insuring older cars

Older cars have history, and they come with little quirks that only you know about. So it's no surprise that old cars can have unique car insurance needs. With this in mind, we've compiled this guide to help you find the right car insurance coverage for Old Reliable.

older cars vs. classic cars

You may love your old ride like it's a member of the family, but that doesn't make Old
(T)rusty a classic. In general, to qualify for classic status, your vehicle has to be over a certain age and should be your second car — in other words, the one you don't drive as much. A 1957 Chevy Bel-Air would be classic by anyone's definition, but probably not your 1985 Toyota Tercel.

To find out if your old car qualifies as a collector car or deserves classic car insurance, try our partner Hagerty's collector car qualification tool.

insurance costs for older cars

Older cars are generally cheaper to insure than their newer counterparts. But make and model have a bigger impact on insurance premiums than age.

If your older car was made abroad and requires expensive replacement parts or is a favorite with car thieves, it may cost more to insure than a newer vehicle. But if your ride comes tricked out with the Fort Knox of antitheft systems or modern safety features like air bags, it may help you snag lower premiums.

What you pay depends on plenty of other factors too, such as your driving history and your ZIP Code.

To find out how much you'd pay to insure your older vehicle, get a quick and free car insurance quote. We'll automatically show comparison quotes to help you get a better idea of what you can expect to pay for your older car's policy. And if Esurance can't insure it, we'll connect you to our partners at Hagerty who specialize in classic and collector car insurance.

the right amount of car insurance

As a general disclaimer, each policy is different. So there is no magic policy that would suit all cars and drivers. Use this guide to get a better understanding of your options when it comes to your coverages, limits, and deductibles.

Liability coverage

Liability coverage can help pay for damage and injury-related expenses for others after an at-fault accident. As a general rule, you should consider buying as much liability coverage as you can comfortably afford — whether you drive a 1991 Taurus or a 2012 Taurus. How old your car is has little to do with how much damage it can cause.

Medical payments coverage

If your car's only safety features are seat belts and good luck, or if it has poor crash test ratings, you might want to consider adding medical payments coverage since the risk for injury in an accident may be greater.

Take a look at how far safety features advanced in just 7 years, using the Honda Civic DX as an example:

2005 Honda Civic DX sedan

  • Child seat anchors
  • Ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes
  • Rear door child safety locks
  • Engine immobilizer
  • Rear center 3-point belt
  • Front seat belt pretensioners
  • Emergency interior trunk release
  • Front and rear height-adjustable headrests

2012 Honda Civic DX sedan

  • 4-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • Front and rear head air bags
  • Dual front side-mounted air bags
  • Child seat anchors
  • Emergency braking assist
  • Ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes
  • Rear door child safety locks
  • Daytime running lights
  • Engine immobilizer
  • Passenger air bag occupant-sensing deactivation
  • Rear center 3-point belt
  • Front seat belt pretensioners
  • Stability and traction control
  • Electronic brakeforce distribution
  • Emergency interior trunk release
  • Front and rear height-adjustable headrests
  • Driver and passenger head restraint whiplash protection systems
  • Tire pressure monitoring

Generally speaking, the more safety features a car has, the lower the risk of suffering a serious injury in an accident. And vice versa, which is why added medical coverage may come in handy.

Comprehensive and collision coverage

It's natural that you want to protect your old ride. But in some cases, you might be over-insuring a car that has greatly depreciated in value.

In some cases, the premium you might pay on comprehensive and collision coverages plus the deductible you select may outstrip the value of the car itself. Since the value of the car itself is the most you can be reimbursed through these coverages (in the event of a total loss), consider whether you need to add them to your policy.

To check your car's value, visit Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds. For a personalized recommendation on how to manage your car's comprehensive and collision coverage, give us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) anytime.

(We should also note that loan or finance companies may require you to add these coverages if you're leasing or financing your car.)

Emergency road service

If you have an older car that's prone to breakdowns or always seems on the verge of one, you may want to consider a good roadside assistance policy. Esurance's emergency road service coverage offers 24/7 access to critical services, including towing, jump-starting, and gas, water, or oil delivery.

Rental car coverage

Consider adding rental car coverage to your policy for added financial protection.This can help cover the cost of a rental car after an accident, but it won't cover rentals after a mechanical breakdown.

being older-car savvy

There are a few things to think about when it comes to owning an older car, but with a little preparation you'll have the right amount of car insurance to help handle any bumps that come your way.

If you need help figuring out how much insurance is enough for you and your car, our online Coverage Counselor® and real-life experts are here to answer your questions. Just call us anytime at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).

Collector car and classic vehicle insurance
If your old car's actually a classic, get a quote through our collector car insurance partners at Hagerty.

Get your free quote online

or call 1-800-378-7262