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Classic car insurance - does it work with no NCB

Just wondered if those in the backroom with experience of using classic car/limited mileage policies whether they are significantly cheaper than normal insurance companies for all types of driver or is it swings and roundabouts?

I am a late 30s London dweller who hasn't had insurance for 15 years...and not owned a car in that time. So no insurance history whatsoever.

Have been mulling over getting something like a reasonable nick BMW 5 series from early 1990s or similar Merc 260E as a sunday afternoon drive type car as I progress into middle age. something not necessary quick but very smooth and relaxing to drive.

So is it going to be daft to call up a classic car broker as effectively a newbie wanting a limited mileage policy - is the idea that classic car insurance is only cheap if you have an insurance history and regular use of a normal car elsewhere?

I am trying to think of excuses not to get too serious about this growing interest in something old, solid and German.


Jamesh266    on 23 November 2009

I had a rusty old Fiat insured as a classic car for around £200 per year fully comp, which was a bargain as I think the car was insurance group 16. I did have to have another car insured conventionally though, and was limited to 3000 miles a year in the "classic". This wasn't a problem, as the car spent quite a lot of time broken.

A 30 year old colleague has a group 19 car insured on a classic policy for about £500 per year, and as far as I am aware it is his only car.

moonshine    on 23 November 2009

I was paying £90 fully comp for a MK2 toyota supra. My NCB was used on my main car policy so that was without any NCB. On some classic policies you dont get any NCB. Mine was limited to 1k miles per annum. Check out Lancaster for an online quote.

ukbeefy    on 23 November 2009

thanks for the replies. It's all helpful. I will look at Lancaster and have heard of Adrian Flux too.

I have not much idea what mileage I would do - imagine 3000 would be plenty. literally think it would be a day a week or the odd evening trip to give the car some exercise.

Is there a cut off point between classic and just an older car? is something from 1992 a classic?

I'll start my research....

I've already found that on the emissions based parking permits in my friendly London borough it is the same price to buy a permit for a current Ford Focus as it is for a up to 3ltr pre 2001 am looking at up to a 3ltr car...

1400ted    on 23 November 2009

I'm not sure what criteria they decide to use to define a classic car.
In my case, I have insured the Jowett with Footman James and they have a special deal with the owners club. They ask my membership number when I renew. When I put the car back on the road a few years ago after some restoration, my premium was £36 fully comp inc breakdown cover. I will be checking a few more prices when I put her back in service in the new year but I have had a quote already from Adrian Flux for £88 comp, etc.
No claims bonus is not asked for or involved.


ukbeefy    on 23 November 2009

Well the cheapest I can find as a limited mileage policy is 400 pounds or so with Lancaster or via Allianz. Normal insurance seems to be about 600 as a min.

This classic car lark seems already to be more expensive than I thought. Think it is London postcode plus no garage. Renting a garage though would not lower the premium enough to make the garage worthwhile. I suppose I am trying to see if I can use the limited mileage policy route to end up driving something nicer than I could otherwise with no insurance history but not really buying a car where the agreed value cover makes a huge difference.

Is going to be one of those times where heart has to overrule the head moments if I go for this... hmm

Armitage Shanks {p}    on 24 November 2009

I had 3k miles a year, full comp, agreed value on an MG -B for £100 a year, some years ago! This was arranged thru a broke called Peart in Kendal. (Link not clickable but you know what to put in front!)

Edited by Armitage Shanks {p} on 24/11/2009 at 08:06

Cliff Pope    on 24 November 2009

I've had second cars on classic policies for years, and they do vary, so it is worth trying several. Some points I have found;

1) I have never found one that specifically gave X% NCD, but they do ask about driving history, so in effect you might still be getting some kind of credit for a good driving record.

2) Most companies regard 15 years old as the definition of a classic, but they vary. Also they often seem to have degrees of classicness, reflected in less competitive premiums if the car is only just over 15, or you want one of the higher annual mileage options.
In other words, the nearer it is to a normal car, the closer the premium will be to normal too.

3) Limited mileage is what really earns the lower quotes. Options vary. Some do 1500 miles, some up to 15,000, sometimes even unlimited. But all at a price.

