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Vintage / Classic Car Insurance Options

Updated on September 14, 2012

Car Fetish

A 1926 Bentley in mint condition.
A 1926 Bentley in mint condition. | Source

Stereotype of a Classic Car Collector

In many of the former states of the British Commonwealth, like America, Canada, Great Britain including Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, many well to do car lovers have become classic and vintage car collectors. Even those without the means to buy them may secretly harbor a real car fetish, and may attend car shows or become skilled vintage auto mechanics.

Not an inexpensive hobby, it's ideal for those with both time and money on their hands and have a real love of mechanical beauty, like the early, turn of the century auto makes. But everyday people can become vintage car owners. My semi-retired cousin at age 65 has a beautiful 1935 hot rod which he enjoys fiddling around with in his spare time.

Typical to these traits, the famed talk show host Jay Leno is known for having a garage full of antique and classic cars, dating back to the early 1930s. His wife says that his love of cars suits her well, and is a much more acceptable past time to her than another woman.

Definition of a Vintage Car

A vintage car (not unlike fine wine) is aged to perfection. Those automobiles produced between 1919 and 1930 would fall within the vintage range, though some push the date to the beginning of the second World War (around 1939).

Getting Vintage Car Insurance

  1. How much is your vintage automobile actually worth? That type of information is given when you get your vintage automobile appraised by a qualified professional.
  2. After you know its value, the insurance will generally require that your auto is stored in a locked, fireproof garage, completely dry with no chance of water leakage or damage.
  3. Vintage auto insurance provides a zero deductible - meaning at the moment of any damage, everything will be covered.
  4. Most Vintage automobiles are rarely, or sparingly, driven. They are more intended for show than for useful functionality, which helps account for their lowered rates.
  5. You may be surprised that your homeowners policy carrier or life insurance carrier also has a vintage automobile insurance policy.

Other Considerations for Vintage Auto Insurance

  • The vintage auto should not be the owner's only car. This will help ensure the insurer that the vintage car won't be used around town for "errands", etc. Some carriers may insist that each driver in the family has a designated auto to drive besides the vintage automobile.
  • The driver / insured party needs to have a clean driving record.
  • Five or more years driving experience to date - an indisputable experienced driver.
  • If your car qualified, try to get "restoration coverage". This means that you are constantly keeping it in top condition, aesthetically and mechanically. It helps keep the car's appraisal value at the higher end of the range.
  • The average owner gets at least three quotes before deciding upon a carrier for his vintage automobile.

What Is a Classic Car, by Comparison?

First let's define the difference between a Classic and a Vintage Automobile. The line is a bit fuzzy, but useful:


A classic car is usually 20 to 40 years old. Some classic cars are used to show, others are simply long lasting wonders that are used for everyday chores and commuting.

An Antique Car

Just to add to the confusion, an antique car by definition has 25 or more years. It's kind of a catch-all category used by insurance brokers to help establish the the auto is NOT a standard newer auto used for daily life, but something out of the ordinary used for special occasions and to show off.

A Classic Car vs. a Vintage Car

This bright blue Mini Morris is considered a classic car.  International definitions vary, but a classic car is 20 - 40 years old and in optimal condition.
This bright blue Mini Morris is considered a classic car. International definitions vary, but a classic car is 20 - 40 years old and in optimal condition. | Source
This 1925 Flint falls within the vintage car time-frame, note its yellow tag stating "Vintage".  Originally from the US, it is displayed here in West Australia.
This 1925 Flint falls within the vintage car time-frame, note its yellow tag stating "Vintage". Originally from the US, it is displayed here in West Australia. | Source

In Great Britain

Imagine the lovely, green rolling hills of England and Great Britain. This type of scenery lends itself to a scenic drive in the countryside with the top down. Taking a classic or vintage car out for a drive is something like dressing up in your finest dress to go out in public. The two seem to go hand in hand.

In North America

Due to a higher standard of living, those who have the time and the inclination may dabble in vintage car collection. Special Auto Shows feature cream of the crop models which are usually available to a limited number of paying, or otherwise, pre-approved, guests and clientele. Some may be used as a car auction. Like most things of value, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. The real or perceived value of the vintage car may vary according to the buyer's attachment to it, aided by the appraisal value as a guide.

In Australia and Canada

Since Australia and Canada adopted much of Great Britain's culture, it's no wonder that car collecting is in fashion. It may surprise viewers to know that three of the photos featured on this Hub were photographed in Australia.


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