A Beginner’s Guide to Buying and Insuring a Classic Car

Classic auto insurance is a specialized type of auto insurance that covers classic cars. The Insurance Information Institute defines a classic car as a vehicle whose minimum age is between 25 and 30 years.  Still, how various insurers define a classic car varies. You may also need to buy classic car insurance if you want to protect high-value vehicles like luxury or exotic vehicles, vintage military vehicles, hot rods, and muscle cars.

Once you purchase classic car insurance, you get the usual coverages provided by a typical car insurance policy like bodily injury liability, property damage, comprehensive, and collision. However, unlike traditional auto insurance, which bases the insured vehicle’s value on actual cash value (with depreciation factored), classic car insurance policies cover your vehicles based on an amount you agree on with the insurance company. If your car’s value goes up over time, you can increase the coverage limit to mirror the change in your car’s value.

What Do You Need to Consider Before Buying a Classic Car?

Set a Budget

Your budget should not only reflect the car’s purchase price, but also every other cost that comes with owning a classic car. It should include the following:

  • Purchase price
  • Cost of storage
  • Cost of insurance
  • Cost maintenance
  • Cost of parts

Your budget should also accommodate any unforeseen emergencies or the possibility that your dream classic car may cost a little more than you anticipated.

Maintenance and Accessibility of Body Shop

Maintenance of classic cars is often more costly because the cars are older. Finding a repair shop that specializes in classic automobiles is harder, and quality classic vehicle parts can be scarce. Before you purchase a classic car, you need to research classic car repair shops in your area. You should also consider the repairs and maintenance that a given vehicle needs. You can get some estimates on parts and maintenance costs from body shops.

Market Trends

The value of classic automobiles often fluctuates over time. A classic car’s value is usually hinged on the model and make of the auto as well as the number of units produced. Another key factor is whether the auto is restored or still in its original state. If you are buying a classic car for investment purposes, do your homework and be aware of these considerations. Specialty shops and online discussion platforms such as the National Automobile Dealers Association are helpful sources of data and insight.

Inspection Tips

When buying a classic car, you need to undertake a more rigorous inspection and test drive than you would with newer models. Ideally, you should also get a professional to check for engine or body issues. Before you make a purchase, you should consider the following:

  • The car’s history; if possible, get the maintenance records.
  • Repair and accident history; get the VIN which will help you uncover the vehicle’s history.

Classic Car Insurance

Standard auto insurance may not provide adequate coverage for your classic car. For this reason, you should purchase additional classic car coverage.  Take note that classic car insurance policies are based on the agreed value and typically pay out more money in terms of compensation. However, classic auto insurance policies require classic car owners to limit the number of miles they drive the insured vehicle annually. Once you have found a classic car that suits you, you should protect it with the right insurance coverage.

Purchasing and owning classic automobiles can be a thrilling experience, but it takes some extra responsibility and research. Do you have any questions when it comes to your auto insurance policy? Call the professionals at Kneller Agency today to get started on quality coverage you can count on. As an independent agency, we work for you, getting you the best price and coverage from among our many providers. We work with motorists in Chatham, Copake, Valatie, and neighboring communities in New York. We look forward to hearing from you.

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