Classic Car Insurance

As you’ve landed here then you’ve no doubt been busy online trying to compare classic car insurance quotes.

But because yours is not just any old car, you want to make sure you get not simply cheap classic car insurance, but the most appropriate cover for your particular motor and motoring needs.

At Principal, we get that. We understand that it’s not average, not standard, not merely a car.  It’s a project, a pride and joy, a passion.

That’s why we take time to talk to you to so we understand your car’s history, the time and money invested in its restoration, how and where you use it and how much it’s really worth.

When you use our free Agreed Value service you’ll find we do much of the graft for you, working with our extensive panel of classic car insurance underwriters to find the right deal for you.*

  • Up to 10% discount for membership of recognised owners club.**
  • Limited mileage and owners club discounts.**
  • Free agreed value assessment.
  • Salvage retention rights.***
  • Optional wedding hire, rally and track day cover.
  • Limited and unlimited policy options for classic car insurance.
  • European touring  – journey and rally abroad with our inclusive cover.
  • Multi car insurance.

Because we know your car is more than the sum of its parts, should it be stolen and/ or recovered or be a write-off, you can be offered salvage retention rights. However, should it prove economically repairable we’ll help you find a respected and approved repairer to restore it to its former glory.

Our classic car insurance specialists are also on hand to assist not just in finding you the right policy at the right price, but by supporting you should you need claim, add a vehicle or make other amendments to your cover.

* Please ask if you would like details of the panel of insurers we use to compare classic car insurance quotes.  ** The availability and size of discounts offered varied between insurers and policies and underwriting conditions will apply. Please ask for details when getting your classic car insurance quote.  *** Salvage retention rights subject to terms and conditions. Please ask for details. 

Car off the road? Click here for details of specialist SORN car insurance. 

Additional cover options – Pick and choose your cover options to get the exact level of protection that you want, with an extensive range to protect you and your vehicle. Options include Breakdown & Accident Assistance, Motor Legal Protection, Excess Protection, Key Care and Road Halo licence defence.



Classic car insurance quotesIf you own a vintage or classic car, you’ll know why it’s special – and demands specialist insurance protection.

It’s unlikely to be your daily runaround, your means simply of getting from A-B.

It’s a cherished car, a pride and joy. The purchase, restoration maintenance and – if you’re lucky – collection of classic cars, is a passion.

So you’ll want to take care when you compare classic car insurance quotes.

You’ll want to make sure your vehicle is properly covered so that, should the worst happen and you need claim, you’ll get the settlement you expect.

That might mean getting the full, agreed value of your car should it be written off or stolen and not recovered.

It might mean having salvage retention rights so that you can recover your vehicle – its sum or parts – from your insurer.

classic car insurance quotesThe important thing is to get the cover that’s right for you and your cherished vehicle.

Typically, classic car insurance is cheaper than for modern cars. This is because, for example, they are usually owned by enthusiasts who are likely to take more care of their car and drive fewer miles in it.

If you rack up heavy mileage and leave your motor parked on-street, then you’ll not enjoy those comparatively lower premiums.

It’s useful then to know the factors insurers will take into account when calculating any classic car insurance quote – and the options that might be open to you.

Classic car insurance criteria

Classic car insurance quotesLet’s start with the classic car insurance rules: what insurers deem to be a classic or vintage car.

If we were talking HM Government definitions, that would be easy.

In the 2016 Budget, the chancellor announced that “From April 1st each year, any vehicle constructed more than 40 years before the January 1 of that year will automatically be exempt from paying vehicle excise duty.”

If that phraseology is a bit tricky to get your head around, in April 2019 this meant cars built before January 1st 2019.

When it comes to determining classic car insurance criteria, things are less clear cut.

Some insurers will offer cover for what might be termed modern classics. These would typically be cars aged 15 years or more.

Other policies are more traditional in outlook, considering as classic only vehicles which are at least 30 years or even 35 years old. An upper age limit might also apply.

Cover notes

Before looking at options specific to classic car insurance, let’s start with the fundamentals. Every policy will start with the core cover:

Third Party Only insurance (TPO)

TPO insurance will not cover the cost of repairing or replacing/settling the value of your vehicle following an accident. It will cover only other vehicles and people (third parties) involved. It will also not cover damage to or loss of your classic vehicle of it is stolen or involved in a fire.

Third Party Fire & Theft insurance
In addition to covering third parties as above, TPFT extends to settling the cost of repairing or replacing/settling the value (less excess) of your classic vehicle if it is stolen or fire damaged.

