KevinVal

Is it possible to own a classic car without having a newer secondary car?

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Posted (edited)

You have to have any car you drive insured, and most regular insurance companies won't handle cars pre-1981/1982 (maybe expect for Geico), and even the classic insurance companies mandate that you have another car to use...same goes for anyone in your household. Am I then to assume no one can own like a 60s/70s car without owning a second car?

Edited by KevinVal (see edit history)

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sure you can- you will just have to pay a top premium for your insurance. no 50. a year and your covered from the classic insurers.

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The newest car I own is 35 years old and most are from the 1960s. Just don't expect to get full value collision insurance for a daily driver - at least not at a reasonable cost. You obviously can't use an antique registration for a daily driver either, at least not legally. The biggest problem I have is availability of repair parts. Local auto parts stores rarely stock parts for cars more than 20 years old or so these days, so if you must have your old car to get to work the next day, either have parts on your shelf or have something else you can drive while you wait for the repair parts to show up. This is why I have multiple old cars.

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Classic car insurance is cheap because they know you aren't driving your car every day in traffic and weather. It's not really fair to say you're being punished for driving your old car every day by having to pay more for insurance--you're exposing your car to far more risk than most collector cars. I know that State Farm, Allstate, and Geico all have collector car programs, but again, it might be problematic to use them if it's a daily driver. It's easy to understand their unwillingness to underwrite an old car as a daily driver--if you have a wreck it will be more difficult to source parts for the repairs and the injuries any occupants sustain may very well be significantly more serious. Older cars have diminished capabilities compared to regular cars and commuting daily in traffic increases your risks exponentially. It's a numbers thing, not personal against old cars. But I would expect that their statistics tell them that old cars driven regularly have more claims that are more expensive, therefore they don't want to do it. Would you?

 

Alternative: buy a cheap modern beater. You can pick up a 6-year-old Hyundai for $1500. Not exactly free, but there you go--modern daily driver. Just don't be surprised when your collector car insurance company gives you hard way to go for a wreck during rush hour on a Wednesday and find that you haven't driven the Hyundai to work in months.

 

When there's a claim to be paid, nobody sniffs out the truth better than an insurance company.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 But I would expect that their statistics tell them that old cars driven regularly have more claims that are more expensive, therefore they don't want to do it. Would you?

 

The real issue isn't more claims, it's the fact that with so few older cars on the road, the insurance company can't develop an accurate actuarial database to predict loss rate. Compound this with the fact that in some cases repair parts are unobtanium and it's obvious why insurance companies don't want to provide collision insurance on older or non-mainstream cars. This is all about profits, and insurance companies make their profits by precisely predicting accident rate and associated claim costs for a given car, use type, and class of driver. If there isn't enough of a sample size to predict claim rate or an accurate ability to predict repair costs, there is increased financial risk for the insurance company, and that risk gets passed on in the form of higher premiums.

 

As Matt correctly points out, for an occasionally driven classic car, classic car insurance is inexpensive because the exposure to a potential accident is very small and the insurance companies are willing to take the risk that you won't have a claim if you only drive the car less than their annual limits, and only on weekends. That same car driven daily and in bumper-to-bumper commuting traffic stands a much higher likelihood of generating a claim.

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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Often agents will write such cars to get the business, having no idea how the claim will actually work.  Even if a person gets such coverage thinking they can do what they want, that’s often not the case.  Bottom line, the rates on old cars are low because, as the rate indicates, you aren’t supposed to drive them like new ones.

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Posted (edited)

I remember all the weekends dad and I worked on English cars to get them running over the weekend, so that he had a dependable car back again on Monday.  And I remember him cussing and swearing at  garandparent's Mercury's and Lincoln's (and dad never touched them - the dealer came out to their house and got them and returned them), plus all the friends we helped with their cars on weekends to get a dependable car back on Monday.   My point being that the first really dependable car we ever had was a 1972 Oldsmobile, so to answer the question of an earlier car in daily use the answer would be that it just depends on your driving habits, but it will be a challenge.  Also, I am thinking with most insurance companies you would require a "modern car" as a collector car as a "single" vehicle I doubt would get you coverage. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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 Does your primary car have to have collision in order to have classic insurance?

