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The iconic Classic Mini

The automotive world was rocked in 1959 by the release of Sir Alec Issigonis’ iconic design. The Mini included a number of design elements, which not only made it a highly practical small car, but with fantastic handling and a few small ‘tweaks’, it became a rally champion.

Today, the classic Mini is in the top 10 wishlist of many collectors and prices are only increasing, especially for Cooper variants. Protecting your investment with the right insurance company is vital to ensure you have the right level of cover for you needs.

Not all Minis are classics

There are many ways of defining a classic car. Models might also be referred to as a retro car, vintage car, collectable car, antique car or simply an old car.

All pre-1973 cars are exempt from road tax, but many other factors are taken into account when determining if a car is a ‘classic’ – not just its age.

  • In the UK, there is no fixed age group that a classic car must fit into. For insurance purposes, a classic car can be any car that is older than 15 years.
  • These are often known as modern classics and can be considered as a classic car despite their age, e.g. a 1989 Volkswagen Golf GTI.
  • It’s up to the insurer whether they class the car as a classic, which is why it’s always good to compare a range of providers and prices.

What types of classic mini insurance are there?

As with standard car insurance, there are three types of car insurance policy to choose from:

  • Third party only – this is the minimum legal requirement. It only covers the cost of compensating other people for injury or damage done by you. It doesn’t provide you with any financial help for injury or repairs to your vehicle.
  • Third party, fire and theft – this covers the cost of damage or injury to third parties but it will also give you compensation if your car is damaged due to fire or theft or if it is stolen.
  • Comprehensive – as the name suggests, this will cover you for third party, fire and theft as well as damage caused to your vehicle. It could also include compensation for a number of things such as: medical treatment, legal expenses and accidental damage.

It’s also worth knowing that the typical car insurance policy lasts for 12 months and will need to be renewed each year. Your insurance might automatically renew when it’s about to expire, so remember to come back to to get the deal that’s right for you.

How much will it cost to insure my Mini?

Classic car insurance policies tend to assume that drivers use their heritage vehicles less often than they would a modern car – perhaps driving it exclusively during warmer months, and not in winter.

For this reason, as well as because classic cars are generally well maintained by their owners, it might be that a classic car insurance policy is cheaper for you than standard 12 month car cover.

However, if your classic car insurance policy specifies an annual mileage cap, you must take care not to exceed this without contacting your insurer to arrange an extension to your existing cover. It’s important to stick to the terms of any insurance policy you have purchased; if you don’t, you may find yourself ineligible for a pay out should you need one.

Exactly how much your individual classic car insurance costs will, of course, depend upon your personal circumstances and the heritage vehicle you drive.

Will a classic car insurance policy offer me the same protection as a standard fully comprehensive policy?

While there are many similarities between a classic car insurance policy and an ordinary ‘fully comp’ policy, there are some important differences you need to be aware of.

Assessing the value of a classic car can be far more difficult than working out what a modern car is worth. Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid buying an insurance policy that states it will simply pay out the ‘market value’ in the event that your heritage vehicle is stolen or written off.

If you can, agree with a valuation for your classic car with your provider before buying an insurance policy. To help establish a fair figure, you could ask an industry expert or vintage car dealer to provide an expert opinion on the value of your heritage motor.

You might also want to consider that some vintage cars increase in value as time goes by. Be sure that your chosen insurer is willing to review and, if appropriate, increase the agreed valuation on your classic car on a regular basis.

Also, it’s important to check the replacement parts policy of your insurer. No doubt you’ll want to ensure that you’ll be covered for the purchase of authentic replacement parts for your heritage motor, should it need to be repaired.

Finally, if you plan to take your classic car around the country – or even overseas to shows and rallies – make sure your insurance policy covers this. If your classic car is for hire (for example, for weddings) you will also need to ensure you have appropriate insurance cover in place.