You’ve done the dreaming; you’ve painstakingly carried out the research; you’ve finally handed over your hard-earned cash for that aspirational purchase… and now you’ve the task of insuring it. Chances are that if you own a classic car, it’s probably a prized possession, and you’ll want to make sure your (often costly) new investment is fully covered. However, for various reasons, insuring a classic car can become complicated. Read on as we shed some light on the intricacies of securing cover for your vintage vehicle.

Classic Car Insurance

What Is Classed as Classic?

Unfortunately ascertaining whether your car is indeed ‘classic’ can prove tricky in itself. According to HM Revenue & Customs a car more than 20 years old and worth more than £15,000 qualified as classic, yet insurers won’t necessarily agree. Some label a vehicle classic if it’s over 15 years old, others as little as 10 years, and they’ll often differ on the value too. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to get out a magnifying glass and study the terms and conditions to make sure you’re getting the appropriate policy for your vehicle.

Specialist Vs. Mainstream Policies

You’re probably wondering what benefits specialist insurance has over a mainstream policy, and how they match up price wise. You might assume that a standard provider would offer cheaper premiums; however, a specialist will often be cost less. At the same time, you will have to pass their qualifiers, which vary between companies. On top of the age and value of your car, you yourself may also have to be of a certain age, and your usage of the vehicle may have to be below a determined level.

What should I Look For In a Policy?

Agreed value

As you’ll be aware, most cars depreciate in value as they get older. When paying out on a standard policy, insurers will turn to the vehicle’s market value. However, for classic cars, it’s often the reverse, and they can be much harder to put a price on. This is where agreed value comes in. You may have to get an independent evaluation for a charge, and it’s possible premiums will be higher, but you can rest easy knowing that if anything should happen to your pride and joy, then you’ll be receiving compensation for its full worth.

Repair and replacing parts

Given that classic cars are usually very valuable, it’s unlikely you’ll want to take your vintage vehicle into just any old garage if it should need some patching up. You might wish to search for a policy that allows you to use a mechanic of your choice for repairs, to ensure authentic replacement parts and an experienced workman.

Security measures

Bear in mind that specialist policies sometimes offer lower premiums due to their risk lowering requirements. For instance, this could include increasing security by keeping your car in a locked garage.

Special usage

Say you want to show off your perfectly polished vehicle at a motor show, or use it for a special event or wedding. Make sure to read the fine print While for most policies, motor show trips will not pose a problem, you’ll often have to pay a fee if you plan to attend an event overseas. Personal use at celebrations is unsurprisingly, in most cases, your prerogative, but hiring your car to others counts as commercial use and will probably not be allowed.

If you can abide by its constraints, specialist insurance may help you save the pennies whilst offering appropriate cover. However, insuring a classic car can be less clear cut than for a standard vehicle. Considering carefully how you use your car should lead you to the policy that’s right for you.