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Classic cars are beautiful pieces of machinery that drivers and avid collectors admire. But what makes a car a classic? The answer can differ from person to person, with some offering different criteria than others. It could be based on key qualities, qualifications, or it depends on the vehicle’s age while others look at a car’s make, model, the engine, or the mileage. However,  lenders, insurers, and experts have a much more precise way of defining what makes a car a classic. 

Age Matters

One criterion most can agree on when deciding if a car is a classic is how old it is. Simply put, classic cars are older. The older the car is, the better chance it will have of being considered a classic. Many experts and enthusiasts can agree that a car should be able to withstand the test of time before it stands a chance of ever being considered a classic. Never believe the car magazines saying a car is an “instant classic”. Before it can hold such a title, it needs to be old. 

What is Old Enough?

Age isn’t just a number when it comes to classic cars. There are experts in organizations that specialize in classic cars that have a range that definitions in terms of age. For instance, The Antique Automobile Club of America which was founded in 1935 says a classic automobile has to be more than 25 years old. According to The Classic Car Club of America, to be a classic car the vehicle can be either American or foreign built but must be produced between 1915 and 1948. 

Classics to Lenders and Insurers

Lenders and insurers will hold classic cars up to a different standard. A major insurer for classic and antique vehicles such as the Hagerty Group, will not consider a car a classic because of how it is being used. For example, if it is used for off-roading, driven daily or for commercial purposes, and motorcycles with performance modifications. There are lenders that choose not to deal classic cars and some who specialize in this type of loan. Each company will have their own way of defining what a classic car is.