Antique Car Insurance
If you own a classic or antique car, you’ll want to look after it in the very best way you can. And part of that is providing some dedicated classic car insurance.
Here at Lancaster Classic Car Insurance Services, we have lots of experience arranging insurance for a wide range of classics. We can provide cover for almost every sort of classic car you can imagine, from a 1920s Riley to a 1990s Mazda MX-5.
Let’s look at how classic car insurance works, and how you can arrange the best possible deal for insuring your own classic car.
Am I legally obliged to arrange insurance for my car?
First things first: do you need car insurance? If you drive your modern, classic or antique car on UK roads, you must have car insurance. The legal minimum here is third party car insurance.
This type of cover means that you have financial protection if you cause damage or injury to any other person, vehicle or property while driving.
However, third party car insurance does not provide cover for any other costs, such as repairing your own modern or classic car after an accident. If you want this type of cover, you will need a different form of car insurance, known as fully comprehensive insurance.
How does classic car insurance differ from normal car insurance?
So, you own a classic car. Do you specifically need classic car insurance then, or will normal car insurance suffice? What’s the difference between these two types of car insurance policy?
Well, a typical owner of a classic car will typically do slightly lower mileage in their vehicle. This is because a classic car is often a cherished pride and joy, to be taken out and enjoyed on special occasions, rather than a ‘daily driver’.
Classic car insurers may also specify that any classic car they insure must be well looked after. For instance, they may ask that the classic car is garaged indoors, or at least off the street.
Finally, of course, a classic car tends to be older than most other cars in regular use on the UK roads.
Why is classic car insurance less expensive than standard car insurance?
The fact that a classic car is typically used in slightly different ways means that classic car insurance providers can often charge lower premiums for insuring these vehicles.
After all, if a classic car is being used less (and looked after more thoroughly) than a daily driver, it follows that the risk of a claim for damage to that car should be lower.
This reduced risk of claims means that classic car insurance companies are often able to offer a lower price on a classic car insurance policy. Owners looking for standard car insurance will often find themselves paying slightly more for a similar level of cover.
How much does classic car insurance cost?
It’s difficult to put an exact figure on a classic car insurance policy, as the cars being insured will vary so much – in terms of age, condition, rarity and more. As you can imagine, both a Mk3 VW Golf and a 1961 Jaguar E-Type may qualify for classic car insurance.
However, the two cars are likely to attract rather different insurance premiums.
The type of car you’re insuring is the first variable that will affect the costs of your classic car insurance. Other variables include how often the car is driven, plus your age. Your own driving and insurance claims history will also be taken into account.
A classic car insurance provider will typically expect you to keep your vehicle in very good condition. They may also impose a low annual mileage limit – or, at the very least, offer a discount for low-mileage drivers.
All of these things taken together mean that, while it’s hard to put an exact figure on it, classic car insurance cover is typically cheaper than regular car insurance.
Do all insurers provide classic car cover?
Many insurance providers will give you a quote for insuring a classic car. However, you may prefer to arrange your classic car insurance policy with a provider who specialises in insuring classics.
Here at Lancaster Insurance Services, covering classics is what we do – and have done for more than 35 years. When it comes to classic car cover, we know our stuff.
Is it easy to renew my car insurance policy?
Yes, it is. Your insurance provider will usually auto-renew your policy when it runs out, so you have continuous cover.
However, around a month before it’s time to renew, you may want to search around and see if you can find a better deal. You may be able to find a similar level of cover at a lower price from a different car insurance provider.
For insurance purposes, when does a vehicle become a classic?
As we saw above, defining a car as a classic for insurance purposes is often more about the way it is driven and looked after, than about the age of the car itself. However, when it comes to age, you will find that surprisingly modern cars can be defined as classic.
For example, the DVLA (for ‘Benefit in Kind’ purposes) defines a classic as any car aged 15 years or older. You would be surprised at the variety of cars that could be eligible for classic car insurance using that rule!
What benefits does classic car insurance from Lancaster provide?
Our classic car insurance policies have a range of attractive benefits attached to them. These include:
- Discounts for owners’ club members
- Static Show Cover
- Historic Rally Cover
- Choice of repairer
- Salvage Retention
- Two Year Agreed Valuation
- Laid Up Cover Available
- 24 Hour Claims Helpline
- UK Based Call Centre
- Limit Mileage Discounts
You can also arrange breakdown cover with us.
