Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Vehicles are commonly considered classic cars if they are at least 30 years old
  • Some classic cars in your area may be listed for approximately $6,000 to $12,000, depending on their condition
  • Classic car insurance rates will vary depending on the type of vehicle you own and the types and amounts of coverage you want to purchase

If you’re interested in purchasing a classic car, you may be wondering how to find the best, most affordable classic cars to own. Truthfully, what qualifies as the best classic car to you may differ from someone else’s opinion, so you need to ensure that you know what you’re looking for before you consider buying a classic car.

Many people want to purchase a classic car that is reasonable regarding the cost of upkeep. If you know you want to acquire a classic car and fix it up to drive around town, maintenance may be very important to you. But you will also want to consider how much you’re willing to pay for classic car insurance on your classic vehicle.

What is a classic car?

Most people agree that a car is considered a classic once it reaches a certain age. But not everyone agrees on what that age should be.

For some, a classic car is any vehicle that is more than 30 years old. However, a traditional classic car in the United States is often a vehicle that is either American or foreign built and was produced only between the years of 1915 and 1948.

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What are the best affordable classic cars?

While it will ultimately depend on your opinion of what a classic car is, there are certain makes and models that are more affordable than others.

Some of the most commonly pursued affordable classic cars in the U.S. include:

  • Porsche 944
  • 1974 Bricklin SV-1
  • 1975 Alpha Romeo Spider
  • 1979 Fiat 124 Spider
  • 1968 Austin-Healey Sprite
  • 1981 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 1971 Lincoln Mark III
  • 1996 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 1994 Jaguar XJS
  • 1976 Rolls-Royce
  • 1978 Lincoln Continental
  • 1988 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 1975 Dodge Charger
  • 1972 International Harvester Pickup
  • 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL
  • 1977 Jeep CJ-5
  • 1975 Cadillac Eldorado

The cars listed above often cost anywhere from $6,000 to $18,000, depending on the vehicle’s mileage and how much work has been done to it. If you know that there’s a specific car you want, it isn’t a bad idea to shop around online and determine if you can find one listed for an affordable price.

You can also check with people who have classic cars for sale and find out if they would be willing to lower their price. In some instances, people would prefer to take a bit less money and sell the vehicle in a timely manner.

Can you find affordable classic muscle cars?

Classic muscle cars are often known for being significantly more expensive than other classic vehicles. But there are a few options in regard to classic muscle cars that may actually be within your budget. Some of the most common classic muscle cars that people consider affordable include:

  • 1970–71 Ford Torino GT and Mercury Cyclone GT
  • 1973 Pontiac GTO and 1973–75 Pontiac Grand Am
  • 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360
  • 1971–75 Ford Maverick Grabber
  • 1974–76 Dodge Dart Sport 360
  • 1979 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 WS6
  • 1985–90 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z and Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
  • 1989 Pontiac 20th Anniversary Trans Am
  • 1993 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra
  • 1994–96 Chevrolet Impala SS
  • 1986–87 Dodge Omni GLH-S

Finding an affordable muscle car may be more difficult than finding any type of classic car. But if you know what you’re looking for, you may have luck searching online for specific makes and models. Regardless of whether you intend to purchase a classic car or specifically a classic muscle car, you will want to ensure that you are carrying the proper car insurance.

What type of car insurance do I need for a classic car?

If you are planning to drive your classic car around town, or even if you merely want to drive it to various car shows, you will need at least the minimum liability coverage required in your state.

It’s always a good idea to purchase coverage to ensure that your car is covered while it’s parked or if you’re in an accident. Furthermore, If you want to obtain full coverage on your classic car, you’ll need to have liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

Some people purchase classic cars but don’t intend to drive them. In that case, you will want to carry at least a comprehensive policy on your classic vehicle. This will help to ensure that your car will be covered if it is vandalized, stolen, or damaged by inclement weather.

The type of coverage you purchase for your vehicle depends on how you intend to use your classic car. But some coverages — particularly full coverage policies — can cost a lot in regard to monthly or annual car insurance rates.

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How much is classic car insurance?

How much you will pay for classic car insurance coverage largely depends on the type of coverage you purchase for your car. In order to find the best insurance policy for your classic car, you may want to shop around online to compare quotes. The table below displays average auto insurance rates for classic cars based on coverage types.

Average Six-Month Classic Car Insurance Rates in Each State Based on Coverage Type
StateFull CoverageComprehensiveCollisionLiability
District of Columbia$798.44$139.94$281.20$377.29
New Hampshire$491.25$66.46$184.45$240.34
New Jersey$829.67$78.81$229.12$521.74
New Mexico$562.55$103.54$166.19$292.82
New York$816.40$102.67$231.01$482.71
North Carolina$473.45$81.65$176.15$215.65
North Dakota$463.98$138.62$146.45$178.91
Rhode Island$782.10$79.31$246.91$455.88
South Carolina$583.86$108.56$159.04$316.25
South Dakota$460.15$154.87$125.15$180.13
West Virginia$615.47$122.57$197.80$295.10
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Before you purchase a classic car, you may want to speak with your auto insurance company to determine if you would be eligible for certain discounts, such as multi-policy or preferred customer, if you were to add a classic car insurance policy.

You should also consider shopping around with other auto insurance companies to discern if you can find more affordable car insurance rates for your classic car.