4) Generally they require you to have "access" to another ordinary car. I've never had to test this, always having another car insured elsewhere on an ordinary insurance. How far they would allow use of another family car might depend on circumstances.
This seems unfair to people, eg retired, who only want to use one classic car as a low mileage sole car. I have heard some, on persuasion, will allow this. Also I don't know what the implications would be of starting off having another car but letting it lapse after a few years. Or of having 2 classic cars with different insurers, and using each to answer (honestly) "use of another car".

5) You are normally required to belong to an enthusiast's club. Most clubs have their own classic insurance scheme via a tame broker, but in my experience these are always more expensive than going it alone.

6) You can usually get agreed value either just by confirming purchase price, or with photographs, or some adverts/opinions from the club. Exceptional values may require independant verification by inspection.

7) Some throw in very cheap recovery insurance too. This is generally good value in itself, but not necessarily any cheaper than the second car discount on your main recovery insurance.

8) The differential between classic insurance and full price is much higher for high-risk postcodes than for low. In a very low risk rural location I have sometimes found that ordinary full NCD on a worthless second car is actually cheaper than classic insurance. In any case some classic policies have a minimum cut-off value, eg £500.

Armitage Shanks {p}    on 24 November 2009

That is a very full and interesting post Cliff! There can't be many questions left unanswered after that!

ukbeefy    on 24 November 2009

thanks very much Cliff. I feel I fit into your point 4) as in someone who would only make light use of a car that nonetheless would be my only vehicle - except I am not retired! Effectively I am just trying to reduce costs by choosing a limited mileage policy rather than buying a specific is just that people seem to think that 15 year old MBs or BMWs are classics whereas I imagine a 15 year old Micra doesn't count...

Out of interest how does the mileage declaration work ? Do you pick the mileage level each year? What happens if you actually do significantly less miles or more miles? Is it bought in tranches?

Armitage Shanks {p}    on 24 November 2009

SFAIK you ask for, say, 3K miles and if you want more you ask and pay a very little more, pro rata. That's how it worked when I did it. Mileage declaration is that you tell them what is recorded when the cover starts and if you make a claim they may inspect the car and see if the mileage is within what you paid for.

v8man    on 24 November 2009

I have my 1985 Rover 3500 SD1 insured on a classic policy, 3000 miles per year, agreed value for £85 fully comp. It is garaged and I have a company car.

The insurers don't want to hear about commuting as this pushes the premium up.

I am with Performance Direct who are very good.

biker rob    on 24 November 2009

Have owned a 1985 Porsche 911 for about 8 years now.
It's insured on a classic policy with agreed value, costs me approx £200/year.
I also have use of a van which is sitting with full NCB.
Recently - I wanted a daily driver that wasn't the van but since my NCB was tied up elsewhere - was watching out for insurance costs.
Spoke to the broker who insures the Porsche, they wrote me a letter to confirm the 911 had been insured with them for 8 years.
Company I insured the new car with accepted this as full NCB despite the fact it was earned on a classic car policy.
Now I have the van and the car on seperate policies - both with full NCB.

L'escargot    on 24 November 2009

interest in something old solid and German.

Hermann Goering?

Cliff Pope    on 25 November 2009

You often can get commuting included, but of course you can't actually do very much if the annual mileage is restricted.

Basically the mileage declaration is down to honesty, with the presumption of an actual check if you ever needed to claim. Most I think will allow you go up to the next level during the year if you tell them you need to - eg 3000 up to 5000, or whatever bands they use. Sometimes they are not bothered if you tell them about an expected small excess.

There is a lot of flexibility over the starting and notification points. eg when you complete your first application, it is prudent to make an "estimate" of what the starting mileage will be on the commencement day, rather than what it is now. Then when they send the renewal notice they just ask for "current mileage". It may be prudent to delay or anticipate inclusion of a big trip so that it falls into the more advantageous year. You can't carry forward an unused allowance.

Of course speedometers and cables sometimes fail, and it may take a while to source a replacement. It's so annoying when the usual supplier has to wait for delivery of a newly-remanufactured batch.

oldnotbold    on 25 November 2009

Classic car policies I've had always insisted on you having the use of another car. The wriggle might be to get a scooter and get that in your name and insured. Scooters can be bought for £300 and insured for about £75, and living in London I'd guess that a scooter as your "main" vehicle would give you a good chance of getting a classic policy.

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