Insuring a classic car as a teenager

Our Marketing Apprentice Felix is here today to talk about his experiences in trying to get insured on a classic car as a teenager; and the bizarre minefield it can be!

As a young driver it is near impossible nowadays to get insurance on a classic car without breaking the bank account. With that in mind, this is by no means a how to, but rather my experience of getting insured on a classic car at the age of 19. 

Being the same as most young car enthusiasts I dreamt of owning a “cool” first car. For years leading up to being able to drive I would look at classic cars for sale under £2,000. This was obviously before I had an understanding of car insurance and thought that the only costs of a car were the purchase price and then petrol (how wrong I was). 

Fast forward to when I turned 17 and was seriously looking at what to buy for my first car. Initially I was still looking for a classic, something that none of my friends would be driving. I remember one car specifically which I came across, a 1.4 Honda Civic EF hatch. It had 44,000 miles from new and looked like it had just left the factory, a steal for £2,200! However, after creating various insurance quotes I realised that it would cost me more for the years insurance than I’d pay for the car. After phoning up insurance companies to query this they told me that it was due to the car being too old to have a black box installed. 

So from that point I gave up on the classic car dream to get myself insured on a car which could have a black box installed. After a long search for my first car I eventually ended up going with a Mk7 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Zetec S, a brilliant first car in a decent insurance group which is still serving me strongly! 

Following on from this I made the impromptu purchase of my 1990 Volkswagen Corrado 1.8 16v in May of 2019 (more on that in my “Re:Fuelers Rides” blog). Trying to get insurance on the Corrado having less than a year on my license and only just turning 18 was near impossible unless I was willing to spend at least £2,500. So the decision was made to get both my parents insured on the car (so they could take it out every so often for me and stretch its legs) for £90 and then revisit insuring me on it when I turned 19. 

Skipping forward to May of 2020, with my 19th birthday coming up at the end of the month and having held my license for just over 18 months it was time to try again. My credentials included: fully comprehensive cover, myself as primary driver and mods declared. I set out by initially collecting a range of quotes through comparison websites, with the cheapest coming back at around £1,500. It was looking like I wouldn’t be able to get insured for another year, but I kept trying different comparison websites. This blog post isn’t intended to be a plug for any particular insurance company, but eventually I got a price of £850 from Hastings Direct, this was with fully comp cover, myself as primary driver, mods declared with a 1,000 miles a year. A price that I was willing to pay! 

But that’s not where this ends. I then went onto the Hastings Direct website itself just to make sure the quote was correct. After just filling out all the details the same as I did in the comparison sites the quote came out at £800. Seeing this drop in price I decided to just change a couple parts of the quote to see if I could get it any cheaper. As I had only looked at covering the car for 1000 miles annually I wanted to see how much it would cost for me to increase that. I tried 2000 miles and it dropped the price by a further £40 to £760, eventually settling on 2500 miles as it only then went up a matter of pounds. With a price of around £760 I kept testing my luck, this was when I changed the cover date. Initially I was looking to get the cover to start on my birthday itself, the 26th of May. However, when I changed the start date to the 31st of May the price only dropped again. Having read up on insurance pricing, it seems it’s very common that the closer the policy start date to the quote date, the more they pump up the quote. SO make sure you get your quotes in nice and early, well before you want the policy to start!

My cover on the Corrado started on the 31st of May, fully comprehensive, mods declared, 2,500 miles, myself as primary driver for £700.24! Car insurance pricing often doesn’t appear to make much sense, and so my best advice for any young driver looking to get insured on a classic car is to try a few of my tips from this blog post, and then a bunch of different options within your quote and see what reduces the price. Obviously in any quote adjustments you try, make sure that you are being truthful and honest – or you may end up with an invalid insurance policy! I’m now on the road, enjoying my classic VW – and hopefully this helps a few others out there to hit the road in their classic too.