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Classic car and motorcycle insurance

There’s a plethora of insurance companies out there who will insure your classic car or classic motorcycle. However, it is well worth taking into consideration a few key areas before you jump in with the first or cheapest you come across.

Speak with your club

If you are already a member of a classic car or classic motorcycle club it may well be worth speaking with them about insurance. A number of larger clubs have discounts arranged with certain insurance companies.

It’s worth speaking with fellow members to see who they recommend and why. It’s not always about who is cheapest.

Agreed valuation

If the worst should happen and your classic car or bike is damaged or written off, some insurance companies will not provide you with a pay-out anywhere near your true vehicle value. This is often due to values being based on what a system is telling them and you have to fight tooth and nail to try and receive a more realistic pay-out.

Some insurers will provide a service called Agreed Valuation. It will usually involve some very simple paperwork along with you taking a number of photographs of you classic car or motorcycle. You will be asked to state its value and show that other vehicles of a similar standard in the market are being advertised at that price.

The insurer may want to revise this value, but this still provides a very valuable safety net if there should be an incident. In some cases this is available only if you are linked with a club and in nearly all cases there is a small fee for this service.

Limited mileage policies

Most vintage and classic vehicles rarely cover many miles; sometimes only being used for the odd weekend or show. This lack of time on the road means the risk of a road incident is much lower.

Most insurers, which specialise in classic car or classic motorcycle insurance, will offer a limited mileage cover. However, their definition for limited mileage may differ. For some it may be less than 3,000 miles, for others it may be less than 1,500 miles.

Laid-up policies

Many of our beloved classics often require a bit of ongoing TLC and sometimes what starts out as a quick job ends up as a two year restoration. Some classic car and classic bike insurance policies will recognise that the car or bike isn’t going anywhere for a while and will be able to provide an adapted quote based on the fact that it is being kept off road during a restoration (or it just needs a rest).

Multi-vehicle insurance

In recent years more modern car insurers have started to promote multi-car insurance policies. This is also something worth considering with your classic. Quite often a classic car and/or motorcycle are additional vehicles to everyday run-arounds. With only one of you to drive them there is clearly a lower risk per vehicle. This is also good business for the insurer, as you are putting all of your vehicles on one policy, which is easier for them to manage.

Don’t assume that a multi-vehicle policy is always cheaper. Sometimes it is still worth having different vehicles with different insurers.

Modified vehicles

Some classic cars and bikes are lovingly restored and maintained strictly in line with how they came out of the factory. However, many more are not. In some cases it may be an alteration as little as a different type of brake disc; in other cases it may be that you have completely upgraded and tuned the engine.

Insurance companies who specialise in classics understand that a certain amount of modification will occur over the years. However they will want to know about any modifications in case it changes the performance, value or classification of the vehicle.

Speak with the insurers to find out what they classify as modifications and what effect it will have on your policy.

Do your homework

Some insurers may well have a discount with a classic car or classic motorcycle club. They may well have multi-vehicle discounts and limited mileage cover. However, this doesn’t automatically make them right for you. Speak with other classic owners who have had to make claims.

Take some time to make a few comparisons and don’t be afraid to tell an insurance company if you have been quoted a better price or policy cover with another company.

All insurance companies are authorised and regulated by the FSA and should hold a reference number in relations to their listing on the FSA Register. If in doubt you can check a company status on the FSA Register here (


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