Classic Car Insurance – A Beginners Guide For New Classic Owners

If you’ve just bought your first classic car you will need to consider not just where, but also how you are going to insure it.

As a classic car owner it matters not if you drive a perfect condition Ford Capri 3 litre from 1970, a beat up old Morris Minor from the Sixties or a sleek E-type Jaguar in British racing green, it is essential that you find the best classic car insurance cover for your cherished motor, that covers your individual risks at prices that won’t break the bank!

If you have not owned a classic car before it is important to realise that there are basic differences between what is known as a standard car insurance policy and the cover offered under one defined as classic, from a specialist car insurer.

The first thing to establish is whether your car is eligible for cover under a classic policy. One way you could do this is ask the previous owner whether it was covered under a classic car insurance policy and with which insurance company.

Different car insurance companies have different definitions of the age and type of vehicles that can be covered under this type of cover.

What might be easily covered with one provider may be excluded by another. Fortunately most online classic car cover providers provide this information on the first page of their websites, so it is fairly easy to surf around and check your eligibility with different insurance companies.

You should check that both the eligibility of the age of the car in question and also whether there are policy restrictions for your individual driving circumstances, such as your age that would prevent you from applying for cover.

The major variation between a standard policy and those offered by the classic car specialists is in the way that you use your classic vehicle, and in particular, how much you drive it. The large mainstream insurers and price comparison sites will offer cover for older cars but will charge an additional premium because of its age. They will also load the premium if replacement parts for the vehicle type are known to be expensive.

More importantly you will only be offered the current market value replacement if the car is covered under a mainstream policy and is deemed to be a write-off when you claim.

With a standard car insurance policy on a replacement like for like basis, the value of the car is often set by the market value at the time of a claim, typically taken from one of the car price magazines such as the UK’s Glasses Guide. The amount you will be probably receive for a write-off will be at the current market value of your car which is an annual depreciating amount. Inevitably, if you own a classic car and insure it under a standard policy contract, this leads to under valuation and under insurance of the true value of the car. You will also probably not be offered the salvage and a repairable classic car may often be deemed a write-off because the cost of repair is uneconomic to the Insurer.

If you purchase a specialist classic car policy you will be offered a choice of either an agreed valuation of the classic cars worth or a policy based on market value.

An agreed valuation amount is the amount that the insurance company will pay out in the event of a claim that results in a write off. This is a major benefit of insuring classics under specialist policies because it ensures that you are not just properly covered but will also receive the specialist repair services that your classic will require should you claim. It should be noted that even agreed valuation polices can change and you should ensure that the value is guaranteed for a certain period of time to avoid fluctuations in market values.

Classic Car insurance polices are therefore tailored to the needs of cars considered to be collectable and effectively the valuation is a rating factor for the condition of the car.

The other major difference between standard and classic policies is in the way that you are allowed to use your car under the terms of the agreement. Originally this type of vehicle insurance was designed for drivers who do not use their classic cars much.

All classic car policies have a limited mileage clause which only covers the vehicle for an agreed amount of miles per year. Depending upon which specialist car insurance company you use, there will be a limit to how far you can drive your classic. Some providers will only cover a couple of thousand miles per year under the policy, but many specialist providers are now offering cover up to ten thousand miles per year. These policies reflect the fact that many drivers now use modern day classic cars as their main form of transport.

As with all car insurance it is important to compare both covers and prices when shopping around. There are many specialist classic insurance providers available online today and many specialist schemes that are targeted at particular classic owners. Compare the premiums offered by these with those from the price comparison sites, but if you want to avoid disappointment if you need to make a claim, be sure to understand the difference in policy covers.

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Where to Find the Best Deals For Classic and Vintage Cars in the United States

As a collector of classic cars, I have always been fascinated by the shape, design, quality and the solid fittings of the vehicles manufactured in the yester years. Much of such qualities have been lost as the present manufacturers armed with advance automation technology and mass production capability, compete against each other for sales and profitability. With advancement in electronics, computerization, mechanical and engineering technology, many people would assume that such outdated antiques will be left to rust in the garage or worst ended up in the junkyard. For the rest, what is left of the car is perhaps, the value of steel and metal parts that fetched some value judging by the irregular hike in scrap metal these days.