How do I get cheaper classic car insurance?
Classic car insurance is often cheaper than standard insurance. However, there are also ways in which you can keep those classic car insurance bills lower still.
Try to do the following:
1. Ensure your car has some good security
If you can, store your car in a locked garage overnight, rather than in your drive or on the street. You could also increase your car’s security with immobilisers, locks and so on.
2. Join an owners’ club
Many classic car models will have a UK owners’ club dedicated to them. Joining the club for your classic – whether it’s a Mk1 Escort or an Austin Farina – will put you in touch with a friendly community of like-minded enthusiasts.
They will often be a great source of expert advice on repairing and restoring your classic, finding the right parts, fixing mechanical problems and more.
Plus, these clubs often have a relationship with a classic car insurance company. That means that members can often get a discount on their classic car insurance cover.
We work with many car clubs around the UK to give members a discount on their cover.
3. Avoid making any modifications
Making any changes to your classic car can often result in an increase to your insurance policy.
What’s more, many modifications can also decrease the value of your classic, as it will be seen as less authentic by the classic car community.
There’s also a chance that some modifications, if not declared to your insurance provider, could invalidate your cover. Always check with your insurance provider before making any changes.
4. Shop around
Search around for the best insurance deal for you, your car and your driving habits. Put a little time into finding the best cover for your circumstances. If you’ve got a hard-to-insure classic, it’s definitely worth talking to a specialist like Lancaster.
Do I need insurance to cover my classic car if it’s not out on the road?
Even if you never take your classic out of the garage, you may still want to insure it. After all, even if it’s permanently garaged or parked in a drive or on the street, there are still risks.
For example, your classic may seem as safe as houses, tucked away in a garage away from both thieves and the worst of the British weather. But what if a shelf were to collapse, spilling a full tin of paint all over your pride and joy?
Or what about a family of mice setting up home inside the vehicle, and gnawing their way through electrics or upholstery?
Unfortunately, accidents can happen even to those classics that never see the open road. Given this, some level of cover, even for permanently garaged cars, is advisable.
For this reason, many insurers – including us here at Lancaster – provide a particular level of cover for classics that aren’t being driven anymore.
This may go under different names – we call it laid-up cover, while others may call it SORN insurance or off-the-road cover. That’s a reference to the Statutory Off Road Notification that a car like this will have, in order not to pay road tax.
Whatever you call it, this type of cover could be crucial if you’re the owner of a resting classic.
I do limited mileage in my classic. Could this get me cheaper insurance?
Yes indeed – this is one of the key elements to classic car insurance. Insurers will look at what mileage you are typically covering, and adjust your premium accordingly.
If you only cover, say, 5,000 miles a year in your classic, the risk will be lower than someone who drives 15,000 miles a year.
The insurer will require a mileage reading from you in order to verify that you are doing fewer miles. Here at Lancaster, we have a dedicated form on our website where you can declare your mileage.
That reduced driving time translates into a lower chance of accidents and damage. Insurers will usually take this into account and offer a lower cost to low-mileage drivers.
I do use my classic car as a daily driver. Am I still eligible for classic car insurance?
Yes, absolutely. Many of the insurance schemes that we have set up with UK owners’ clubs offer unlimited mileage policies as well as options for low mileage drivers.
You will just find that your policy costs will be higher than they would be if the car was doing fewer miles.
Lancaster is the insurance broker of choice for classic car owners providing cover for over 88,000 classic cars (as of May 2019).
We arrange classic car insurance for over 40% of all MG Bs on the road and over 30% of all Land Rover 88s and MG Midgets – proving that classic car owners place their trust in us.
At Lancaster Classic Car Insurance Services, we aim to find the best price for your individual cover needs. We appreciate the importance of recognising the true value of your classic car and our team will be happy to talk to you through our benefits, such as agreed valuations and salvage retention.
We will offer you a tailored policy, bespoke to your requirements – this can include cover for:
Lancaster Insurance Services is committed to supporting the classic car clubs.
Owners club members may enjoy discounts of up to 25% off their insurance premium (the level of discount offered by each insurer differs and is subject to underwriting criteria).
At Lancaster we understand that not every situation is the same, especially when it comes to Classic Cars.
That is why in addition to our Lancaster Classic Car insurance Services, we also can arrange the below:
- Modified Classic Car Insurance
- Multi-vehicle Insurance
- Wedding Car Insurance
- Limited Mileage Insurance
- Laid Up Cover
- Two Year Agreed Valuation
Are you passionate about Classic Cars?
