Differences Between Classic and Standard Car Insurance

The differences between classic and standard car insurance come down to cost and qualifications. Classic or antique vehicle insurance tends to be cheaper, and there is a list of qualifications to meet for these policies.

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UPDATED: May 25, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 25, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • The subject of worth is quite different between a standard vehicle and a classic vehicle
  • A specialty insurer may be a better option for your classic vehicle
  • Make sure you understand the terms actual cash value, stated value, and agreed value

Are there differences between classic and standard auto insurance? Are antique cars cheaper to insure?

To answer this, simply, yes; classic car insurance does differ from standard car insurance in several important ways.

There is more to this than simply two different types of car insurance, though. There are several factors you need to consider when you are in the market to purchase insurance for your antique or classic automobile.

There are many special factors to consider with classic car insurance and, while you can often purchase classic car insurance from the best auto insurance companies out there, there are several classic car insurance companies that specialize in car insurance for collectible vehicles.

Prior to purchasing a classic car, it is important to do your homework so you know what to expect when it comes time to insure your investment. classic car insurance vs. regular

Looking to buy classic car insurance? Is classic car insurance cheap? Just enter your ZIP into our free quote tool to begin comparing classic car insurance quotes. Read on to learn more about classic car insurance vs. regular auto insurance.

How is classic car insurance different from standard car insurance?

Is classic car insurance cheaper than normal insurance? How does classic car insurance work? How much is classic car insurance?

First, and probably most importantly to you, is the cost. Classic or antique vehicle insurance is often cheaper than regular car insurance because you are not driving the vehicle regularly, in most cases.

By allowing insurance companies to place restrictions on the amount you can drive the vehicle you can save significant amounts of money.

This is especially important to do if you only plan to drive the car for the occasional parade or show. In many cases, there is also no deductible with classic car insurance.

Another major difference between a classic car insurance policy and regular car insurance is the way the value of the vehicle is determined.

To illustrate this point, consider a car you purchased in 1974 for $1400. Dealers may now offer $15,000 for that vehicle and some people have been quoted amounts as high as $21,000.

If the vehicle is totaled and you have classic car insurance you should expect to receive what the car is currently worth; however, if you insured that car with regular car insurance you will be lucky to get your original $1400 back.

Take a look at the average annual classic car insurance rates by state to get an idea of what you might expect to pay.

Average Annual Classic Car Insurance Rates by State
StateFull Coverage Annual RatesComprehensive Annual RatesCollision Annual RatesLiability Annual Rates
District of Columbia$798.44$139.94$281.20$377.29
New Hampshire$491.25$66.46$184.45$240.34
New Jersey$829.67$78.81$229.12$521.74
New Mexico$562.55$103.54$166.19$292.82
New York$816.40$102.67$231.01$482.71
North Carolina$473.45$81.65$176.15$215.65
North Dakota$463.98$138.62$146.45$178.91
Rhode Island$782.10$79.31$246.91$455.88
South Carolina$583.86$108.56$159.04$316.25
South Dakota$460.15$154.87$125.15$180.13
West Virginia$615.47$122.57$197.80$295.10
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Full coverage classic car insurance costs about $50 a month. That’s much cheaper than standard car insurance.

Finally, while regular car insurance generally insures your vehicle for the same amount for the duration of time you own the car, classic auto insurance may change.

Not only may the value of the car increase or decrease simply due to years passing, but, if you are restoring an antique car, you will need to adjust the amount you insure it for once you have finished the restoration.

Cars that have been restored can be worth significantly more than those in poor condition. Of course, depending on the car’s condition, your insurance premium will go up as your classic car increases in value. Collector cars are an investment that you will want to keep protected with the right auto insurance company.

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What qualifications are required for classic car insurance?

What’s the difference between antique and classic cars? What’s the difference between classic and vintage cars?

Antique cars are defined as those vehicles that are 45 years or older, while classic cars are at least 20 years old. Vintage cars were made between 1919-1930.

Is insurance cheaper for antique cars? How much does antique car insurance cost? You can purchase a general classic or antique car insurance policy or a specialized one for vehicles that are classified as custom, collectible, or exotic.

There are several factors that insurance companies will look into when you apply for a policy. Here is some of the information that may be required.

  • A driving record free of any major incidents
  • Ten years of driving experience or more
  • No teenage drivers or those with poor driving records on the policy
  • A secure storage facility or garage, out of the weather, where the vehicle is kept
  • Proof that you also own another car for daily transportation
  • Proof that the car will have limited mileage placed on it

If you do not meet these qualifications you may be denied classic car insurance, offered a policy that only covers the face value of the vehicle, or charged a very large rate.

What else do you need to be aware of when purchasing classic car insurance?

When speaking to an insurance agent about purchasing a classic car policy, you need to be aware of the different types of value they may speak of.

The actual cash value is what you can expect to get with regular car insurance. This is equal to the replacement cost minus the depreciation of the vehicle.

Another term used when speaking of value is stated value. This is the value you have stated the car is worth.

Since the insurance company is taking your word for it, rates are generally high and deductibles are usually $1,000 or more.

It is rare that insurance companies nowadays will accept stated value alone as proof of a car’s worth.

The most common type of value when discussing classic car insurance is agreed value. This is the value that you and the agent have come up with together that the car is worth based on the documentation you are usually required to provide.

Typically there is no deductible or a very low deductible when this type of mutually agreed-upon value is used.

Watch this video to learn the pros and cons of buying a classic car.

Some people like the convenience a modern car can offer, but a classic car can be much cheaper.

There are even groups and clubs, like the Classic Car Club of America or the Antique Automobile Club of America, that have their own definition of a classic or antique car and allow members to connect.

How can I get classic car insurance rates?

Many car insurance companies, such as Hagerty and American Collectors Insurance, specialize in classic car insurance policies. Since classic cars are different than regular cars, insurance products are different as well.

It is important to work with an insurance agent and company that understands the intricacies of classic cars and offers you the appropriate insurance coverage.

Speak to your agent about insuring your vehicle, and be sure to shop around and compare different companies to ensure you save on the cost of your classic car insurance. Finally, make sure that the coverage is relevant to your situation.

Now that you understand the difference between classic and regular car insurance, get started comparing affordable classic car insurance coverage today. Enter your ZIP to get quotes for cheap antique car insurance.

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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