The term "classic car" can mean a lot of different things. Cars made up to 1904 are considered "veteran cars," while the Edwardian period stretches from 1905 to 1918, and the Vintage age lasts from 1919-1930. For the most part, cars are usually called "classics" if they were manufactured at least 25 years ago, but even some relatively recent cars which are thought of as especially rare and collectible are thought of as classics.
For the purposes of insurance and traffic laws, many US states have their own specific rules as to what can be considered a "classic car." In the United States, certain cars from the "muscle car" era are considered classics with a special prestige, while other popular worldwide classics include the original Mini and the original Beetle.
Classic cars often don't have modern safety features, and are thus prone to damage and possibly expensive to insure. They do not have things like seatbelts, crumple zones, airbags, or any type of rollover protection, as these things were mostly added in the time since the generally accepted "classic" period. Despite the fact that it's commonly thought to be expensive, custom car insurance is a must, even for owners who do not intend to drive them on regular roads, because, among other reasons, maintenance and repairs can be surprisingly expensive, meaning that any serious owner should think about having insurance and get several classic auto insurance quotes
When looking at classic car insurance, the owner must think about a number of factors. Issue number one is the valuation of the car. Policies can be sold based on the actual cash value of the car, in which case a book value with depreciation will be paid out by the provider in the event of a claim; then there is the "stated value" policy, which can still depreciate, but is based on the owner's valuation for the car; and agreed value, which might not necessarily depreciate, and depends on a consensus between owner and provider.
Other factors to consider include: whether or not the policy liability covers public events; coverage including events and shows; coverage for damages incurred during restoration; and moveable premiums taking into account mileage, which naturally varies significantly for classic cars from year to year.
Some owners assume that specialist-provided insurance can't help but be especially expensive, but this is not necessarily a correct assumption. Insurers like Leland West Insurance that deal specifically with classic cars are much more likely to understand the aforementioned issues, and thus, ultimately, classic car owners might actually seriously reduce their insurance costs, and end up with a much better policy, from a specialist like Leland West in classic car insurance.
Buying your Classic Car
Buying a classic car is fairly straightforward, but you do need to take care in deciding exactly what type of vehicle best fits your needs. It's no good buying a classic MGB if you want to use the vehicle for family outings (with kids and dogs) to the beach. Equally, a Ford Cortina 1600E might tick all the practicality boxes if you're a single bloke - but does it have the same effect on your street cred as a gleaming MK2 Jaguar? Key practical considerations therefore need to be: Number of seats, number of doors, hard-top of soft-top, boot space - and even image!
Where to store your classic car?
How you store the car is also a major factor. Unfortunately, most 'old' cars simply don't stand up to the weather like new ones, so you'll need to keep your new classic in a garage or lock-up to maintain its appearance. If, like most people, your garage is full with anything BUT a car you'll either need to clear it out or factor in the cost of renting a lock-up in your budget.
If the car needs some work doing on it, you'll need space to move around the vehicle (especially under it). And if you're thinking of keeping it outside, covered with a tarpaulin, think again! Damp rises, putting your car at risk - and how will you fancy doing your vital maintenance work in the pouring rain or driving snow?
The condition of your chosen classic car is a major consideration. If you have a background in engineering, welding or metalwork, a rusting old heap will hold no fear for you. Classic car magazines are full of adverts for a huge array of potential classic vehicles, and this should be your prime hunting ground. The key is to be realistic about what you can take on. A full restoration project is one thing - but it might be much more sensible to take on a project that's been part completed, and just needs a few spares to get it back on the road.
A sensible option when buying your first classic car is to spend a little more, but go for something that is presentable even if it takes a little longer to find the car of your dreams.
Where to find classic cars?
The internet has made it easier than ever before to track down a classic car. Previously, buyers had to scour shop windows for likely purchases or buy specialist magazines, but now simply typing 'Daimler Sovereign' or 'Austin Healey ' into Google is likely to bring up results. You'll find specialist dealer sites, individuals using auction sites like e-bay, even portals aggregating all the classic car websites in one location.
Magazines are still useful, as they often provide added information by way of features about restoration. While the internet is great for finding vehicles quickly, printed media usually go into much more depth about the joys and pitfalls of classic car ownership.
