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How Old is a Classic Car: The Ultimate Guide!

  • Cars Explained
  • Gerard Stevens
  • 7 minutes

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If you’re a car collector, you’ll always be on the hunt for classic rides! Well, the fact is simple – unlike other cars, these are older and increase in value over time. Since these cars are not typical, you may have to research well if you’re planning to buy one. Since terms like classic, antique, or vintage can confuse you, you must know how old is a classic car to buy the right one. 

How old should it be? The answer varies based on how the insurers, car collecting clubs, and a state DMV or BMV define it. 

Find your ideal classic car insurance via Way.com


How old does a classic car have to be?  

There can be a lot of misconceptions about what is a classic car and what distinguishes it from a vintage or antique car. There is no specific definition of what a classic car is. Usually, a car may be classified as a ‘classic car’ if it is 20-25 years older, depending on your state. It contrasts the insurers’ criteria, which consider cars aged between 25-30 years old and of interest to collectors under this category. But according to The Classic Car Club of America, the cars built between 1915 and 1948 come under this category. Vintage cars are at least 25 or older, and antique cars are at least 45.  

Some famous examples are the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427, 1967 Ford Mustang, 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, 1973 Ford Bronco, 1987 Buick Grand National GNX, 1979 Dodge Charger R/T, etc.  

Are 20-year-old cars classics? 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a car under this category must be at least 25-30 years old for insurance and registration requirements. If you’re going to register and insure it as a classic, you should stick to the original design and specifications.  

Also read: What is a Restomod? 

Are 25-year-old cars classics? 

The most standard criteria for classifying your car under this category is that it should be at least 20-25 years old or older. For a car to be termed ‘antique,’ it must have been manufactured before 1975. Antique cars are often 45 years or older. 

How old is a modern classic car?

a classic car in America

It will be easier to define them. Any car with a following manufactured throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s comes under this category.

Are these cars worth the money?

Yes. Though they require high maintenance compared to other cars, they gain value over time. Ideally, the right one will be worth several millions of dollars.  

How much should you spend on these cars? 

These are available in a variety of prices and conditions. You can buy a near-mint Ford Model T for $10,000-$15,000. Ideally, spending more money upfront will save you a lot of money throughout the car’s life. 

What increases the value of a classic car? 

It is the restoration quality that matters. The value might increase if you restore it properly using the original parts and improving its appearance and performance. Collectors won’t acknowledge the deal if the restoration is unprofessional and disorganized.  

Is it OK to daily drive a classic car?


Yes, you may use one for your daily drive. If you plan to use the car frequently, it must be roadworthy, typically requiring additional maintenance and repair. 

How often do you drive a classic car? 

Ideally, the best thing you can do is to drive regularly – at least once a month. One of the most serious problems with these cars is that the owners rarely use them. So, if you leave the car in the garage for a long time, the seals and rubber components might dry out and cause leaks. 

How many classic cars are left? 

According to Hagerty, over five million cars are currently in the US.  

What is the longest classic car? 

It is ‘The American Dream,’ manufactured in 1986 in Burbank, California, by legendary car customizer Jay Ohrberg. It then measured 18.28 meters, had 26 wheels, and had two V8 engines at the front and rear. Ohrberg lengthened the limo to an incredible 30.5 meters (100 feet) later.  

How many miles should a classic car have? 

Although not all insurers set a mileage limit, most collector cars must be driven less than 5,000 miles yearly to maintain their value. So, plan to drive them regularly if you’re an owner.  

How old does a car need to be for classic insurance? 

Ideally, insurers consider cars 25-30 years old under this category. You must restore the vehicles to good condition to qualify for the insurance. The following conditions may stop an insurer from providing you with insurance.  

  • Your car has a terrible mechanical condition and is unsafe to drive. 
  • The vehicle became damaged in any way. 
  • You use the car primarily for off-road use. 

Since each insurer has different criteria for pricing, getting many quotes is always a good idea. If you plan to buy one, understand that classic car insurance costs less than you imagine. And you can even get a cheaper insurance policy. 

That’s where Way.com helps you. Use our website or app to obtain quotes from classic car insurers in your area. Compare all the quotes and buy a policy with the lowest quote. Save big on your insurance policy today! 


How old is a classic car in PA? 

In Pennsylvania, the car must be 25 years or older.  

How old is a classic car in Ohio? 

It must be 25 years old and owned as a collector’s piece. The owner must use it for participation in club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades, and other similar functions. 

How old is a classic car in Texas? 

In Texas, it must be at least 25 years old.  

How old is a classic car in Nevada? 

The car should be at least 25 years old with no modification before registration.  

How old is a classic car in Rhode Island? 

It should be at least 25 years old. It should undergo complete inspection and be used for parades, exhibitions, club activities, and similar functions. 

How old is a classic car in Florida? 

It should be at least 30 years old to get classified as one in Florida.  

Chevrolet impala car
Image by Robert Balog from Pixabay

How old is a classic car in Idaho? 

It should be at least 30 years old. The owner shouldn’t modify or use it for regular or commercial transport.  

How old is a classic car in Maine? 

It should be at least 25 years old.  

How old is a classic car in NJ? 

It should be at least 25 years old. You must renew the registration every three years and possess valid minimum insurance coverage.  

How old is a classic car in Michigan? 

The car must be at least 26 years old. It must be a collector car with a valid historic license plate. 

How old is a classic car in MN? 

In Minnesota, you can see classic car license plates on cars manufactured between and including the years 1925-1948. 

How old is a classic car in Indiana? 

It should be at least 25 years old and have a valid historic license plate.  

How old is a classic car in Illinois? 

It should be at least 25 years old. You can only drive it to and from an antique auto event, exhibition, service station, etc.  

How old is a classic car in CT? 

A classic car in Connecticut must be at least 20 years old.   

Who has the world’s largest classic car collection?


The Sultan of Brunei has the largest collection, with around 7,000 cars estimated worth $5 billion.  

Are these cars bad for the environment? 

While these cars contribute only a small portion of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from all vehicles worldwide, they still negatively impact the ecosystem.  

Look no further than Way.com for all your car-related needs. Whether you want to find cheap parking spots, affordable auto insurance, home insurance, and refinancing quotes, we’ve got you covered. We also help you find the nearest car wash and EV charging station and even get you discounts on your gas purchase.


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