Here at Lancaster, we not only provide Classic Car Insurance but we’re constantly looking for ways to support the Classic Car community at events, sponsorship's, giveaways and sharing care tips for classic vehicles.
We’ve partnered with the team at Meguiar’s to showcase one of their awesome products each month.
This time we’re featuring the Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam contains a specialized Xtreme Cling foaming action that delivers an intense foam that sticks and clings to painted surfaces gently loosening road grime, dirt and contaminants.
Fine-tuned to carefully and thoroughly clean coated, waxed or sealed finishes while preserving protection and leaving a brilliant, swirl-free shine.
We will listen to your requirements for cover, and discuss the best options with our panel of expert underwriters, to see if we can cover your cherished vehicle.
In May 2018 the Department for Transport announced that cars that were built more than 40 years ago exempt from MOT testing, with the option for owners to voluntarily have their car tested if they feel it needs checking.
Do classic cars have to take an MOT?
Any car that is older than 40 years becomes a ‘vehicle of historic interest’. This means that, subject to submitting the right paperwork, the vehicle becomes exempt from both MOTs and road tax.
That means some useful savings for you, as a classic car owner. And it leaves more in the kitty for other outgoings such as car insurance and ongoing restoration projects.
To qualify for exemption, you just need to fill in and send off the correct forms. For more advice on how to do this, you can read our feature on cars that become tax exempt in 2022, as well as our article giving more advice on how to register your car as a vehicle of historic interest.
Where can I find some informative car insurance guides?
Our website features various guides on the essential things to know about classic car insurance. For instance, we have a page explaining all the benefits that our classic car insurance policies offer.
Elsewhere, we explain more about our Two Year Agreed Valuation service. Briefly, this useful feature can help to make sure that you get a fair price for your vehicle if the worst ever happens and it is stolen or written off.
This independent valuation remains valid for two years: then, another valuation will be made, to take into account any wear and tear or changes to the vehicle.
A two year agreed valuation can be a useful tool for classic car owners. This is because classic, vintage and antique cars can often be hard to put an exact price on.
Modern cars are fairly easy to price, as there are still many more just like them – same model, marque and condition – on the market. This also makes insurance fairly straightforward for modern cars.
However, as cars get older they also get rarer, and sometimes there are very few similar vehicles out there on which to base a car’s value. That’s especially true when, over many decades, they may have had particular, bespoke changes and modifications.
That can mean that, as the owner of a classic or vintage vehicle, you lose out if your car is stolen or written off. The compensation you receive may not reflect the car’s true value, and how well it has been looked after.
The two year agreed valuation allows you to agree a value for your car, with a classic car valuation expert. They will have a genuine insight into exactly what your vehicle is worth.
Insurance for antique and pre-war cars
Here at Lancaster, we insure a huge range of cars that come under the ‘classic’ umbrella. These range from 1990s motors that have already gained a cult following, to vehicles that were plying our road network in the years before the Second World War.
That’s a lot of different cars – and a lot of different car insurance policies! However, our extensive contacts across the classic car industry makes this possible.
There are still a good number of cars produced before 1939 – often also called ‘antique cars’ – that are still lovingly maintained around the UK. Here at Lancaster Insurance Services, we are proud to provide insurance for many of them.
What’s more, our classic car insurance policies have a few special features that should be of particular interest to owners of cars of this vintage.
For example, as well as the two year agreed valuation mentioned above, we also offer Historic Rally and Static Show cover. This means that you will enjoy cover while your car is at a rally or on a static display at a show.
These are brilliant events for showing off your classic and meeting other classic car enthusiasts. However, you do run the slight risk of your car suffering damage at a big public event. Our Static Show and Historic Rally insurance will give you the compensation you’ll need for any repairs required.
Moreover, if you own a vintage car that is proving difficult to arrange insurance for, you should definitely contact us. We have an extensive network of contacts across the classic car insurance industry, garnered across more than 35 years of insuring classics.
This means that we can discuss the best options for your individual cover requirements with our panel of expert underwriters. There’s a good chance we will be able to cover your cherished vehicle.
If you’re the owner of a classic or vintage car and insurance is proving hard to arrange, why not call our specialist team on 01480 484826 to discuss your car insurance requirements?
