Does the age of my car affect car insurance rates?

The age of your car can impact your car insurance rates, and rates tend to decrease as vehicles age. The exact coverage you need and the price you'll pay depends on several factors. Learn the details to lower your rates.

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UPDATED: Jun 5, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 5, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Vehicles usually become less valuable as they age, which leads to a decrease in car insurance rates
  • Many other factors can influence insurance rates, including where you park your car
  • When you have an older car, some forms of insurance can be more useful than others

People shopping for a vehicle often wonder if buying an older car will lead to lower insurance rates. In many circumstances, the answer is yes. However, many other factors can impact car insurance rates. 

Here’s some more information about how you can control your insurance rates with different coverage options for aging vehicles and which vehicles tend to retain their value most.

How does the age of a vehicle affect car insurance rates?

Does a car’s age affect car insurance? Yes, a car’s value declines as it ages, meaning your insurance company won’t need to pay as much after an accident. Because of this, insurance rates can decline, which helps many drivers with older vehicles save money. 

However, cars, trucks, and SUVs that people drive frequently decline in value faster because of high mileage. Some insurance companies offer a discount for low annual mileage, but your vehicle will depreciate more slowly if you don’t drive it, leading to more expensive rates.

Depending on the insurer, you could end up with higher or lower rates when you compare your mileage to your vehicle’s age.

Other Factors That Could Lower Insurance Rates

Age and mileage aren’t the only factors that affect car insurance rates. The amount you pay for car insurance could be impacted by:

  • The vehicle’s safety features. Cars with features such as parking assistance, lane-keeping assistance, forward collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring can qualify for insurance discounts because they’re less likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts crash tests and assigns safety ratings to vehicles. Many companies offer discounts for vehicles with high IIHS ratings.  You can input the make, model, and year of your car, truck, or SUV on the IIHS website to find its safety ratings.
  • Your age and driving record. Your age can impact rates along with the age of your car. People with less driving experience usually pay more, and rates go down as people get older. A clean driving record can lead to a discount in many circumstances, but people with previous traffic tickets or other moving violations will pay more for car insurance.
  • Your occupation. Some insurance companies offer discounts to people with particular occupations. For example, teachers, firefighters, scientists, engineers, farmers, police officers, lawyers, and others can save.
  • Your credit score. A higher credit score can lower your rates. Many insurance companies also offer a discount to people with high scores because they’re more likely to make payments on time and behave responsibly on the road.

Ultimately, your auto insurance rates are based on a combination of complex factors, and the age of your car is only one part of the equation. You’ll find the best rates for your older car by shopping for car insurance online, where you’re able to compare coverage options and prices.

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What type of car insurance is available for older cars?

There’s a wide range of insurance coverage for older cars. If your vehicle is in good shape with low mileage, full coverage can help pay to replace or repair it after an accident. 

If your car’s value is low, you can buy liability insurance coverage to pay for the medical and property damage expenses of others after an accident if you were at fault. This type of insurance won’t cover your own vehicle or medical bills, but it can save owners of older cars from spending more on insurance than the vehicle is worth.

However, you should buy classic car insurance if you have a valuable classic car that you don’t drive often. These policies are usually less expensive than most full-coverage options because the car stays in a garage most of the time. You can also lower your car insurance rates further with low mileage or garage discounts for older vehicles that aren’t classics.

How to Find the Right Insurance for an Older Car

Car insurance is required in many states, and it can protect you from a variety of expenses after an accident. However, different companies offer a variety of plans and discounts for older cars, so it’s a good idea to shop carefully and consider multiple insurers. 

You will likely want to carry liability-only insurance for an older vehicle, but classic car insurance is required for vintage and antique automobiles. Classic car insurance can be more expensive than standard insurance, but it depends on the specific car and circumstances.

Now that you know more about the factors that impact insurance rates with age, you can compare car insurance rates and find a policy that works well for your vehicle.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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