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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Does insurance cover a stolen car if keys were in the car?

A car insurance policy that covers the theft of your car, such as third party fire and theft insurance, usually covers a stolen car, even if the keys were in the car’s ignition.

However, your insurer may deny the claim if you live in an area where there have been several car robberies reported recently. They will see you leaving the keys in the car as a case of negligence. In such cases, your insurance provider may even expect you to have installed anti-theft security measures in your car. 

You may need to confirm whether or not you left your keys in your car, and if they had been stolen or misplaced, before filing your car insurance claim. The loss or theft of your car keys may be covered by a comprehensive car insurance policy, but usually as an optional item.

If you can confirm that your car keys were stolen, mention this in your claim as this will help establish that your car was not stolen as a result of your negligence.

Can you insure your car for 6 months?

Most Australian insurers won’t offer you a 6-month car insurance policy, so you may need to buy a policy that covers your car for damages and cancel it after six months. You will need to purchase comprehensive car insurance to protect your car from accidental damage, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.. 

Consider checking whether your 6-month comprehensive car insurance will cost more if you pay monthly or six-monthly premiums instead of a one-time annual premium. Another question to ask the insurer is whether you’ll need to pay administration or cancellation fees when you cancel the policy.

Alternatively, you can look for a suitable ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policy, which usually offers you the coverage of a comprehensive car insurance policy but only requires you to pay for the distance driven. Such a policy may not be the ideal 6-month car insurance plan as it is based on how much you drive rather than for how long. If you need to drive a lot, you may end up paying more than you’d pay for regular car insurance. 

Can I drive a new car without insurance?

It is illegal to drive a car in Australia without insurance. Most states require that you get your insurance in place before you drive the car off the dealership’s plot. So, the answer to whether driving a new car without insurance is no, it is not allowed.

The only time you can possibly legally drive an uninsured car is when you have to get the vehicle registered. You should drive straight to an inspection station or your state's vehicle registry. You must also make sure that you take the most direct or convenient route possible.

It is important to note that your compulsory third party insurance (CTP or green slip) isn’t valid until your car is registered.

Driving an unregistered or uninsured vehicle can have severe legal repercussions. If you are involved in an accident, and are driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, you will be personally liable to pay compensation to anyone hurt, as well as for damages. If you are caught driving a vehicle without insurance, you may be fined or even have your vehicle seized.