Three of our favourite antique and pre-war cars
1. Austin Seven
If you’re after an affordable pre-war car, an Austin Seven in decent condition is a good place to start.
Produced from 1923 to 1939, the Seven casts a huge shadow over the story of early British motoring. It was an incredibly popular car, selling in large numbers across that 16-year lifespan. And the reasons for that success are easy to see.
Affordable and comfortable, the little Austin was simply the best car on the UK market when it arrived.
If you’d like a share in this piece of motoring legend, it’s not hard to get started. There are Sevens to suit all needs, from two-door pillarless convertibles via hard-top ‘Box Saloons’ to sports variants and even commercial vehicles.
Once you’ve chosen your Seven, you should find it relatively easy to look after and to arrange insurance for.
For example, the car is mechanically fairly simple. Parts can be obtained, at reasonable prices, through a good network of specialist outlets.
There’s also a thriving family of owners’ clubs, grouped under the Austin Seven Clubs’ Association – visit the Member Clubs section of the website to find the nearest branch to you.
There will undoubtedly be restoration and maintenance projects awaiting any Seven owner, and some specialist classic car insurance can help here.
2. Morris Eight
Pre-war drivers looking for a step up, in both style and comfort terms, from the ubiquitous Austin Seven had an obvious choice with this elegant car from rivals Morris.
Introduced in 1935, the Eight was available in four-door saloon and tourer forms. Its 918cc Morris straight-four engine drove the rear wheels via a three-speed gearbox. Lockheed hydraulic brakes and leather seats were among the creature comforts featured on the £120 Morris.
Nowadays, you’ll find a fairly decent choice of Morris Eights on the market. They should be reasonably priced – anything from £3,500 for a project car, to £15,000 to a beautifully maintained example.
Spares are in decent supply – try the Parts section of the Morris Register website. This, incidentally, is also an excellent club for all owners of pre-war Morris cars, so membership is recommended.
3. MG TA
From 1936 right through to 1955, MG produced a dynasty of nimble, attractive open-top two-seaters, known as the T-series or T-Type cars. The look of these cars changed relatively little over the two decades, and a 1955 TF really doesn’t look all that different from a 1936 TA.
If you want a genuine pre-war car, though, the TA is the one to choose (the TB was introduced in 1939, and only managed a tiny production run before MG switched to producing aircraft components and tank modifications).
With their long, swooping running boards and lashing of chrome, leather and wood, these cars ooze pre-war charm. Better still, they should be reasonably easy to maintain.
There’s a good parts and specialist support network, too, and a series of owners’ clubs. Did we mention, by the way, that we started life as the insurance division of the MG Owners’ Club?
Insurance for post-war and more recent classics
Of course, when it comes to providing classic car insurance, our expertise doesn’t stop at the Second World War here at Lancaster.
We have experience in providing insurance for a vast wealth of cars from down the decades.
Classics for which we’re most often asked to arrange insurance include the original ‘Series’ Land Rovers – hugely influential cars in the history of off-road motoring, as we examine in our feature on this seminal vehicle.
Another classic we’re often asked to insure is the Morris Minor. First introduced in 1948, the cheekily styled economy car was designed as a replacement for the Morris Eight we profiled above. And what a job it did, soon confirming itself as one of the best-loved cars in British motoring history.
The Minor’s iconic styling, simple mechanicals, and the great affection it won with the British public means that plenty of decent examples are still around today. As such, a Minor would make a great classic car choice. Here’s our own appreciation of this hugely significant car.
Finally, just to show you what a huge variety of cars can come under the ‘classic’ umbrella (and qualify for classic car insurance), let’s talk about the Mazda MX-5.
This brilliant car revolutionised affordable, open-top motoring. It also brought back happy memories of the 1960s, when British cars like the Lotus Elan provided the world’s very best wind-in-the-hair thrills.
The MX-5 has been a hugely competent and likeable car across all four generations, but the Mk1 and Mk2 cars are now stone-cold classics. Here's our advice on buying, maintaining and arranging insurance for a classic MX-5.
How do I get car insurance quotes from Lancaster?
Getting car insurance quotes from us couldn’t be easier. You may find it easiest to complete the Call Back Request form on our website.
After you’ve done that, you can sit back and relax: we will call you back at a time to suit you, to discuss your insurance needs.
Or, if you have some specific insurance requirements, call us on 01480 220 150 now to see how we can help.