Comprehensive insurance
Comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of repairing or replacing/settling the value (less excess) of your vehicle and those of third parties involved in accident for which you are to blame (a fault accident).
It will also cover your cherished motor if it is damaged in accident and blame cannot be attributed to another party because they cannot be identified. Here you might be talking of someone bumping your vehicle in a car park and making off without leaving their details.

Sorn insurance
Laid up or SORN insurance is often useful for classic car owners.

This is specialist provision for when your vehicle is legally declared as being off road through a Statutory Off Road Notification. SORN insurance can protect against fire and theft whilst your car is laid up and when it is being restored.

Principal arranges specialist classic car laid up insurance. For details of cover options visit

Classic car insurance options

classic car insurance
We’re not dealing here with your average A-B motors. we’re talking, treasured, cherished cars.

It’s likely therefore that you could be interested in some of the specialist benefits – standard or optional – which feature in dedicated specialist classic car insurance policies.

Here’s a few things to look out for.

Agreed value
Most classic car insurance policies will allow you to agree the value of your cherished vehicle when you take out cover.

You will be asked to provide recent photographs of your vehicle, from all sides and the interior. These will be used by underwriters to help determine the current market value of your car.

The clear benefit of securing an agreed value is that should your vehicle be damaged beyond economic repair, or be stolen and not recovered, you will receive that sum in settlement (less your excess).

Because values can change, sometimes relatively quickly, it is important to frequently review your agreed value.

Principal offers a free agreed value assessment service via our specialist underwriters.

Salvage retention rights
These can be really important because, let’s face it, a classic car is more than just a car.

If your policy offers salvage retention rights, then, should your cherished motor be written off you can recover what’s left.

This is important because an insurance write-off is when a vehicle is damaged beyond what an insurer deems is beyond economical repair. But an enthusiast may be willing to invest more time and money in restoring their pride and joy, or simply recovering parts for another restoration project.

Because many classic and historic vehicles have undergone restoration they may deviate from their original specification. As long as these are road legal, they should not phase a classic car insurer.

Modifications that affect value and or performance will naturally increase your premium.

How can you get cheap classic car insurance?

That’s not the question you should be asking. Rather than cheap classic car insurance, you should be looking for the best value – a combination of the cover you actually need and a great price.

However, there are things you can do to reduce your classic car insurance quote.

Here’s a few pointers that could be useful to you.

Owners club discounts
Many insurers offer discounts if you are a member of a recognised car club. Being a member signifies your passion and suggests you’ll be taking good care of a vehicle you don’t just own, bit are proud of.

For example, insurers on Principal’s classic car insurance panel offer discounts of up to 10% to recognised owners club members.

Limited mileage policies
One of the reasons classic car insurance is typically cheaper than standard car insurance is that insurers don’t expect you’ll be putting as many miles in.

They won’t assume this though. You’ll need commit to a set limit – 3,000 miles is a common figure – to help reduce your premium.

Again, you need be honest about the miles you both expect to, and do, cover.

If you exceed the mileage you’ve agreed, it could affect your cover and/or your insurer may levy an additional premium.

Don’t worry if you lack restraint – unlimited mileage polices are also available!

Keep it secure
If you fit your car with additional, insurance approved security, then you may earn a discount on your classic car insurance.

Here we are talking about things like trackers, electronic or electromagnetic alarms and immobilisers and wheel locking devices.

Look for Thatcham-tested products.

No claims discounts
Many insurers and brokers do not offer no claims discounts for classic car insurance. This is because they offer flat-rated premiums. However, some do so it’s worth checking when getting a quote.

In addition some insurers allow your no claims bonus to accrue on a classic car policy so that you can use it in future.

You might also be interested in:

Multi-vehicle insurance
Prestige car insurance
Specialist vehicle insurance (incl. American classic car insurance)
Classic motorcycle insurance



  • Zero deduction salvage retention rights for classic and vintage vehicles.
  • Optional wedding hire, rally and track day cover.
  • European touring  – journey and rally abroad with our inclusive cover.
  • Generous discounts – for owners club membership and limited mileage.
  • Agreed value – free valuation service to ensure you’re fully and fairly covered.
  • Limited and unlimited policy options for classic car insurance.

FOR A GREAT QUOTE call 0330 024 0093.

For the best quote chat to our friendly and informed UK-based call centre team

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