Cars have been a mainstay of American life since their inception in 1885. With the development of newer designs and features, the debate has intensified over which model or type of car is best. That heated debate has not reached the vintage or classic car realm, however.
Vintage and classic cars have always been admired for their long-standing tradition and designs. These cars offer a peek into the past and create a roadmap of years long past.
There are many aspects to consider when purchasing a vintage or classic car. In many cases, the financial aspect is heavily scrutinized, but few people think about the insurance aspect of these older cars. Luckily, there are providers that offer specialized classic car insurance to help protect the newest addition to your car collection.
The History of Vintage and Classic Cars
Vintage and classic cars have storied pasts. These cars have seen iconic moments in history and argue against the idea that new is always better.
Many enthusiasts want to join the celebrated history of vintage and classic cars. There are, however, notable differences between vintage and classic cars that must be considered before making the decision to purchase any make or model.
What makes a car vintage?
A car is considered vintage when it was manufactured between 1919 and 1930. There is some debate about the specific dates and time frame for the vintage classification, but most agree it started after World War I.
This period was a time of great transition. That sense of transition is reflected in the cars from that time frame. The move from traditional elements and aesthetics to a more laissez-faire approach to life gave way to the unique designs of vintage cars.
The roaring 20s brought more accessibility and a higher demand for cars that performed well in all facets. Consumers during this time wanted cars that provided comfort and style but did not hold back on power and functionality. Vintage cars and their manufacturers opted for a blend of sporty and classic design.
These elements did not affect the functionality, though. Vintage cars boast a heavy engine with durable strength, making them great even today.
Such a large time frame and diversity in makes and models can be overwhelming. There are, however, many aficionados who offer advice on what to buy and how to maintain your purchase. There are even tips for buying vintage Volkswagen cars.
What makes a car a classic?
Classic car classification is very different from its vintage counterpart. Classic cars are those that are 20 to 45 years old. This system of classification makes it more difficult to establish what is and is not a classic car. The continuous passage of time means some cars will fall out of classic classification as more cars make their way into the list.
There are some American manufacturers that stand apart from others. Companies like Ford, Hudson, and Chevrolet are cornerstones of the classic car community.
Classic car collectors can and do join different clubs based on make, model, and age of their classic cars. These clubs put on different events and meetings to show off their classic cars.
Some events occur yearly and put different times of cars on display like Beatersville 2020. This event showcases trucks and cars from the pre-1968 time frame.
The almost constant transition of classic cars may seem daunting, but many find classic cars to be a great hobby and investment. Look at the benefits of owning classic cars and then decide whether to jump into the classic car game.
How much does it cost to own a vintage car?
The decision to join the vintage or classic car community usually comes down to cost. The first consideration is the base cost to simply own a vintage car. The price depends on the overall condition of the car and the demand for that particular model.
The initial price for a vintage car really depends on what you are looking at or interested in purchasing. The average price range comes in somewhere between $10,000 to $75,000 or more.
Regardless of what type of vintage car you’re interested in, there are things to consider before any transaction takes place.
The first is availability of parts. These cars are much older than what is currently on the market. Parts may be more difficult to find when maintenance or restoration is needed.
It’s also important to identify support before making the jump. Repairs and restoration can be difficult, so having people to support you in this endeavor should be considered.
You should operate with the end in mind. This means a vintage car purchase should be made with the marketplace and demand in mind. These cars change hands often, so if the car is not in high demand, it could be difficult to sell it and move on to your next project.
How much does it cost to maintain a vintage car?
The maintenance of a vintage car is more than simply changing the oil and keeping it clean. A vintage car needs to be maintained to a level that closely matches the original style and design.
The nature of a vintage car means any parts or additions to the car would use time-specific materials and parts. Maintenance of a vintage takes more focus and intentionality because the parts and tools are very different than their modern counterparts.
Before deciding on that next vintage car, think about a few things. Consider the make or model of the car in question. There is higher demand for some vintage cars than others. Higher demand means the car will be easier to sell once you’re ready to move on.
Also consider the stock of the car. If the car is mostly original it will usually be less expensive to maintain, but it could be more expensive to replace those parts. Modern parts are easier to locate, but present more issues when trying to repair.
It doesn’t hurt to consider whether you will be making any repairs on your own or need the assistance of a mechanic. Repairs that need professional assistance will be more expensive, but will be less of a headache.
Vintage Cars and Insurance
As with any vehicle, insurance is always a consideration. Insurance on vintage cars, however, is a bit different. The insurance amount is agreed upon by the owner and the insurance company.
The specifics and rates will vary depending on if your vehicle is a classic car or has the vintage classification. Also keep in mind, your vehicle’s classification could change, depending on the insurance provider you choose.
Remember, each insurance company considers different factors when insurancing aging cars. Vintage cars, on average, cost less to insure than traditional auto insurance for a number of reasons.
Vintage cars are driven less and more carefully than modern cars and require a higher standard of maintenance. These factors can lead to lower insurance rates, but each will need to be discussed with the insurance provider.
Laura is an auto insurance expert who writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. She comes from a long line of classic car aficionados and loves seeing others join the classic car club.