Car Insurance for Classic Cars

By Tokkie Ferreira       Last updated Oct. 5, 2017

We have all wanted a vintage car. They are impressive, nostalgic and there is just nothing like the quality of a classic vehicle or the thrill of driving one. Classic cars are part of our heritage.

They are our past and everyone at some point has wanted to own one. You may have wanted one all your life and now you have one. It is your baby. It has been your dream for a long time and now it is your reality.

If you own one - CONGRATULATIONS ! You have a vehicle most of us can just dream about. Now that you have your vintage beauty, it raises the question of insurance.

Do you need insurance for a classic car? Is there a special type of policy that is needed for such a vehicle? Are there restrictions on this insurance? What does the insurance cover?

Let us help you out with some much-needed information to get you on your way to enjoying your new vehicle safely and securely on the roads.


First, let’s ascertain what type of classic you have:

Classic Automobiles: These are vehicles that are classified as ten years or older. They are rare and hold special historical interest because of their stunning workmanship or limited production quantity.

Antique Automobiles: These are cars that are 25 years or older. They can be in any condition, however; the amount of coverage may depend on their market value. Also, some insurance companies may require that the car is restored and well maintained.

Now that you can guess at the type of classic car you have, let’s look at insurance companies and what they will do for you. It can be hard to find insurance for a classic or vintage car.

You need to find a good broker for the specialist insurer. Find one that has experience in the area. Old and vintage car insurance can be pricey so it is important to shop around and ask several insurance companies for quotes.

It is crucial to carry insurance as anything can go wrong. The insured amount will be based on an ‘Agreed Value Basis’.

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Third Party Insurance


This policy is specifically for older cars. It is useful if you drive the car on a regular basis. If you are in an accident, third party car insurance only pays for damage to the other person’s car.

You will have to pay for your car’s repairs on your own. This may not seem like a great deal to you but it does save you a mountain of money if you should ever be in an accident with an expensive car and must pay for their repairs.

You can upgrade this policy by adding theft and fire loss for your car. This still does not pay for your car’s repairs in an accident. That part will still be your responsibility.

With this added package you have the peace of mind that your car is covered should it be stolen, hijacked or burned. Your car will be replaced according to its replacement value.

Comprehensive Coverage


This may not seem worth the monthly cost for insurance but it will be highly beneficial in the case of an accident and you must pay for your repairs as well as the other parties.

Insurance can cover such things as:

  • Laid Up Cover
  • Limited kilometre discounts
  • Coverage for special events such as weddings, and exhibitions
  • Historical event liabilities
  • Medical and Funeral benefits
  • Cherished remains cover
  • Temporarily detached parts
  • Reinstatement Extensions for total loss
  • Excess will be waived if the car is fitted with an approved immobilization device
  • Lock and Keys
  • Audio Equipment
  • Passenger Liability
  • Excess waiver for Pensioners
  • Coverage beyond the Republic of South Africa borders.
  • Emergency roadside assistance
  • Emergency Services
  • Comprehensive
  • Uninsured Motor Vehicle
  • Loss of Earnings

Car insurance companies may have restrictions on their classic car insurance requirements, for instance;

  • Car needing to be recognized by a Collector’s Car Club or Association
  • The car should not be driven on a daily basis.
  • The principal driver must be older than 25 years old.
  • The car itself must be 20 years old or older.
  • A regularly maintained SABS approved fire extinguisher must be kept inside the vehicle.
  • If the sum of insurance exceeds R1 000 000 then the valuation must be updated annually. For cars under R100 000, this must be done at least every 2 years.
  • Limited travel.



Some insurance carriers will offer discounts on their classic car insurance policies for items such as:

  • Limited usage. Driving the car only when going to exhibitions, parades or club activities.
  • Belonging to a car club

Insurance Tips


When buying insurance for your classic car, be sure to get proper coverage and to not be under-insured. Usually, insurers will have a requirement for maximum mileage. They can also limit coverage to specific drivers on the policy. You and your broker will most likely agree on an amount upfront.

Your amount of usage of the vehicle will determine its coverage. The condition of the vehicle will also come in to play in the insurance amount. It is a good idea to have your vehicle professionally assessed by another party like an automobile club to help set the car’s value.

If you have a problem finding an insurer for your specific automobile then classic car clubs will get you in the right direction to find an insurance broker for your classic car. Owner clubs can also offer discounts on policies.

When buying car insurance, be sure to read the fine print and fully understand what you are getting from the very beginning instead of being surprised when an accident occurs.

Also, be sure that they come up with a policy that is realistic and fair. Do not sign because you can’t find another insurer. They are out there. Do not sell your car short.

You see the value in your car and you have paid dearly for it. Make sure that the company that you choose sees its value as you do.  

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