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What is vintage car insurance?

What is vintage car insurance?

If you own a vintage car, you likely spend a lot on preserving it. A vintage car insurance policy can help you protect your prized possession.

Driving an older car can offer a unique experience, but maintaining such vehicles can become a specialised hobby requiring expert knowledge and much expense. For instance, not only do you need to know how older cars are classified, but you’d also need to know how cars were manufactured in different eras, which parts are still available, and so on.

In terms of classification, the term ‘vintage cars’  is used only for cars made between 1919 and 1930, while any car older than 15 years may be called a classic. Most Australian insurance providers offer specific policies based on the age of the car.

What should I know about vintage and classic car insurance criteria?

If you own a vintage car, you may not be driving it much apart from exhibitions, but you’ll still spend a lot of time on the car’s upkeep, making whatever expense necessary. Thus vintage and classic insurance may be comparable to a comprehensive car insurance policy, and, for some classic cars, buying a comprehensive car insurance policy rather than specialised classic car insurance may suffice. However, vintage and classic car insurance policies usually cover an agreed value as the worth of the car, which you can negotiate with the insurance provider, since these cars may not have a market value any longer.

Depending on the insurer, you may have to provide certified documentation attesting to the age and condition of your vintage or classic car to provide a better understanding of the car’s value. Submitting photographs or conducting a physical inspection of the vehicle may also be necessary in some cases.

If you’ve previously modified or accessorised your vintage car, you may need to share the details with the insurer as this can also suggest what the car’s maintenance may cost. It may be useful to estimate the usage of the car and account for the time it will simply be on display or locked up, as this can affect the amount of insurance coverage required. 

How much does it cost to insure a classic car?

With classic car insurance being comparable to a more customised comprehensive car insurance, you may have to spend a few thousand dollars annually on vintage and classic car insurance. However, you may not have the same degree of choice as with regular car insurance when buying insurance specifically for older cars.

The insurance provider may insist, for example, that you purchase windshield and glass damage cover, or enhance coverage limits for incidents more common in your area. You may also want to retain salvage rights to keep the car even if it suffers irreparable damage, which can increase the cost of classic and vintage car insurance.

You may also need to add coverage for modifications to your vintage car insurance, and also keep the insurer informed about such changes. In case you plan to exhibit the car or participate in a vintage car rally, you’ll need to inform your insurer in advance, especially if you anticipate maintenance prior to or after the event. Your insurer may also ask you to specify a car repairer who can be trusted to handle classic and vintage cars with the necessary care. If you own more than one vintage or classic car, check if the insurer can offer you a bundled policy covering both cars.

How is classic car insurance comparison different?

While comparing even regular car insurance policies can require providing detailed personal information, getting a vintage car insurance online quote can be even more complicated.

Many insurers may not be familiar with the insurance requirement specific to vintage cars. If you are a member of a classic or vintage car owners club, you can ask your fellow members for classic car insurance reviews and, in general, about their experience with buying classic car insurance in Australia. 

If you prefer an online classic car insurance comparison, you may want to compare the cost of an agreed value comprehensive car insurance policy. Consider adding coverage for all possible adverse events including theft, vandalism, storms, fires, and floods, as well as coverage for windscreen and glass damage, emergency repairs, and personal effects kept in the car. This can give you a better sense of how much your classic or vintage car insurance policy is likely to cost you, although you may still need to speak to an insurer to understand the policy’s fine print.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Georgia Brown before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.



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