Insurer warns over classic cars

June 18, 2014 | By | In News

A leading car insurance provider is urging classic car owners to ensure they have the appropriate level of cover for their vehicle, after values of certain older models have risen substantially over recent years.

While most owners of certain models from prestige marques such as Ferrari and Bentley would expect their car to appreciate as they get rarer and more sought after, drivers with more mundane machinery on the driveway could be surprised to learn that their car is worth a lot more than they expected.

For instance, figures released by the Historic Automobile Group show that the asking price of a dinky Fiat 500, which could be found in the classifieds for as little as £4,000 just over ten years ago, has risen to a staggering £40,000 dependent on condition and spec.

It’s not just late 1950s throwbacks that are piling on the pounds, either. If you’ve got a Mk3 Ford Escort growing moss on your driveway, it could be worth anything between £8,000 and £26,000.

“Under-insured owners could end up receiving only a percentage of their car’s value if the worst happens."

All of which is why insurance provider Adrian Flux is calling on owners to check they aren’t under insured, or they may find they do not recover the value of the vehicle in the event of an accident.

Gerry Bucke, general manager at Adrian Flux, told the Daily Mail: “Under-insured owners could end up receiving only a percentage of their car’s value if the worst happens.

“We have come across vehicles that have doubled in value since the owner last checked, so it’s absolutely vital to try to stay on top of market trends.”

If your car is involved in an accident and is insured for less than its market value, some insurance companies will pay a proportion of the claim. However in some cases drivers have found their providers unwilling to pay out at all.

Graeme Trudgill, executive director of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, said: “Lots of people have old cars in their garage, which have been sitting there for around 30 years.

“They simply don’t realise that granddad’s old banger is now a classic motor and worth a mint.

“It’s really important to get a proper valuation every year. Otherwise, if the car is stolen or is involved in an accident, they may struggle to replace it.”

Currently, according to HM Revenue & Customs, a car is a classic if it is more than 15 years old and worth more than £15,000. Cars built before 1974 are also exempt from road tax under the current rules.

Owners of such vehicles may find they benefit from a discount if they insure their car under a specialist classic car policy rather than taking out conventional cover, as it is assumed by insurers that classic cars are well maintained and not driven as often.

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