However, no one doubts that classic vehicles have been the “forefather” of modern automotive. Basically, the old and the modern cars still works and functions in many similar ways. Of course we have different types of vehicle in the market today powered by electric or hybrid based technology but the basic functionality of the car remains.

Not only have the classic and modern cars traced its history back to each other but information technology in the form of internet has complemented the growth of the cars industry and especially for classic cars which in turn spur the huge growth of interest in such antiques. Before the era of the internet, imagine the difficulties encountered by classic car enthusiasts that have only a small classified post in the newspaper to guide them or the endless trip to the local library and book stores. The internet has become a huge phenomenon not only creating an international pool of like-minded enthusiast but accessibility to information like never before witnessed, whether for sourcing of vehicles or for replacement parts.

In the United States, there is a large category of classic car enthusiasts. As price varies based on makes, models and age, you can find interest in almost every category based on ones affordability. Generally, the term classic cars in the U.S. is a term used to described motor vehicle that is at least 15 years old, not a re-production and with a substantial portion of the cars resembling the original manufacturer specification and appearance. Although there are other more stringent rules set by certain club that require conformity of the cars to a certain standard, category, price and age before the vehicle can be registered or associated with such club. Each club or car association set their own guideline and uphold their standard and classic car enthusiasts are able to register their cars with the respective clubs should the owner of the cars, able to conform to the set guidelines.

There are obviously many clubs and associations in the U.S. Any interested classic car buyer will be able to find the car of their dream by performing a Google search and a list of classic cars club will appear before their screen. Most of the clubs usually has a classified section for sale of classic cars. Others will have classified section that facilitate sale of cars that adhere to the clubs’ standard of conformity. There are also clubs that cater to specific cars brands but most of them usually have a section for owners to sell their cars. Apart from clubs and association, you can also find many websites that sells purely classic cars. Do check them out and also try to find and join internet forums dealing with classic cars to see if others have any experience with buying and selling of cars from such websites. Most car selling websites nowadays offers photos, complete description and history of the car for sale and it saves you a lot of time. Instead of calling or driving around town or going interstate, you can now summarize your choice down to say 2 to 3 cars and pursue your interest with greater precision.

As a serious buyer looking for classic cars, my first task is to compile a check list before I begin hunting for my dream classic machine. However, sometimes, you will find that your mind may wonder from the original intention when you go through the choice of classic cars that is available in the internet market place. In this case, you will have to decide based on your budget level. Here is the check-list. It may not be exhaustive but it has served me well:

1. When you found the car on the website, look at the manner in which the owner writes to describe his car. Although it is not conclusive, but if the owner writes his/her advertisement with seriousness and are passionate about the car he is selling, it gives some hint on the condition and if the car is well looked after. This rule applies to classic or antique cars because you need to have the passion and interest to keep and maintain an antique car.

2. Does the owner allow for personal inspection of the car prior to selling? Again, if you plan to visit the car, bring along a qualified mechanic. Here, you will find that some owners, who took their interest seriously, tend to be very helpful and will walk you through the entire car and show you what is behind the bonnet without you asking! Be sure to bring along the information that you have researched, make sure the cars conforms to the specification of the original car manufacturer. Also, do the documents provided matched with the Vehicle Identification Number, Year, Make, Model, Chassis and Engine Number?

3. Have the advertisers provide a complete list of paperwork and document, if the information is incomplete. Will the owner provide the contact number of his mechanic?

4. For the exterior, look for rust and color matching throughout the entire body of the car, the Trim, Bumper and Grill, the condition of the windscreen especially the visibility, crack or chips, door/bonnet handles and matching keys

5. For the interior you should inspect door, dashboards, the odometer whether there is possibility of finding replacement parts, check the seat and flooring for rust, wear and tear.

6. Have the mechanics check on the engine, possible oil leaks, undercarriage, condition of spark plugs, exhaust and steering system.