Preparation before plunging
Having found a few potential purchases, now you need to do some homework to make sure you don't end up with 'a lemon'. While you'll have some comeback if you buy from a dealer, classic cars are unlikely to be sold with a warranty and if you're buying from a private individual you'll have even less rights.
This is why you need to have a series of key questions to ask on the phone, or by email, with the seller to make sure you build up an accurate history of the car. Example questions could be - Why are you selling the car? How long have you owned it? How often is it used? Does it come with any spares? Do you have any receipts for MOT's or work that's been done? Where has the work been done? How easy is it to find spare parts and can they recommend any local suppliers? You might want to know if the car runs on unleaded fuel, or if it can be easily converted, as leaded petrol is expensive and has limited availability.
Viewing your car
If you've progressed to a viewing, choose a time to see it during daylight. Avoid seeing it in the rain too, even the worst classic car has a certain appeal when it's sat in the half light with the rain bouncing off it. And think about taking along an expert. You could enlist the paid services of an AA or RAC inspector, but by using internet forums you can usually find a classic car club member close to you who'd be delighted to give you the benefit of their experience (often for the price of a pint of real ale!).
Other MUST DO's on your viewing:
- Look underneath the car.
- Check for signs of sagging, which might indicate suspension or chassis problems.
- See if all the tyres match.
- Look for signs of bodywork repairs, especially paint retouches (black and metallic colours are very difficult to match).
- Check the body all over for rust and rot, or cracking in the example of fibreglass-bodied cars, like Lotus.
- Lift up the carpets if you can, checking the floor pan and joint to the inner sill.
- Start the car from cold.
- Go for a test drive - look and listen for knocks, grinding, and smoke which may indicate oil escaping and burning.
- Look out for a soft or lazy clutch and check to see whether the car has a tendency to pull to the left or right.
Hopefully, this list by our experts at Leland West Insurance of simple Do's and Don'ts will help you take the first steps to buying a classic car. Trying to cover everything would take all day, but the key things to remember are:
- Take time to consider what's best for you
- Don't be afraid to ask for advice
- Ask plenty of questions
- Be thorough with your inspection.
Follow these rules and your first foray into classic car ownership should be a joy, not a disaster.
When beginning a classic car restoration project, there are a few aspects of the car that are important to check, but often sneak past even the most careful restorers. By making a point of checking these few things, classic car enthusiasts will find the project to be much more enjoyable. What could be worse than pouring heart and soul into a car for a few months before discovering a minor leak or peculiar sound that will come to set the whole project back weeks? Above all, a classic car is meant to be enjoyed, even pampered, so keeping these pointers in mind could make all the difference in a restoration project.
One important thing to check is the integrity of the seals on the windows of the car. Sometimes, a tear or small hole in the seal can be hard to spot without a careful look, but they certainly can make or break a perfectly good ride in a newly restored classic car0 especially on a rainy day! When replacing window seals, be very careful not to damage the pins that hold them in place, and remember that most cars will require the glass to be removed in order to replace the seal.
Door seals are generally easier to replace, but it is always a good idea to pay close attention to the process behind disassembling the door and window so that the parts can be put back together correctly. The dreaded feeling of having an extra bolt after piecing together any project is never a good thing. Consider taking pictures along the way to help make remembering which parts go where just a little easier.
Another, more obvious problem is an oil leak. The advantage with this one is that oil drips on the driveway are an easy way to tell there could be a problem. The trouble can start when the source of the leak is hard to find, so it may be a good idea to call in the experts if the source of the leak is hiding.
If you own a vintage car then consider a reputed company like Leland West Insurance for insuring your classic beauty. Leland West will ensure you afford any possible damage which can occur with unfortunate incidences such as accident or like that, which can weight your pocket.
What do you look for when buying an antique car? Many car lovers choose a vehicle they find visually appealing or have an emotional connection with. Unfortunately, decisions based on personal preferences alone can often turn a passion and labor of love into a nightmare. If you want to avoid having your project turn into a disaster, you need to consider numerous factors including classic car insurance from Leland West Insurance and the availability of parts before you buy.
What Do You Want From Your Classic Car?
What you plan to do with your antique car will have a huge influence over the kind of vehicle you buy. If you want to drive it on a regular basis, for example, choose a vehicle that will be affordable to repair and maintain. If you only plan to use it for the occasional afternoon drive or car show, however, you may want to choose a highly collectible make and model.
