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How to get the cheapest classic car insurance for young drivers

Encouraging younger drivers into the world of classic car ownership is critical for the success of our hobby. Younger blood refreshes the scene as older enthusiasts take their foot off the gas – but it also keeps the car base we count as classics growing.

But with young drivers facing four-figure premiums for insuring a modern car, what chance have they got of being able to run a classic? Thankfully, insurers are starting to offer bespoke insurance policies for younger drivers that don't cost the earth.

What is classic car insurance for younger drivers?

It means enthusiasts between 18 and 24 can get insured on a vehicle that’s more than 20 years of age. So if you grew up fancying 1990s classics, then you can finally get one on a classic policy. That could be a coupe like a Volkswagen Corrado or Toyota Celica.

Or you could opt for something on the endangered species' list, like an Austin Maxi or an MG Maestro. Sadly, you won’t be able to get anything too outrageous as many insurers impose a limit on the vehicles they’re willing to insure.

On Footman James’ Young Driver Policy, for example, there is a maximum ABI of group 20 cars. The Dudley-based broker also asks that young enthusiasts have held a licence for a minimum of 12 months, although it is working with clubs to provide cover for those with a provisional licence.

The only scheme FJ currently offers which fits that brief is one for members of the Morris Minor Owners' Club Young Members Register. 

Depending on the car, mileage will also be limited. Expect to cover no more than 3000-5000 miles a year. This might not sound a lot, but few classic cars actually cover more than this between MoTs.

Does the MoT exemption for historic cars affect insurance premiums?

And if you got for one of the more modern classics available on these policies, you will need to have it MoT’d. Only cars more than 40 years old are exempt from the annual roadworthiness but even if you do opt for one that’s ‘MoT free’ we’d always recommend getting it check over by an expert.

Insurers are still coy about how owning a vehicle that qualifies for this exemption affects premiums, but the combination of an inexperienced pilot and a car that hasn’t seen a spanner in several years could set set off alarm bells with the underwriters.

How do modifications affect the cost of insurance?

Insurers know two things about younger drivers. One, their lack of experience puts them in a high-risk category when it comes to potentially having an accident. Two, that they love to make their mark – and what better way to make a statement that to customise your ride.

Luckily, some of the specialists that offer cover to younger classic drivers started life during the modifying hey day of the late-1990s and early-2000s. All those hopped up Citroen Saxo owners and Max Power reading modders had to get insurance somewhere…

In truth, modifying classics is nothing new. Not so long ago it was referred to as keeping them on the road thanks to the automotive industry’s rather relaxed attitude to research and development. Drivers thought nothing of eeeking a few extra horses out of their Ford Anglia 105E. It’s a rich heritage that continues to this day with so many UK-based F1 teams.

What’s covered?

As you’d expect, then, the kind of cover offered to younger drivers of classics is often structured around what’s important to them, such as in-car entertainment.

Many policies allow younger petrolheads to immerse themselves in the scene, whether it’s just attending rallies, going to shows, or even taking their car on track.

Features of these kinds of policies often include free cover for cosmetic mods (up to a certain value). You’ll also see modifications covered on a like for like basis, as well as protection for dismantled parts.

These policies also bear the hallmarks of any good classic cover – salvage retention, agreed value and discounts of as much as 20% for club members.

What are the best classic cars for younger drivers?

Ten years ago, classic car insurance was a bargain – a great way of getting experience of different cars without breaking the band. That’s changed now, but it’s all relative. Which means a quote of nearly a grand for a 1980s Mini is steep, but so is the £1750 policy on that 1.0-litre Vauxhall Corsa.

Some classics, however, are able to offer younger drivers a great drive, the chance to stand out from the crowd and a premium that won’t see you saddled with years of debt. Heck, it might it even come in cheaper than the purchase price of the car…

Minis make a great classic for younger drivers, as do Morris Minors and Mk1 Ford Fiestas. And what about a Renault 5 or a even a Golf Driver, which came with the GTI bodykit but a 1.6-litre carb-fed engine.  Best of all, these cars are just about young enough so that you can spanner them at home.

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