How Classic Cars Are Valued for Insurance

By Samantha Lemna  | 
7/3/19 3:35 PM

Red classic American truck with white wall rims parked on the grass.

Classic cars are very different from regular vehicles. It makes sense that their insurance is different, too, including how collector and classic cars are valued. For insurance purposes, your car needs to have a price, even if its priceless to you. We’ll discuss how vehicle valuation works for regular car insurance and classic car insurance.

Vehicle Valuation for Car Insurance

With regular car insurance, your car is generally valued at its purchase price minus depreciation. Depending on the vehicle’s age, you can have three replacement options:

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV) - you’ll receive the current market value of your vehicle, or the purchase price minus depreciation if you have an insured loss. 
  • Replacement Cost - you’ll receive the full replacement value of your vehicle (generally your purchase price) if you have an insured loss.
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost - you’ll receive the full amount to replace your vehicle (even if it goes above your purchase price) if you have an insured loss. 

Not all vehicles are eligible for guaranteed replacement cost or replacement cost; this is generally reserved for very new vehicles. In any case, the purchase price remains the key factor in vehicle valuation for car insurance. 

How Classic Cars Are Valued for Insurance

In contrary, classic or collector cars are valued for insurance in a very different fashion. Obviously, these vehicles don’t have the same depreciation as a regular car and in many cases their purchase price doesn’t reflect their real value. A collector or classic cars vehicle often increase in value over time or have work done that increases their value, too. 


So how are classic or collector cars valued for insurance? Generally, insurance companies will use an “agreed upon value” based on the market sale price and condition of the vehicle. 


Hagerty provides an incredible valuation tool that allows you to determine the value of your vehicle or motorcycle by make, year, or VIN. Not only will you be given the current value based on its condition, but you can also see historical values and an in-depth overview of the vehicle.


You need to be sure of your vehicle’s condition, features, make, model, and year in order to get a valuation. You can also use your vehicle’s VIN if you’re not sure about the make, model, or year. 


Not all classic car insurance is equal - ensure your insurance company recognizes the unique value of your vehicle when it comes to protecting it. It will also save you money! Talk to a broker today about your collector and car insurance options or get a quote today.

About The Author