7. Start the engine and check on the electrical system such as dashboards gauges, headlights, turn signals, windshield wipers and washers

If you are searching for Classics and Vintage Cars such as AMC, Austin, Austin Healey, Buick Electra, Ford Model A, B, T & others, Plymouth, Willys, Studebaker, Alfa Romeo Spyder, Jaguar, International Harvester, Packard, Edsel, Desoto, Shelby and whole lots of others, you will find it at the links below.

Classic Car Investments

With the economic downturn in the minds of almost everyone within the UK, finding a reliable and suitable investment seems a hazardous task, with interest rates slashed to record lows, and the share prices of companies slumped due to low confidence and decreasing profits. It does not just stop there, the property market has been severely hit too, with those who believed the property market was as sure as bricks for investment now coming to realise their investment may have been built on quick sand. The investment of successful and wealthy people has changed in recent years, with many deciding to invest in high quality wines, paintings and sculptures. Another investment which may be on the up is that of iconic classic cars.

Enjoying the drive of an iconic classic car is only part of the perk from investing in a classic, with established and iconic brands having much sort after heritage as the modern car market becomes more technology advanced. This strong heritage results in many classics holding onto value, a sound investment which can also be enjoyed and showed off.

Antiques, wines and classic cars may also provide great tax break opportunities. Interest in art has increased, with returns on investments often proving more profitable than property. Owning a classic car also allows for exemption from road tax, if the car was constructed before the 1st of January 1973. Visit the government web site for further information regarding this. It is clear why classics have been on the up for investment purposes, with everyone watching their outgoings; most people would welcome guarding their cash from the tax man.

According to Zurichs iconic car index, the Ferrari Enzo is the most sought after modern classic, topping the charts for brand heritage, status and performance. For those who cannot afford the high price of the modern Ferrari, there are many cheaper classic cars which may prove a wise investment for reserving capital, whilst enjoying the appeal of an iconic classic. An example of a more affordable classic car is the Triumph Stag, which can be purchased for under £5,000. As with any classic car, it is important to find out about support for owners of a particular make, and how easy parts are to obtain. The Triumph Stag is great for both these aspects, with the car well supported by enthusiasts clubs, and many established owners.

Classic Cars And Where To Start

The key to investing in classic cars is to know about what your investing in, if you are interested in a certain car to start you down the road spend time on research. What owner clubs are there, are spares reasonably easy to get hold of, and so on.

Are you are a car lover, of a sentimental generation, or simply one who would like a cool ride, buying classic cars is your best bet. Restoring these older cars is probably one of the most rewarding, albeit expensive, of all the hobbies you can take on. But surprisingly, auto insurance for these cars is much cheaper than regular car insurance and is much different than insurance for a regular everyday car.

One of the areas that differs considerably between modern and classic cars is deprecation, buy wisely and appreciation is more likely. Restoration of any of the more mature cars is one hobby that a lot of people have and just seem to sink a ton of money into. Buying and restoring classic cars is a popular hobby for many car enthusiasts but is rarely a straightforward task.

Finding your ideal car, and restoring classic cars is a popular, and also time consuming and expensive, hobby for many automobile enthusiasts.

The mileage and engine is hardly ever an issue as the mechanics of the older cars and classic cars are normally very robust. As with anything, knowing what to look for and where to find it when it comes to scouting out your project car is paramount. The only way that an individual can keep abreast with all activities and events relating to classic cars is by joining the car club specializing in your chosen car.

Finding classic cars is not normally all that difficult but if you need a certain make or model, it could prove to be a challenge. And of course, the most rewarding part when it comes to owning and collecting classic cars is that you get to have a cool ride. Looking back and watching these cars is just like reliving the days when they were still roaming the streets, pure nostalgia. Restoration of classic cars is a wonderful past time for a lot people around the world, but go carefully, your wallet can soon be emptied.

And when you have your dream car, then what? Use it, of course.

Just imagine turning up to, say, a murder mystery night in your new wheels and dressed in period costume, what a start to your night, what a great talking point and you never know you may meet a like minded soul and spend the night talking about your classic and totally forget why you were there in the first place.

Heady days!