When does a car become a classic car for insurance?

Have you ever wondered how long people keep their cars and at what point that car becomes a classic? According to NADA, car owners are keeping their cars an average of 12.5 years. However, that’s not old enough to make the car a classic, and the definition of a classic car changes, depending on the state where you reside. Let’s take a look at what makes a classic car classic in Spokane, Washington.

What Are the Criteria for Classic Cars in Washington State?

In order for a car to be classified as a classic car, it must be at least 30 years old. This means that if your  car was manufactured in 1995, you might be able to get classic car tags for it in 2025. However, being 30 years old isn’t the only requirement. The car must also have a current registration. You have to be able to legally drive that vehicle on the highway, and you must own and operate that vehicle as a collector’s item.

What Does it Mean to Operate a Vehicle Like a Collector’s Item?

If you own a car that is more than 30 years old and you want that car registered as a classic vehicle, it can’t be your daily driver. Vehicles that are owned as collector’s items can be driven to and from car shows, like the Spokane Auto Show, parades, displays, car club meetings and circuses. You can also drive that vehicle for testing purposes, on special occasions and take people for rides without compensation. You cannot drive the vehicle for hire or for commercial purposes. If your vehicle meets these requirements, you can apply for a collector’s plate at the Washington State Department of Licensing.

How to Insure Your Classic Car

You can get classic car insurance even if your car is not registered as a classic car. Classic car insurance is a type of customized car insurance policy. It’s written for the type of vehicle you own and its specific value. For example, if you own a 1991 Caprice Classic and a 1993 Mazda RX7 that were both registered as classic cars, after discussing each car values and the types of coverages you’d need. This would result in two classic car insurance policies that were written specifically for each car.

What Types of Car Insurance Coverages Can You Get for Your Classic Car?

Classic car insurance offers the similar types of coverages as your regular auto insurance policy. The difference is that it’s an agreed-value coverage. This means that you and your Spokane, Washington insurance company agree on the value of the car. You’ll also have to agree on the number of miles driven each year. For most classic car insurance policies, that amount ranges from 500 to 7,500 miles per year.

  • Agreed Value Insurance – Once you and the insurance company agree on a value for your classic car, that value does not depreciate. Instead, it’ll remain the same for the life of the policy.
  • Liability – Classic car insurance policies include liability insurance. In the state of Washington, all drivers must carry a minimum of $25,000 in injury and death coverage for a single person and $50,000 per accident as well as a minimum of $10,000 in property damage.
  • Collision – Classic car insurance policies also include collision insurance. This type of insurance pays for the repairs to your classic car if you were to be involved in an accident. This coverage is not dependent on fault.
  • Comprehensive – Comprehensive insurance coverage helps pay for damage that occurs to your car while it’s not being driven. Items that are typically covered under the comprehensive portion of your insurance policy include fire, storm damage, vandalism and theft.

Can I Get Classic Car Insurance if I’m Restoring My Classic Car in Spokane, Washington?

You can get classic car insurance for a car that you are restoring. This policy would be completely customized for the vehicle you are working on, and it would include restoration coverage, which is sometimes referred to as vehicle under construction coverage. It’s important to note that this coverage is designed to be temporary. Once your car is fully restored, this portion of your policy is removed.

When applying for restoration coverage, you typically need to prove that you’re actively working on the vehicle. The Spokane insurance company may request photos of the vehicle, receipts for any parts or work you’ve performed so far and a detailed timeline for completion.

Can I Change the Valuation of My Classic Car?

It is possible to adjust the value of your classic car. If you’ve performed additional upgrades and work on the car that has increased its value, you can request higher limits on your classic car insurance.

Getting Classic Car Insurance with Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc. in Spokane

If you need classic car insurance for a car that’s 30 years or older, we can help you at Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc. We offer a wide range of personal car insurance policies, including insurance for classic, vintage and antique cars.

To learn more about classic car insurance and to get a quote, call us at 509-340-2693.


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