What actually is a classic car? There is a bit of debate on how old a car needs to be in order to be classified as a classic. Legally most states in the US state a car needs to have been manufactured at least 20 years prior to the current model year. It also needs to have been maintained in or restored to a state that is in conformity with the manufacturer specs and appearance. This is for registration purposes, and not for valuation of insurance.
So where does that leave custom cars or hotrods? A bit of a grey area isn’t it? By that standard cars from the 1990’s would be considered classic cars… I don’t know of anyone that would consider my first car a 1986 Toyota Camry much of a classic, nor would my former rusted out ’95 Corolla be lined up at Barrett Jackson along side $200,000 23-Window VW buses.
The Antique Automobile Club of America states a car must be 25 years or older to be judged in their competitions. By similar terms it should be restored to the same state as the car was delivered from the dealer to the customer. Without getting into the technicalities of judging rules and regulations a fair number to go by is simply 25 years old or older. Maybe I should have kept that ’86 Camry after all.
When looking over insurance rules from Geico they recommend you make sure to explain to the insurance broker that you have a collectible car. typical car insurance is based on depreciating value, the older a car gets the less it is worth. However with a classic car the value often appreciates or increases the older the car gets. You want to make sure you get full coverage for your classic for all the work you have put into the vehicle in restoration or maintenance.
Further more classic car insurance is based on the assumption that this isn’t your primary daily driver. So it is recommended to unbundle the insurance for your classic car from that of your regular commuter car. More affordable rates are achieved in this way. They also state that you need to make sure you have a vintage model, by that they state the car must have been built in 1979 or before. It seems Geico hardly follows the 20-25 year rule that the classic car enthusiast industry does.
It is best of course to check with your local insurance adjuster to find out what they consider a classic car. For example when you are checking on insurance quotes for all your Minnesota classic cars be sure to check with either a classic car insurance specialist such as Hagarty or local insurers in MN or the midwest.