You’ve finally sealed the deal on that vintage Buick, and you can’t wait to bond with it on the open highway. Or maybe you rebuilt a rusting Chevy relic into a gleaming masterpiece, and you can finally show it off. Before you do that, you will want to buy yourself peace of mind by investing in a good auto insurance policy.
Not all auto insurance policies are created equal; you will want to look carefully through different providers' offerings before making a decision. For your classic car, you want to get the best cover your money can buy from a reputable provider to safeguard your precious classic investment.
What Constitutes a Classic?
When you begin to inquire about classic car insurance, you will discover that not just any old vehicle qualifies as a classic. Your car will need to fit certain criteria to meet the standards for classic auto insurance. In general, "classic cars" include hotrods, muscle cars, or collector European models. You could also get classic car insurance for a well-maintained saloon from the '60s. Antique motorcycles, vintage army trucks, and tractors may also qualify for classic insurance.
Why Owning a Classic Car Is Different
A classic vehicle is unlike any regular vehicle. Typically, people don't take their classic cars for their daily commute or weekend shopping runs. Here are a few ways that classic cars differ from the rest:
- Car Value– The value of your classic car largely depends on its condition. Insurance providers can't base the car's value on how much a new model costs, as manufacturers probably stopped producing its kind decades ago. Instead, you and the insurer will have to negotiate and agree on the value of the car. Note that the value of vintage cars tends to appreciate, as such models become harder to find. Keeping tabs on the appreciating value is important to ensure your policy covers the car up to its current value.
- Car Condition– Even if you don't intend to drive your classic car regularly, it will likely still need frequent repairs due to its age. This very age will make it difficult to find spare parts for it; that’s why you need to ensure that your policy caters to repairs at a specialized repair shop.
- Usage– Classics are not meant for daily work commutes or school runs. As the owner of a vintage Mercedes or Corvette, you will likely want to take it out for special occasions or vintage car shows.
What Does This Mean for Insurance?
Just as classic cars differ from regular vehicles, their insurance policies are not the same. Different providers will have their twists on insurance for your classic car, but most offer some combination of the following benefits:
- Lower Premiums for Infrequent Use– Classic car owners may take their classic cars out for a spin now and then, but others own them just to admire them. The less you use your classic car, the lower the premiums on your classic car insurance should cost.
- Guaranteed Value Agreements– Since your classic car model may have gone out of production decades ago, its present market price may not offer a realistic estimation of its intrinsic value. You and your insurer will agree on the car's value and how much you will receive should you total the vehicle. No depreciation will factor in unless the car's condition has deteriorated because of neglect on your part.
- Flexibility for Repairs– Regular car insurance policies will come with a list of service providers where you can get repairs. You cannot go to any service center of your choosing. But vintage car policies can allow you to seek treatment at any licensed specialist.
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance– Many auto insurance providers offer roadside assistance as a built-in component of their classic car policies.
- Restoration Coverage– As the name suggests, this kind of policy covers the cost of restoration work. You need to be careful to review your car's value as you make improvements; some plans have this appreciation in value built into them.
- Spare Parts Coverage– Some vintage car auto insurance policies cover the purchase of spares up to a given fixed amount. The amount will differ depending on the plan. Parts for classics can be quite pricey, so this coverage will come in very handy.
- Discounts for Anti-theft Protection– If you install an alarm or a tracking device in your car, you stand to pay lower premiums on your classic car auto insurance.
Additional Tips for Classic Car Owners
Here are some tips for you to help with the maintenance of your classic
- Keep the car sheltered and well protected from the elements.
- Participate in car shows to connect with fellow enthusiasts and exchange ideas.
- Drive your car often enough to keep its internal mechanisms humming.
If you follow these tips and find the right insurance coverage for your classic car, you can protect your investment for years to come.