 

 I am wondering if the liability from the classic is paid by your primary insurer and then the "extra" is paid by your classic policy?

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Roger.  The requirement is Liability Ins on your daily driver.  Two different policies and your liability coverage depends on the car driven.

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Posted (edited)

Driving a collector car for daily transportation takes the specialness out of having an old car like that. I drive my old cars more than some, but it is an event each time I take one out. A little pomp and cercumstance around some things you do in life can have benefits that just make you feel good. I wouldn't want a ride in my old car to be as natural as throwing on an old flannel shirt. I prefer the ride to be something where I look down and think "maybe I'll get my better watch, change my shoes, put on a different shirt".

 

In a couple of hours I am not going to tell my wife "Get in the truck. We are going to lunch". I will announce that I am going out to the garage and get the white Buick out. Attire will be summer white.

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Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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There are 3 interrelated issues to this seemingly innocent question. (1) In my jurisdiction you can drive and have a normal license on any car you want as long as it will pass motor vehicle inspection (MVI). (2) If you want to license it as an antique and take advantage of the inexpensive plate ($20 versus $100 per year) it need only be certified as "roadworthy" by a licensed mechanic, must be a minimum 30 years old, and be for occasional use, and you need a 2nd licensed car. (3) Finally for insurance, my regular insurance company (not my Haggerty Insurance on my antique cars) will only provide collision coverage on a car older than 20 years if you provide them with an appraisal and pay a higher premium. Hopefully this helps. 

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Was never a problem since I always had a newer family car. Not having a family now I have a newer ('12) tow car and my '01 SLK becomes eligible for collector insurance in October.

 

Living in Florida I have special rules: all must be garaged, all must be safe to drive in a monsoon, all must have AC. Did go for a while when my '88 Reatta was my only car and it never let me down. Now am back to six which is the number of garage spaces with doors. My next car will probably be an XLR ('04-'09) so not really an antique collector though some cars have become antiques while I have had them.

 

For me the major difference is the stated value on my collector insurance - if on a major company any car from the last century is probably depreciated out and lacks the safety equipment in newer cars

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One point that hasn't been raised yet is:

 

We are here to PRESERVE antique cars.

If someone uses an antique as his daily driver,

day in and day out, in all sorts of bad weather,

the car will deteriorate.  It will depreciate, taking

away his investment and gradually becoming

less and less attractive and appealing.  It can rust.

And isn't keeping a beautiful car one of the reasons

why we buy the old ones, after all?

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

One point that hasn't been raised yet is:

 

We are here to PRESERVE antique cars.

If someone uses an antique as his daily driver,

day in and day out, in all sorts of bad weather,

the car will deteriorate.  It will depreciate, taking

away his investment and gradually becoming

less and less attractive and appealing.  It can rust.

And isn't keeping a beautiful car one of the reasons

why we buy the old ones, after all?

 

A valid point,

But If one buys a $30000 New car and a $30000 old car at the same time no matter how much you drive either, the new one wont ever be worth what you paid for it but the old one might.

Weather permitting, my old cars become daily drivers. My late model stuff don't get may miles in the nice weather.

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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When I write that an outing in an old car should be an event with a bit of pomp and circumstance, I meant bring on the band!

 

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I am looking to sell  two cars, the 47 Hudson and the 34. I will purchase a 50's car and turn it into a daily driver. I have no problem driving one as a daily driver. I enjoy driving a vintage car, fogging windshield, wind noise from doors not sealing, vacuum wipers that kind of work, pumping the gas pedal, because all of the gas drains out of the carb sitting over night, headlights get brighter when you give it gas, a rattle noise that you can never find, tube radio that worked one time after you had it rebuilt, great smelling old interior, that is really just the smell of mold spores, play in the steering, closing the doors twice, first time it does not latch, second time you slam it. And having to double foot the pedals, because you have to give it a little more gas when you stop to keep idle up. All fun stuff, it is just a car. If your goal is to promote your hobby/trade/industry. The best thing you can do is drive your old cars. That is how you pull in more people.

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I drove a Model "A" as an only car for a couple of years when in college (69 to 71). Weekend trips from Utica to Rochester and back fall, winter and spring almost every weekend. Did stuff break, sure. Did it ever not make it - no. Did it ever need a tow - no.

