28th April 2020


In this next edition of Ask An Expert, we answer some of the most popular questions submitted to us – what makes a classic vehicle classic? How many miles can you drive with classic insurance?

Deciding which cars and bikes can be defined as being ‘classic’, has been an area of much debate. Age is certainly a key factor, however while only vehicles that are 40 years of age or older are tax exempt, many cars from the 80s, 90s and even 00s are now considered classic, for instance the first new generation Mini or the Audi Quattro.

How old does a car have to be for classic car insurance?

So how old does a vehicle need to be to get classic insurance? Normally at FJ, a vehicle is deemed classic when it’s 20 years old or older. However, this can reduce for certain marques or subject to certain club membership.

One aspect we take into consideration is how the vehicle is used. For example, if you have a Renault Clio Williams you drive 15,000 miles annually, we are unlikely to be able to offer you a classic policy. However, should you own a Renault Clio Williams, drive it around 2,000 miles annually and are a member of the Black Country Classic Car Club then we could look to provide you with a quote for this model as a classic. The reason being is that the vehicle is being treated and used like a classic - the annual mileage is low and you’re a member of a classic vehicle club. This indicates to us that you're more likely to be displaying your car at shows and events than using it for the daily commute.

Another factor we can take into account is the rarity, particularly with more modern classics. In the example above, only around 12,000 Renault Clio Williams models were made compared to the millions of standard Renault Clios. This is another indicator to us that a client will treat the car as something special, as we all do with our classic cars.

As mentioned earlier, it’s not just the vehicle that influences whether it’s defined as a classic, it’s also the owner. As a result, we may be able to provide cover for one person with an Audi Quattro but not for someone else with the exact same model. This can be down to a wide variety of factors, from where it’s stored to driver history and from where you live to how old you are. That being said, if you use our online quote system and you’re told we cannot provide you with a quote, it is always worth giving us a call to clarify. It could be that with some adjustments to the cover (for example lower mileage or classic club membership) we could provide you with insurance.

At Footman James, we truly believe that if it’s precious to you, it’s precious to us, so we will always do our very best to provide you with suitable cover at an affordable price.

The information contained in this blog post is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general risk management and insurance information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. If you wish to discuss your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.