Classic Car Insurance – Protection for Your Pride and Joy – Forbes Advisor UK
If you own a “classic” car, this just might be your pride and joy. It might have sentimental value, it’s probably oozing automotive styling and it just might be a rarity on the roads. Chances are, this will turn more than a few heads.
He’s also likely to be worth a few pounds, and he probably receives a lot of care and attention to keep him looking his best.
All of this makes obtaining specialized insurance protection a no-brainer in protecting your vehicle against damage and theft. So what should you watch out for when buying or renewing classic auto insurance?
What is a âclassicâ car?
The word “ classic ” tends to be used a lot in today’s world, but when it comes to automobiles it has a pretty tight official definition.
According to the government (HM Revenue & Customs, to be precise), a car is considered “ classic ” if it is:
- at least 15 years old and
- has a market value of Â£ 15,000 or more.
But auto insurance companies have their own set of criteria for determining whether a car is classic, based on age, make, and model (you might even find that you’ve driven a classic car without realizing it. account).
This is important because the coverage provided by a conventional auto insurance policy will be different from a standard policy – more coverage in some areas, potentially less in others, and with conditions related to mileage and usage. And, in some cases, the conditions imposed mean that the premium for specialized coverage may be lower.
Is Classic Auto Insurance Less Expensive Than Standard Auto Insurance?
Yes, it is possible, as insurers tend to view classic cars as a lower risk. They aren’t typically driven every day, they aren’t typically used for school runs or commuting to stores, and they often have lower speed limits.
Classic car owners also tend to keep their vehicles in top condition and in a safe place like a locked garage.
As a result, classic cars are less likely to be involved in an accident or to be stolen, and their owners are less likely to make a claim. Insurers reward this lower risk with cheaper premiums.
What does conventional auto insurance cover?
Classic auto insurance offers the same coverage as standard auto insurance – you’ll be covered for the cost of repairs if your car is damaged in an accident, and you’ll be covered if your car is stolen.
Your civil liability in the event you are found responsible for an accident that damages or injures or kills someone else’s property will also be covered, as will all of your medical expenses.
But in addition to that, you can also provide additional coverage for the following:
Restoration cover Restoring a classic car can take months or even years. If yours is being professionally restored, it may already have a cover in place to protect your car while it’s working on it. But if they don’t, or if you restore your classic car on your own, you can purchase insurance to make sure it’s covered during that time.
Since the vehicle is not on the road during this time, restoration coverage will generally cost less than full insurance coverage. But remember that even if your car is safely stored in the garage, it still needs to be insured.
Here is what the government is saying about it:
You must have auto insurance for your vehicle if you use it on the roads and in public places.
You do not need to insure your vehicle if it is kept off the road and declared off-road (SORN). This rule is called “continuous application of insurance”.
Otherwise, you can:
- get a fixed penalty of Â£ 100
- have your vehicle wheel clamped, impounded or destroyed
- face legal action, with a possible fine of up to Â£ 1,000.
Track day race If you plan to drive your car on racetracks – even if only at a leisurely pace – you will need proper damage and accident coverage. Your premium will likely be higher depending on how often you run or how many events you participate in each year.
Vintage car shows Make sure you are protected from dents and scratches if you plan to display your classic car at fairs and shows. Liability coverage will also be included in the event that you damage the property of others or injure someone.
Driving abroad Car insurance policies generally provide third party coverage for driving in the EU. But if you are involved in an accident and you are at fault, you will have to pay for your own car repairs out of pocket. Asking your insurer to increase the level of coverage to make it fully comprehensive might be worth it.
Outage cover Conventional auto insurance will not always include breakdown coverage as standard. If you don’t have coverage, compare the cost of including payday coverage in your existing policy versus the cost of purchasing a stand-alone policy.
Note that some providers do not offer breakdown coverage for classic cars due to their increased risk of breakdown.
Is there a mileage limit with classic auto insurance?
Since classic cars are usually not driven every day, many classic car insurance policies include a cap on the number of miles you can drive each year – staying within limits can help lower the premium. Always check this limit when you compare policies to make sure it is high enough.
If, after you purchase your policy, you think you are going over your annual limit, contact your insurer as soon as possible to arrange an extension.
What does an âagreed assessmentâ mean?
With an agreed valuation, your insurer pays a pre-agreed amount if your classic car is written off or stolen, rather than market value. This can be a good option if your car is worth more than the average for a vehicle of a similar model and age.
You must agree this amount with your insurer before purchasing your policy, and by choosing this option, you may have to pay more for your policy.
How can I reduce the cost of conventional auto insurance?
As with standard auto insurance, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the cost of conventional auto insurance:
Compare the prices The fastest, easiest way to cut costs is to shop online and find the most competitive quote. In addition to comparing the price of the policy, look at what level of coverage is provided so you can be sure you’re getting the right coverage at the best price.
Remember to start over when renewing – don’t just accept your insurer’s renewal quote.
Limit your mileage Accepting an annual mileage limit on your policy will often result in a reduction. Just make sure it’s high enough for your needs.
Improve the safety of your car The age of your car may mean that it does not have adequate safety features. Simple steps like installing an alarm and tracking device and keeping your car in a locked garage can help deter thieves and limit premiums.
Avoid modifications Cars with modifications can be more difficult to insure, and providers who offer coverage are likely to charge significantly more. It is therefore better to avoid modifications. But if you do make any changes, be sure to let your insurer know when you make them (don’t wait for your policy to renew) so your coverage remains valid.
Join an automobile club Some insurers will offer you a discount of up to 25% if you join a classic car club because they see it as proof that you are committed to driving safely and taking care of your vehicle.
Annual membership fees will generally apply, but in return you will be able to take advantage of specialized rates from aftermarket suppliers, as well as invitations to various events and track days.
Does my classic car need a MOT?
Classic cars over 40 do not require MOT, provided you have not made any âsubstantial modificationsâ to the vehicle in the past 20 years. This includes the replacement of the chassis, body, axles or engine.
However, it is always wise to have your car checked by a mechanic regularly, as it is your responsibility to keep your car in good working order. If you don’t, you could be fined up to Â£ 2,500, banned from driving and receive three penalty points on your license.