy.
Your policy may have an annual mileage cap, so you can only drive a set number of miles a year, usually around 2500 miles. You might even have to send them annual mileage readings.
It may be cheaper than insuring a modern car because classic cars are generally reserved for recreational driving and are well looked after. Plus, their owners tend to drive fewer miles at lower speeds.
Specialist car insurance policies can have stricter terms and conditions to lower the chances of your car being damaged in an accident.
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Can I get classic car insurance if my car has modifications?
Yes, you can get classic car insurance if your car has modifications. But the price of your policy might be higher than usual. Anything that increases your classic car's performance could mean a more expensive repair bill after an accident.
‘Substantial changes’ can also affect what you pay for your insurance. These are vehicle alterations that have changed the technical characteristics of the main features of your car. Things like replacing the chassis, body, axles or engine in a way that changes how the vehicle works are classed as substantial changes.
Like modifications, these changes have the potential to significantly increase your car insurance costs. If you're thinking about making changes to your classic car, talk to your insurer first.
If you’ve already made such changes, you’ll need to tell insurers when getting a quote. Failing to declare modifications or changes can invalidate your policy - so it’s important to be honest.
Are classic cars tax exempt?
Yes, classic cars don't have to pay for car tax.
If your vehicle was built before 1 January 1983, you can apply to stop paying for vehicle tax from 1 April 2023. You still need to go through the process to tax your vehicle, but you don't need to pay.
Don’t know when your vehicle was built? If it was first registered before 8 January 1983, you can still apply to stop paying vehicle tax.
Do classic cars need an MOT?
No, classic cars don't need to get an annual MOT.
Here the definition of 'classic' is more than 40 years old. If the vehicle was built or first registered more than 40 years ago and no ‘substantial changes’ have been made to it in the last 30 years, it doesn't need an MOT.
Can I get breakdown cover for my classic car?
Yes, you can get breakdown cover included or as an optional extra for your classic car. But it depends on the insurance provider as to how much extra this would cost, or if it's included in the policy price. If in doubt, always talk to the provider to check. When you get a quote, you'll see in the breakdown cover column whether it's included or an extra cost. You'll also see the additional cost where relevant.
There are normally different levels of breakdown cover available. But always read the policy terms or check with the provider what you're actually getting.
Depending on your level of cover, common benefits of breakdown cover include:
- Home assistance that provides additional cover if your car won’t start, and you're near your home.
- National recovery that covers your car if it breaks down away from home. If your car can’t be fixed locally, a recovery vehicle and team are sent out to help you.
- European cover when driving in Europe with cover for up to 31 days a trip and 90 days a year in total. Just tell your insurer before you go in case anything happens.
Can I get classic car insurance for young drivers?
Yes, you can get classic car insurance if you’re under 25. But there may be restrictions related to:
- The type of car you drive
- How and where you drive the car
Most under-25 classic car insurance providers agree to insure you only if you've had your driving licence for at least a year.
There are many things you can do to help you lower the cost of classic car insurance. You can:
- Complete a Pass Plus driving course
- Buy a used or older classic car
- Avoid buying a car with modifications
Will my classic car insurance cover me for commuting?
Classic cars are usually viewed by insurance companies as for recreational use and not for commuting. Some policies also have a cap on annual mileage, for example, 2,500 miles per year.
There are policies that allow you to use your classic car for commuting but the price of your insurance is likely to go up. It's worth checking the price of a policy for commuting against social use only to see if it's worth upgrading your cover.
Is it worth joining a car club?
Classic car clubs could have several benefits for you:
- Tapping into the experience of fellow members for expert advice
- Potential discounts on services and related merchandise
- Depending on the insurance provider, being a member of a classic car club could give you a discount on your policy
- The joy of socialising with like-minded and passionate owners
You can find classic car owners' clubs at a local and national level, and you can be as involved as you want. If you're passionate about your classic car, it could be worth considering signing up.
Types of car insurance
Temporary car insurance
offers short-term comprehensive cover from one hour to 28 days.
Multi car insurance
lets you insure one or more cars on the same policy.
Black box car insurance
lets you prove you’re a safe driver, and save money on your policy, even if you’re inexperienced or seen as high risk.
Business car insurance
covers you if you use your car for work, including travelling between offices or across the country.
New driver insurance
for those who are new to driving or hold a provisional license.
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