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Important things to consider when insuring a classic car

What counts as classic?

To car enthusiasts, ‘classic’ can be a subjective term – what is a desirable vintage car to one person might be an expensive pile of scrap metal to another. When it comes to importing and exporting classic cars, HMRC has outlined that a classic vehicle is one that was produced prior to 1960 and has a current approximate market value exceeding £15,000. But for insurance purposes, a vehicle has to be older than 15 years to be considered a classic.

This doesn’t mean that a hatchback from the late nineties counts as a classic, however, as the vehicle has to be limited production and/or valuable. An important caveat to make is that each insurance provider has their own definition of what can be called a ‘classic’ car or vehicle, so be sure to pay attention to the specifics when comparing policies.

What to consider when choosing an insurance policy

Insurance for vintage vehicles is unique for the following reasons;

– Rarity
– Reliability
– Safety hazards
– Cost of repairs and replacement parts

Many old cars have a distinctive vintage charm to them that makes them a joy to drive and to own, but there is no denying that modern cars are vastly more reliable these days. With the likelihood of mechanical failure being quite high, making sure that your policy has breakdown recovery included is a priority.

Insurance premiums are also likely to be higher for older cars because of the lack of safety equipment on many pre-1960s cars. Seatbelts were not mandatory on vehicles sold in the UK until the mid-70s, and ABS brakes came much later.

The cost of replacement parts and fitting is also far costlier than a run-of-the-mill modern car. Many manufacturers either no longer exist or have ceased to manufacture parts for old models, so specialist garages have to perform repairs and maintenance.

Why compare?

Classic car ownership is more than just everyday commuting, and you want your beloved car to be properly protected for a reasonable price. Comparing insurance policies yearly is an ideal way to make sure that your policy has the right extra options, excesses, and coverage. After all, the less money you have to expend on insurance, the more you can spend on making your car pristine and concours ready.

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