If you keep the daily driver simple - no problem. If you buy a fully optioned full sized vehicle with an unknown maintenance record you are in different territory.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, KevinVal said:

and most regular insurance companies won't handle cars pre-1981/1982

 

Is that true? I have never had anything but liability coverage anyway.

 

I insure my 2002 Toyota with Farmers (21st Century) and could add my 1967 Alfa for a little over $10/month extra. And declared annual mileage would be 8,000 for the Toyota and 2,000 for the Alfa which is the minimum. It is up to $45/month for liability on the Toyota now.

 

But if I insure the Alfa with Hagerty paying by the year it is even cheaper, and I get more than just liability.

 

So I don't think what you said is true, that regular insurers do not want pre-1980 vehicles.

 

 

Edited by mike6024 (see edit history)

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3 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

One point that hasn't been raised yet is:

 

We are here to PRESERVE antique cars.

If someone uses an antique as his daily driver,

day in and day out, in all sorts of bad weather,

the car will deteriorate.  It will depreciate, taking

away his investment and gradually becoming

less and less attractive and appealing.  It can rust.

And isn't keeping a beautiful car one of the reasons

why we buy the old ones, after all?

 

Sorry, but I have to disagree. The worst thing you can do to a car is to NOT drive it. At that point it becomes a piece of art, and frankly, if I can't drive a car, there is no reason to own it. I restored it once, I can restore it again. Nothing I own is low mileage, all original, and in need of "preservation". Drive the wheels off of them. Life's too short to daily drive a soulless transportation appliance as your daily driver.

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I agree with Joe.......drive the dam thing. Restore it again in twenty years if you have to. The only special consideration we give to our cars is parking area, and going easy on the upholstery. Otherwise, we just drive them.........100 points or not, and most are. The first few years we go very easy till we are done with the show circuit, then it’s off to the races. Respect them.........but drive them. 

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Posted (edited)

I had a daily driver pre-WWII coupe with regular license and insured by State Farm.  It was a hot rod so the double whammy in regard to insurance.  I had full coverage with maximum limits.  This was 5 years ago but premium was less than $200 annual - inexpensive even back then.  It was agreed value but no driving limits other than 7500 annual miles.  That's the minimum mileage limit State Farm writes and was enough for me.  But it was just a premium discount - could have had more mileage for more money.  I did have modern rides insured with State Farm but that was not required by the policy on the coupe.

Edited by CHuDWah (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

One point that hasn't been raised yet is:

 

We are here to PRESERVE antique cars.

If someone uses an antique as his daily driver,

day in and day out, in all sorts of bad weather,

the car will deteriorate.  It will depreciate, taking

away his investment and gradually becoming

less and less attractive and appealing.  It can rust.

And isn't keeping a beautiful car one of the reasons

why we buy the old ones, after all?

 

Here's the thing...I'm working from home for the time being and I didn't say I'd use an old car for a daily driver. Maybe once a week. But if I had the old classic, it seems a waste of money to be forced to own a newer car as well (just because insurance demands it). 

Edited by KevinVal (see edit history)

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43 minutes ago, KevinVal said:

 

Here's the thing...I'm working from home for the time being and I didn't say I'd use an old car for a daily driver. Maybe once a week. But if I had the old classic, it seems a waste of money to be forced to own a newer car as well (just because insurance demands it). 

 

Insurance only "demands" it if you are trying to get classic car insurance with use restrictions and deeply discounted rates. If you pay regular rates there is no such demand.

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1 hour ago, joe_padavano said:

The worst thing you can do to a car is to NOT drive it.  At that point it becomes a piece of art, and frankly, if I can't drive a car, there is no reason to own it. 

 

Agreed, Joe.  I'd never advocate NOT driving a car at all.

But I thought he meant every day, in summer and winter,

so a nice 1960's or 1970's car would turn into a rusty #4

car by the time he was done--ruining something nice

that had managed, up till that time, to survive for 50 years

in pristine condition.

 

I love to drive my cars and don't even own a trailer!

Even my 1916 car (pictured in the avatar) I've driven

and enjoyed weekly at times.

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2 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

The worst thing you can do to a car is to NOT drive it.

 

Count up all the round parts in a car. If it was supposed to sit around those parts would be flat on the bottom.

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