Insuring an Older Car

You strive to keep your car insurance policy current, but your vehicle is getting on in years. Insuring an older car is different than covering a vehicle from a more recent model year. Here's what you should know.

The Cost of Auto Insurance for Older Cars

The premiums you pay for car insurance reflect what your insurer will have to pay if you file a valid claim.

When it comes to the age of your vehicle, the primary concern is repairing or replacing the car following a wreck. As cars get older, they depreciate in value, so you can probably expect to pay less for auto insurance. Unless you're driving a vintage sports car or a classic model, the value of your vehicle will most likely be far less than that of a comparable modern ride.

Vintage vehicles can be harder to value and insure due to the amount of time, aftermarket equipment, and work that go into refurbishing them. You may need to adjust your baseline valuation to reflect the additions you've made although you're likely to end up paying more as a result.

Saving on Insurance for Older Vehicles

The fact that older cars have diminished values is an important consideration when you choose insurance.

For instance, if you go with standard collision or comprehensive insurance, you could end up paying more than the car is worth just for the coverage. Insurers are likely to declare older vehicles as write-offs instead of paying for extensive repairs, so it might be worth dropping these forms of physical damage coverage altogether.

You can also save money on premiums by raising your deductible. If your aged car's value is sufficiently low, these out-of-pocket costs might be easily payable should you get into a minor accident.

Be sure to find a policy provider that lets you create a custom plan tailored to your vehicle and driving habits. Consult with your state's insurance department to find out exactly what the law says about minimum car insurance requirements.

As you're deciding whether to maintain optional coverage, you should base your choices on the current market value of your vehicle. Checking Kelley Blue Book or other online vehicle marketplaces can provide you with revealing insights into how much your car is currently worth.

Shop Around for Auto Insurance

Don't only rely on your insurance provider to inform you on the most appropriate insurance products for your vehicle. It's up to you to construct an effective policy by combining coverages and terms which: