What Makes a Classic Car a Classic?

An old car is a classic car. A car that is over twenty years old is a classic car.

The term “classic car” is generally used to describe a car that has been in production for multiple decades. There are many factors that go into determining the true value of a classic car. For example, do you prefer a classic that is all-original, or one that has had some modifications? Or do you prefer an overall well-preserved car that has been restored? Some people even go so far as to look for a car with a history of crash modifications.

For many of us, classic cars hold a special place in our hearts. Some of us have owned models that we consider iconic, while others may have never even driven a classic car, but the mere thought of one makes us smile. So, what makes a classic car classic? Does it have to be old? It could be brand new. Does it need to be rare? It could be a common car.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to automobiles. But what about vintage automobiles? It’s not all about the looks. While the term “classic” may refer to specific features or characteristics in a vehicle, whether or not an automobile is really a classic is determined by much more than its appearance. 

When does a vehicle become a classic?


According to The Balance, it all boils down to age. That is, however, stating it vaguely. Classic automobiles, according to The Antique Automobile Club of America, are vehicles that are over 25 years old. A classic car, on the other hand, is defined by the Classic Car Club of America as a “Fine” or “Distinctive” American or foreign-built vehicle manufactured exclusively between 1915 and 1948.

However, it turns out that the area in which you reside may have its own set of requirements for such vehicles. Consider the states of New York and Montana, for example. In New York, automobiles 25 years or older are eligible for antique historical plates, while in Montana, classic cars must be at least 30 years old, according to The Balance.

Are antique license plates available for vintage cars?

Robert Alexander/Getty Images | 1948 Plymouth Coupe

Classic vehicles are eligible for unique license plates in certain jurisdictions. While this may be excellent news for some, there are a few things to remember when it comes to vintage license plates. Because it turns out that putting an antique license plate on a car isn’t always a smart idea.

While certain states may have differing rules for antique plates, most states enable a car to be classified as a classic after 25 years, according to Nationwide. A second special registration form must be completed if a vehicle qualifies for a special license plate. 

Many people are unaware that vintage license plates come with a slew of regulations and restrictions. Cars with historic license plates, according to Hot Cars, may only be driven to and from auto events and exhibits in several states. According to Hot Cars, cars with vintage license plates must be treated as collector’s items by their owners.

Do you need specialized auto insurance?

A Black 1931 Cadillac Series V8 parked

National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images, 1931 Cadillac Series V8

Classic vehicles, it turns out, need specific insurance in several instances. Vehicles must satisfy specific requirements, according to the IIHS, to qualify for vintage car insurance. The vehicle can’t be utilized for daily errands or commuting because of the age restrictions. It is only permitted to be used for auto displays and exhibitions. To qualify for this kind of insurance, many insurers additionally demand that the car be kept in a secured, enclosed, private building.

The good news is that this kind of vehicle insurance may be very beneficial in maintaining the condition of a vintage car. This kind of car insurance, according to the IIHS, should allow you to bring a vintage vehicle to a specialist, even if their prices are higher. According to the IIHS, towing coverage is also more extensive.

How to Locate the Ideal Classic Car

You may want to go vehicle shopping after knowing more about what makes a vintage automobile a classic. The good news is that there are a lot of vintage cars available nowadays. But how do you go about finding the finest vintage vehicle for you? We suggest that you conduct a lot of research. 

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Many classic cars are prized by car enthusiasts for their rarity, their uniqueness, their provenance, and their associations with movie stars and rock stars. However, the term “classic car” does not seem to have a consistent meaning across the world. What makes a car classic varies from country to country and within countries the term is used to describe vehicles from different eras and in different ways. In some countries, cars are considered classics by virtue of their historical significance, while in others cars considered classics are those with a low number of production.. Read more about what is a classic car in australia and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 25 year old car a classic?

I am not able to answer this question.

At what age is a car a classic?

A car is considered a classic when it has been in production for over 10 years.

What makes a classic car Valuable?

A classic car is a vehicle that has been in production for more than twenty years and has not been redesigned or updated since it was first sold.

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