Insuring a Classic BMW
by Jamie Gibbs
What’s better than driving a brand new BMW, fresh off the dealership? Driving a BMW that’s still in top condition after decades of careful use, servicing, repair and improvement. These are the classic BMW cars, and they’re a pleasure to own and drive. However, with a specialist car comes specialist car insurance, and here are a few tips to getting the best out of yours.
What counts as classic?
This can be a tricky one and it largely depends on who you go to get your classic car insurance. According to HM Revenue and Customs, a classic car is one that is more than 15 years old and is worth over £15,000, but it’s not something that all insurance companies have to follow. In fact, the definition of a classic car can range from 10 years old to 30 years old, depending on the insurer. A BMW E30 from the mid-1980s would be fine, but something like a mid-1990s 5-series would have a little more difficulty being classed as a ‘classic’ by some insurance companies. Anything made before 1972 becomes a historic car and is exempt from road tax, so there aren’t any arguments about the definition there.
Although you’re more likely to find cover amongst specialist classic car insurance companies, more and more mainstream insurers have realised the potential of classic cars and so you’ve got more options with which to find a good deal.
Most car insurance companies work on a process of market value when looking at claims, so if you wrote off your BMW your insurance company would pay out what the car would be worth on the open market. This means you’d be likely to get a much lower payout than you deserve for a car that in all likelihood you’ve looked after for years. With this in mind, some insurance policies offer you an agreed valuation on your car, meaning that if you write it off you’ll get paid the amount that you agreed with your insurance company and not a penny less (minus your excess). For this you usually need to send the insurance company photographs of the condition of the car as well as an independent valuation report.
Keep your costs down
Because of the higher value of the car, it may be that you have to pay a little extra in your insurance premium. If you want to lower your costs a little bit, consider improving the security on the car. An older car means older locks, which could be targeted by opportunist thieves. If you demonstrate to your insurer that your BMW has a more modern security system fitted, such as an engine immobiliser, alarm or tracking device, it could help to lower your premium. Also, if you primarily use your BMW for classic car shows and events rather than regular driving, you’ll have a lower annual mileage and so should be paying less on your car insurance. The older a car gets, the less reliable it becomes, and though you may look after it well some part of it usually gives up the ghost sooner or later. Taking a look at breakdown cover could help you save having to pay recovery costs if you break down on the way to an event.
This guest post was written free of charge by Jamie Gibbs