How does one define a vintage car? Strictly speaking, ‘vintage cars’ are automobiles made between 1 January 1919 and 31 December 1930, during the first era of mass-produced cars. Motor vehicles like the Ford Model A and the Flint B-40 Touring and ‘status cars’ like the Bentley Speed Six and the Stutz Bearcat became prominent around that time, attaining legendary status in the later years.

Easily distinguishable by their bygone-century looks, brass radiators, massive mudguards, chunky chrome accessories and big round headlights, many vintage cars have collectible status and are used in enthusiast club events such as displays and rallies, as well as for wedding car hire. Such a prestigious investment needs to be protected, which is why vintage car owners usually seek out appropriate insurance for their vehicles.

What’s the difference between vintage, veteran and classic cars?

The term ‘vintage’ is occasionally used to describe all cars produced between the start of the 20th century and World War Two. Yet this is not entirely correct. To be specific,

  • Cars made before 1905 are referred to as ‘antiques’;
  • Cars built between 1905 and 1919 are commonly classified ‘veteran’;
  • Cars made between 1919 and 1930 are classified ‘vintage’;
  • Cars built after 1931 and before 1950 are classified ‘post-vintage’; and
  • Cars 15 years or older are categorised as ‘classics’.

In addition, people often confuse the terms ‘classic car’ and ‘vintage car’.  There are however immediate visual and structural differences between the two types, with the former generally having more powerful engines and more streamlined features.

While this information might not be new for the many enthusiasts out there, the age of your car can have a huge impact on the price of insurance.

What does vintage car insurance cover?

Features and benefits differ between vintage car insurance providers. However the following events are commonly covered:

  • Accidental damage. If your vintage vehicle gets damaged as the result of an accident, your insurer will typically foot the repair or replacement costs.
  • Loss or damage by fire. Whether your car is written off or sustains considerable damage as the result of a fire, your insurer can provide financial cover up to its agreed value.
  • Legal liability. This varies between policies, but you can get covered up to $20 million worth of legal liability against the loss or damage to someone else’s property caused by your vehicle.
  • Laid up cover. If you’re in the process of restoring your vintage car, but not driving it, the insurer can lower the cost of your premium as it is covered for storage and transit cover.
  • Storm or flood damage. As with most classic car insurance policies, vintage car insurance can cover the repair or replacement of your vehicle if it suffers flood or storm damage.
  • Damage to another vehicle or property. If you’re involved in an accident where the other person’s vehicle or property sustains damage, your insurer can cover the repair costs.
  • Theft or attempted theft. Your provider can foot the costs associated with the repairs to your vehicle if it was stolen and later recovered in a damaged condition.
  • Damage to modifications. When they are noted, your insurer can cover the repairs or replacement of any modifications or fittings to your car if they get damaged by fire, flood, storm or a vandalism act or get stolen.
  • Vandalism or malicious act. Should your vintage car suffer damages from a vandal attack, your insurer is obliged to provide repairs cover.
  • Windscreen or window glass damage. Most vintage car insurers include the cost of windscreen or window glass repairs stemming from vandalism or a malicious act in the insurance policy. Your policy can be extended to include one excess free windscreen/glass claim per year.
  • Emergency repairs to your car. Most insurers may cover emergency repair costs to a predetermined limit.
  • Salvage. If your car is over 30 years old, you automatically retain the ownership of the wreck in the event of a total loss of your vehicle, which means you can either restore it or sell it for parts upon retrieval.

Additional benefits for vintage car insurance policy holders

  • Choice of repairer. Why would you let anyone repair your pride and joy when you can choose a specialist?
  • No fault excess. This means you don’t have to pay excess if you’re not at fault in a road accident. However, you might be ineligible for this benefit in a different circumstance, such as inadvertently hitting an animal while driving.
  • Emergency accommodation. You could have your insurer cover your overnight stay up to a predetermined amount.
  • Taxi home after an accident. Your insurer can compensate home transportation costs if your car isn’t driveable after a road accident.
  • Towing. Your provider can cover the cost of towing your car to the storage facility if it’s unsafe to drive after an accident.
  • Storage. If you’ve had a road accident or your car was stolen and later recovered, your insurer can help you recoup the costs of keeping your vehicle at a storage facility.

How we can help

Here at comparethemarket.com.au, we can help you insure your vintage pride. We do not provide a comparison service for vintage car insurance, but we are more than happy to refer you to a trusted Australian provider who can answer all your queries.