Car Insurance for Restoring a Car

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2016

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Here's what you need to know...

  • You need liability insurance on your classic car if you drive it on public roads
  • If you do not drive your car, but want to cover it for other possible damages, you may still want to purchase some insurance coverage
  • Many companies offer special coverage options for classic cars

You need car insurance on a vehicle you are restoring if you drive it on public roads.

Since many car owners never actually drive their classic cars on the road but prefer to show the cars off to friends and family, liability coverage is not usually necessary.

Of course, even if you never drive your restored car on public roads, insuring it against other damage may still be a good idea.

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Does a car that never leaves my garage require car insurance?

 image source

Image Source

First, let’s consider liability, which is the only coverage that is legally required in most states.

Liability insurance protects others from damages you inflict in an automobile accident. This coverage affects other people; If you drive a vehicle at all, you are responsible for the damages you may inflict to others.

If you never drive your restored car out on public roads, then you are not obligated to purchase liability insurance.

Some classic or restored cars don’t even have working engines, so liability coverage is pointless.

Why should I buy car insurance for a vehicle I am restoring?

If you are restoring a vehicle, then in all likelihood it has some monetary value. If that is the case, then you want to protect it with some insurance.

You have a couple of options when it comes to insurance for a vehicle that isn’t being driven.

  1. You can buy coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy that covers your vehicle as well. This is an excellent option if you are storing the vehicle in your garage at home. If, however, you are storing your vehicle at a storage facility, then this type of coverage will not be of much help.
  2. You can purchase comprehensive coverage to cover your vehicle if it is damaged in a situation other than a collision. This includes if it is stolen or damaged by inclement weather.

You will want to ensure that the car insurance company from which you purchase your vehicle understands that the car is being stored to help keep your rates down.

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Does a car that occasionally leaves the garage require insurance coverage?

Many car owners want to drive their restored masterpiece, whether they take it out for a test spin, personally transport it to a show, drive in the annual classic car parade, or modify the engine in some way.

If you drive on public roads, then you will be required to have some form of liability insurance.

Just because liability insurance is required in your state does not mean that you have to pay full-time rates. If you own a classic car, then you probably only drive the car a few times every year.

Instead of signing up for a traditional coverage policy, try asking your insurance agent or representative for special coverage.

Compare, Research, & Examine Your Options


If you decide you need insurance coverage on your restored car, your best bet is to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies to find the best price and coverage options.

Be sure to check for price quotes on second-car discounts, loyal customer discounts, and other options.

Enter your zip code below to start searching for insurance coverage for your restored car today!

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