5 Best Classic Car Insurance Companies

What is classic car insurance?

Classic car insurance is ideal for individuals who own vintage automobiles. It helps protect a car that has been restored or well-maintained and is typically worth more than a standard vehicle. Usually, classic car policy rates are lower than regular policies because the vehicles are not driven as much. This type of coverage typically allows for limited mileage discounts along with the ability to customize coverage plans tailored to the needs of the individual policyholder.

Imagine a 1966 Ford Mustang, restored to better-than-new condition and driven only on Sundays. Classic auto insurance companies provide coverage for cars like this Mustang. They also protect other collectibles, such as:

  • Antique cars
  • Modern classics from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s
  • Muscle cars, sports cars, and race cars
  • Classic trucks and SUVs
  • Hot rods
  • Exotic and luxury vehicles
  • Old trucks
  • Military vehicles

Not only does classic auto insurance protect drivers from losses associated with their vehicles, but it can also provide assistance in finding repair shops for said vehicles. Ultimately, classic auto insurance allows drivers to insure their investments without worrying about compromising coverage or breaking the bank.

What’s the difference between classic or collector auto insurance and standard auto insurance?

Classic or collector auto insurance is a specialized variant of automobile insurance that appeals to owners of antique, vintage, and classic cars. In general, it provides broad coverage options and offers lower premiums than traditional auto insurance policies. There are at least four major differences between classic car insurance and traditional (standard) car insurance.

  1. Classic auto insurance policies generally cover the full value of a classic or collector car, as opposed to standard auto insurance, which typically covers only the depreciated value of a vehicle — unless the driver has gap insurance that makes up the difference.
  2. To be covered by classic car insurance, a vehicle must meet certain criteria such as restrictions on how much the car can be driven per year, usually limiting it to an agreed upon number of miles for hobby use or parades.
  3. Classic car insurance is typically cheaper than traditional insurance because the owner is not driving the car like they would a “regular” vehicle.
  4. Before deciding how much coverage is needed, a car owner will be expected to have their vehicle appraised by a third-party appraiser.

Types of collectible cars

In a nutshell, if a driver doesn’t use a vehicle for their everyday transportation, a vehicle may be considered collectible. Every state’s DMV, individual insurance companies, and classic car clubs have different historical designations and license plates recognizing classic, historical, or antique vehicles. Since each insurance company and state may classify them differently, it is important to clarify when comparing policies. Here are some examples of the types of vehicles drivers cover with a classic car insurance policy.

Antique cars

An antique car is typically a motor vehicle more than 25 years old that has historic interest. Many define it as a car manufactured in 1975 or earlier. Many are “survivor” cars, where they are restored in conformance to the original manufacturer’s specifications. Here are some examples:

  • 1956 Porsche Speedster
  • 1957 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
  • 1932 Ford Roadster
  • 1968-1968 Dodge Charger
  • 1954 Rolls Royce Phantom
  • 1938 Volkswagen Beetle
  • 1951 Oldsmobile Super 88
  • 1964 Chevy El Camino Coupe

Classic cars

A classic car is typically a motor vehicle that has historic interest and ranges from 10 to 50 years old. Certain insurance companies like State Farm limit age to 24 years. Classic cars are defined very broadly in California, and there is no differentiation between classic, vintage, or antique vehicles. The California DMV defines a Historical Vehicle as one that dates from 1922 or later, and is at least 25 years old. Some define classic cars as those manufactured in 2000 or earlier. Some examples are:

  • 1978 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
  • 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1
  • 1979 Ford Bronco
  • 1979 Pontiac Trans Am
  • 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
  • 1987 Buick Grand National GNX

Vintage cars

A vintage car is a motor vehicle typically manufactured between 1919 and 1930. These types of cars are exceedingly hard to find and can be quite pricey. Here are some examples:

  • ​1919 Ford Model T Sedan
  • 1921 Hudson Super Six Phaeton
  • 1925 Flint Model E-55
  • 1924 Aston Martin Grand Prix
  • 1930 Cadillac V-16

Hot rods

Some say that hot rods were the brainchild of bootleggers who customized their vehicles to outrun the law in the 1920s prohibition era. Since that time, car lovers have continued to enhance their vehicles, managing to make them drive fast and look cool at the same time. A hot rod is not a specific “type” of car, but the National Street Rod Association describes a hot rod as an automobile manufactured in 1948 or earlier that has undergone modernization to the engine.

Exotic vehicles

To be termed “exotic” a vehicle must be truly unique, one-of-a-kind, or one of a handful of models that were manufactured. Examples are one of Enzo’s original Scuderia Ferrari cars.

Luxury vehicles

A luxury vehicle is practically a work of art. Think 1933 Silver Arrow or 1954 Bentley R Type.

Vintage trucks

A vintage truck is one that was manufactured between 1919 and 1930. A good example is the 1927 Ford Model T 1 Ton Pickup.

Muscle cars

A muscle car is a vehicle with a little extra horsepower under the hood. Mustangs, GTOs, and Camaros are all examples of classic muscle cars.

Military vehicles

The military routinely sells unused and outdated equipment, including airplanes, jeeps, trucks, cars, and tanks. To be considered a collector vehicle (and eligible for classic car insurance), the vehicle in question must be from 1974 or earlier.