The vehicle's limitations may also come into play. Some older vehicles are unable to reach speeds suitable for the motorway, which means many roads and locations would be off limits. Other vehicles may require larger parking spaces or only have enough room in them for one or two people. This can make them inconvenient and difficult to enjoy.
You need to consider the amount of time and money you have available, too. A lack of time and funds has forced even the most passionate car lovers to abandon their projects, so you need to plan ahead. Rare, luxury vehicles often cost more to rebuild and repair than common ones. But if you have your heart set on an expensive car and are willing to wait, you can take steps to save money on parts or wait until you can afford to buy them.
The cost of buying a classic car can easily use your entire budget if you're not careful. Travel, shipping and transportation costs can add up to thousands of pounds when you buy outside of your local area. Interest and other fees associated with borrowing money can make this endeavor even more expensive.
Rebuilding, Repairs and Parts
Even if you buy a restored antique car, it will eventually need replacement parts. And while some avid collectors will wait decades to find original parts in good condition, it isn't always an option. Therefore, if you don't want to wait or spend a lot of money, you may need to make modifications or buy modern reproductions.
Your automotive knowledge also plays a role in choosing the right classic car. If you have minimal automotive experience, for example, look for vehicles that have simple construction, lots of space around the motor and plenty of information available. Experienced mechanics, however, might enjoy a more challenging vehicle.
Keeping Your Classic Car on the Road
Once you've purchased and rebuilt your classic car, you have to be able to keep it on the road. Like any other vehicle, it will need oil changes and other regular maintenance. However, some makes and models may require additional care or specialty items such as custom tyres. There are other ongoing expenses to consider as well.
To keep your antique car safe and secure, you need to find suitable storage and parking. You might even consider paying additional charges for security and heating. And if it does become damaged, you need to make sure you have adequate classic car insurance. Consider Leland West Insurance for this job.
The cost of classic car insurance depends on many different variables including the year, make and model of the vehicle as well as its current condition and the amount of original parts. Your driving history and how you'll use the car will also influence the price. However, you can use tools such as a comparison website to find the best classic car insurance rates and compare services.
A classic car can give you decades of enjoyment and excitement, but you do need to choose carefully. If you fail to consider the time, money and resources these vehicles require, you could find yourself stuck in the garage. And it would be a shame to spend years rebuilding an antique car only to discover you can't afford to keep it.
It is intriguing that a classic car is considered a car which is over 20 years old. Interestingly enough, they've been selling the Toyota previous now for 13 years. That means that in seven more years it will become a classic car. That sounds fascinating doesn't it? After all, it is a hybrid car not a classic. In other words, it is a futuristic car with advanced systems with all the latest and greatest technologies. And yet it is quite old and approaching the "classic auto" age. Let's talk about this for second shall we?
Rebuilding a car which is a classic has been a hobby for many automotive enthusiasts. The question is will people rebuild these old hybrid automobiles and keep them running long-term in order to show them off at car shows in the future? Well, they might, but keeping them all original might not be such a great idea. After all, the battery technology used in the original hybrid cars is not very good compared to today's battery technology, and further, by the time they do become classics that technology will be literally obsolete.
A Toyota Prius has a battery system which needs to be replaced about every 20,000 miles or 5 to 6 years depending on how many miles it is driven and how much use it gets. Those original batteries aren't really even available anymore ($7500 to replace), and although you can get them, why would you? The new battery systems are much better, as they last longer, charge up quicker, and don't wear out so fast. Of course, when you have a classic car you need to keep it all original, but why would you in this case?
Another interesting point is that just because a car is old doesn't make it a classic. It might be legally or as per the definition a classic, but no one really wants to buy one at an antique auto auction, nor does anyone wish to restore that particular model of automobile. Do you see that point as well? It is a decent and relevant question to ask if these hybrid cars will ever become classic automobiles in the way we think of today's classic cars. My guess is that some models will such as the Tesla Roadster and other specialty hybrids will, but your typical hybrid car will not. Of course, that's just a prediction and only time can tell.
Consider a reputed company like Leland West Insurance for insuring your classic beauty if you own one. Leland West will ensure you afford any possible damage which can occur with unfortunate incidences such as accident or like that, which can weight your pocket.