Having a classic car can be a great way to bring joy to your life. Whether you bought it as a project and worked on it for years, or you purchased it restored in mint condition, you're likely very proud of it. But you also need to remember that protecting your investment is important. There are lots of great ways to do that, like keeping it in a climate-controlled garage and having it maintained by trusted professionals.

Another way to protect it is to make sure it's insured, and that means classic car insurance, not just standard insurance that you'd have on a regular vehicle. There's a good reason for this difference, and it's that a classic car isn't built with today's parts. You can't just take it to any garage or dealership and have it repaired if something goes wrong with it or it's involved in an accident. Here's what you need to know.

Unique Vehicles Need Special Coverage Options

If you have a unique vehicle, you're going to need a special type of coverage. For example, classic car insurance is designed for vehicles that are at least 25 years old. Defining a classic car isn't really that easy, though, because there are no set requirements that make it classic or not. Generally, it needs to be worth more now than it was when it was new, in addition to being 25 to 30 years old, or older.

Exotic cars, hot rods, modified vehicles, and muscle cars may also qualify for classic car status, just because of their unique nature. They require classic car insurance, too. It's very important to keep in mind that your car's age won't be enough to get classic insurance. You also have to meet other criteria, or all you have in the insurance company's opinion is an old car.

Meeting Classic Car Criteria Is Important

Limited use is one of the biggest obstacles people have to get past when it comes to having classic car insurance. If your car is driven daily, and you're putting miles on it, you aren't generally going to qualify. Insurance companies have different opinions about those things, but most companies won't cover any older car if it's used all the time.

The ability to do things like go to meetings and car shows may be restricted by the type of insurance you have. That could depend on the distance you're traveling, how often you go, and whether you drive there in the vehicle or tow it in a trailer to make sure you aren't putting miles on it. Checking into the travel restrictions you might have is something you'll want to do before you choose a classic car insurance company.

Storing your vehicle properly is going to matter to your insurance company, too. You can't just park your classic car in your driveway, or at the curb, and hope the company won't care. It doesn't work that way, and you could be denied coverage if you do that. You can usually park your car in the garage, though, or a storage unit. Companies want a secure, closed, and locked location where you routinely leave your classic car.

Your driving record matters, too. A lot of people have a small infraction or two on their driving record, and that's probably not enough to get you denied. But if you have a DUI, you've been in trouble for things like street racing, or you have reckless driving charges or repeated speeding tickets, you may have a very hard time getting classic car insurance. That's worth thinking about before you make a purchase.

Yellow classic convertible car in front of old cement building

What a Classic Car Policy Really Offers

You'll have provisions in your classic car insurance policy that are very similar to standard policies. But you'll also have to come to an agreement with your insurer on the value of your vehicle. Since there's no book value for a classic car, and they are all unique, that agreement is critical. The value won't depreciate, and you'll be covered up to the total value you agreed to if something should go wrong with your car.

Parts and repair are going to be different from a standard policy. You want to make sure you can take your car to a specialist, and not just the local garage, if it needs repairs. It's not always easy to get an insurer to cover these things at the value they need, but working with the right insurer can help you feel more confident and get what you really need from your policy and its protection levels.

It All Starts with Finding a Car

Ready to embark on a classic car journey? You can buy a great vehicle from PrivateAuto, and start enjoying it to the fullest. Whether you want something that you can work on, modify, and fix up, or you're looking for something that's fully restored already, PrivateAuto has the vehicle options you're seeking. From classic cars to much newer models, you'll have options to choose from.