What Are the Differences Between a Vintage Car and a Classic Car?

It isn’t clear to many what a classic car may be and what sets it apart from vintage cars. People often use the car terms interchangeably when labeling old cars that seem as if the cars do not belong on the roads with all the modern vehicles.  

While many people usually have no idea how to use these two terms properly when describing “old” cars, there are some criteria agreed upon by experts on what makes a vehicle vintage or classic. 

Car Age

Vintage cars are generally older than classic cars. The label “classic car” applies to automobiles aging more than twenty years. On the other hand, a car is called a “vintage car” when manufactured between 1919 and 1930, technically from the early days of motoring.

It is essential to note that cars that underwent modification can be considered neither classic nor vintage. 

Insurance Coverage

Car insurance also varies on what type of collector car you own. The coverage is different for classic and vintage cars. The good news is, car collectors can still avail of Agreed Value Insurance and lower premium insurances, even though your vehicle is not licensed to have a historical designation. 

A historical designation or status is a term ensured by the state for cars aged at least 25 years. Note that the state will not consider your vehicle a classic nor vintage if it underwent some modifications and is substantially changed. If your car meets the historical status criteria of the state, a “Historical Vehicle” will be placed on its license plates, under or next to its plate number. 

Keep in mind that insurance companies may have varying guidelines for describing classic and vintage cars. So before availing of insurances for your collector cars, get a copy of the company’s policies and regulations to have an idea about the qualifications and coverage. 

Cost of Maintenance

classic cars in a museum, numerous cars lining up, mint-green-colored Ford classic

It is essential to know that maintaining a classic car is different from maintaining a vintage car. Since classic vehicles are younger, it is easy to find and get spare parts. The rarer the automobile, the harder it would be to obtain spares and, of course, a skillful mechanic to fix them. 

Price Worth 

When it comes to the car’s worth, vintage cars certainly costs more than classic vehicles. One of the main components of the pricing is the age of the vehicle. Classic and vintage cars are expensive since they are rare. Almost everything desirable and rare could cost a lot of money. 

Other factors that could affect the value of a collector’s car are the vehicle’s manufacturer, original condition, vehicle mileage, and car color. Cars that are in demand will also cost a lot of money to acquire. However, as long as you have a tight grasp on all the factors mentioned above, negotiating the car’s worth will be so much easier.

The value of a road-ready classic vehicle ranges from 20,000 dollars to 35,000 dollars. In contrast, vintage cars may cost so much more. These cars may cost you millions of dollars. 

What Cars are Considered Classic or Vintage?

BMW M3, car in a yellow metallic color, car parked along the road

As time passes, the age that defines what makes a car classic makes other vehicles ruled out for the status while making other cars eligible. Many automobiles from year 1960s that were considered classics now drifted off to an older category, making room for the new classic cars from the 1980s to 90s. 

Because of this, the growth of the demand for classic vehicles in the market has grown so much. Cars that entered the classic car market include Nissan Skylines, BMW M3s, Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari Testarossa, supercars, and touring cars of the era. Car enthusiasts dreaming of getting a hold of vehicles like them could now buy their classic dream cars. 

On another note, within the classification of vintage cars are the vehicles from the early age, mainly known as the Brass Era. They named this period for the brass fittings once used as radiators or lights for the cars manufactured between 1896 and 1915. The demand for the Brass Era vehicles in the market is still extreme until now. 

Examples of cars that are considered vintage are the Ford Model T, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Packard, Lincoln, Cadillac, and Duesenberg. These vintage cars receive a lot of enthusiasm from car collectors in the market. Their value may cost as much as 10 million dollars, but you can undoubtedly buy other models like the Ford Model T for less than 10,000 dollars. 

Classic, vintage, and other collector vehicles still remain iconic despite the booming of many modern cars in today’s time. Their delicate designs, high-quality engineering standards, and excellent workmanship make these cars stand out in the market. Although it requires a lot of money and a significant amount of legwork, classic and vintage vehicles are definitely worth the investment.