How to find the right classic car insurance

The right classic car insurance can significantly cut your annual premiums. Whether your vehicle is a vintage classic or a trusty labour of love you can’t bear to replace, this guide has you covered.

Share this guide

How old does a car have to be to be a classic?

While the term classic car might bring to mind a Volkswagen Beetle or an Aston Martin DB5, for insurers the definition is much less grand.

In general a classic car can be any model that is older than 15 years, while many insurers will also require the vehicle to be a second car driven under 5,000 miles per year and kept in mint condition.

This could mean that your old car could be eligible for classic car insurance, even if you don’t consider it a classic!

Be aware that different insurers may have different definitions, so make sure you compare classic car cover to find a policy for your vehicle. If your car does fit an insurer’s definition, you could end up getting a much cheaper policy than if you bought standard car insurance.

If your vehicle does not fit into any policies you can find, it is still important to compare car insurance options to find the best deal.


Mileage is often key, so make sure that you are not driving your classic car more than the limit listed in your policy. This could invalidate your insurance and leave you without cover.

The limit is often 5,000 miles, but can vary from insurer to insurer. Check your policy documents to confirm your mileage limit.

How much is my classic car worth?

The value of what you are insuring is crucial to any policy. To get the right cover you need to know what your car is worth. The value of classic cars can fluctuate, but generally the older they are and the better condition they are in, the more money they are worth. This can mean that the longer you have your car, the more valuable it can become — as long as you keep it in good condition.

Make sure you know the current value of your car when you buy or renew your insurance, as otherwise an accident could leave you out of pocket — even if you are insured.

How to cut the cost of your classic car cover

Comparing policies from a variety of providers is always important to find the best deal, so make sure to compare classic car insurance.

Knowing what level of cover you need is also important. Comprehensive cover, third party, fire and theft, and third party can vary hugely in price, however the higher premiums can be worth it.

Use our car insurance guides to find out absolutely everything you need to know about getting the right deal.

Remember, if your car is over 40 years old then you are likely exempt from road tax charges.

Keep your car safe

If your car is of high value, keeping it off the road and in a safe place is key to getting a good insurance deal. Insurers will believe they are far less likely to have to pay out for damage to your classic car if it is kept in a secure location such as a locked garage.

Some insurers may even insist your car is kept off the road or locked away, so make sure to check your policy details to confirm your vehicle is covered where you regularly keep it.

If the value of your car is low, third party only cover might save you a considerable amount in premiums. However, you will only be covered for damage to third parties.

Car clubs

If you are a classic car enthusiast anyway, joining a car club can be a great way to get perks and save on your insurance.

Some insurers offer reductions of up to 25% on premiums for car club members, which can make a huge difference and even cover the cost of joining the club!

For an annual fee that is often under £50, many clubs will also get you discounts on spare parts and special offers on servicing your car.

GOV.UK has a list of vehicle owners clubs, but it is not exhaustive so do your own research if you can’t find your car. 

Is classic car insurance the same as standard car insurance?

They work in generally the same way — protecting you financially if your car is damaged — but there are some key differences that could make a big difference to your policy.

  • Insurance costs are unlikely to dramatically increase for classic cars. Annual premiums for classic cars do not vary in price from year to year to the same extent as standard car insurance. However, when your policy comes up for renewal you should still make sure you are getting the best deal by researching other policies.

  • No-claims discounts do not always apply. Being a good driver with a history of not making claims will definitely put you on the path to a better deal, but your discount is unlikely to apply in the same way. This is because most insurers define classic cars as secondary vehicles which are not frequently used.

  • Insurers often assume classic cars are looked after more carefully. Most classic car owners will keep their vehicles in mint condition and off the road, for example in a locked garage, in order to maintain their value. For an insurer this means they are less likely to have to make a payout and so premiums are generally cheaper.

  • Classic cars are likely to be driven more conservatively. An insurer will likely assume a classic car will only be driven a few times a year, in good weather and at a relatively low speed. This makes it less likely they will have to cover the costs of an accident and so premiums are lower.

About Joel Kempson

View Joel Kempson's full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.