You inherited a classic car. Now what?

Inheriting a classic car is an exciting and unique experience, one that comes with a unique set of responsibilities.

This guide aims to provide you with valuable insights on how to maintain and insure your newly inherited car so it remains valuable - and a source of joy.

Storing your classic car: tips for preservation

  • Control its climate - Classic cars are susceptible to extreme temperatures and humidity. Store your car in a climate-controlled garage or warehouse with a controlled climate, if possible.
  • Cover and protect - Use a car cover to shield your classic car from dust, sunlight, and other potential sources of damage.
  • Elevate or rotate tires - To prevent flat spots on the tires, periodically elevate or rotate them.
  • Keep it charged - If the car is not driven frequently, consider using a battery maintainer to prevent battery drain.

Maintaining your classic car: essential steps

  • Find a qualified mechanic -  Look for a mechanic who specializes in classic cars. They will have the expertise to handle unique maintenance needs.
  • Inspect regularly - Schedule routine inspections, including fluid checks, to identify potential issues and address them promptly.
  • Drive it occasionally - Classic cars are meant to be driven. Regularly taking your car for a short drive helps keep the engine and other components properly lubricated.

Valuating a classic car: research and expertise

  • Research and document - Gather information about the make, model, year, condition, and any significant historical or ownership details of the car. This information will help you determine its value accurately.
  • Consult appraisers - Contact professional appraisers who specialize in classic cars to help get an accurate valuation. They consider various factors, including market demand, rarity, condition, and historical significance.
  • Learn the market - Explore online platforms, classic car auctions, and classifieds to see how similar cars are priced, to get a better understanding of the current market value.

Insuring a classic car: what you'll need

  • Agreed value coverage - Classic car insurance policies often offer "agreed value" coverage, which ensures that you receive a predetermined amount in the event of a total loss. This value is mutually agreed upon by you and the insurance company.
  • Mileage restrictions - Some insurance policies may impose mileage restrictions on classic cars. Understand these limitations and ensure you comply with them.
  • Documentation - Provide your insurance company with appraisal reports, photographs, maintenance records, and any other relevant information that proves the value and condition of your classic car.

Talk to your independent insurance agent to get started. If you don't have an agent, we can help you find one.


Additional considerations

  • Legal requirements - Make sure you understand the legal requirements for owning and operating a classic car where you live, including registration, emissions testing, and any specific regulations for classic vehicles.
  • Restoration and customization - If the car you inherited requires restoration or if you want to customize it, research reputable restoration shops or specialists who can help you achieve your vision while preserving the car's authenticity and value.
  • Car clubs and communities - Engaging with enthusiasts in car clubs or online communities can provide valuable support and advice. These groups often organize events, rallies, and gatherings where you can showcase and share your newly inherited classic car.
  • Heritage and documentation - If your car has sentimental value or a rich history within your family, consider documenting its story. Gather any historical photographs, ownership records, or anecdotes that can be preserved and passed down to future generations. 
  • Enjoying your new acquisition - While it's important to preserve the condition and value of a classic car, don't forget to actually drive it! Take the time to go for leisurely drive, participate in classic car events, and consider entering it in vintage car shows to showcase its beauty and craftsmanship.

Owning a classic car comes with responsibilities to keep it looking good and running well. But it's also about appreciating the legacy, craftsmanship, and joy that comes with being a keeper of automotive history.

Following the guidelines outlined in this article can help ensure that your newly inherited classic car is well-preserved, maintained, and protected, allowing you to enjoy its timeless beauty for years to come.


All products are underwritten by The Hanover Insurance Company or one of its insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates (“The Hanover”). Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions and is subject to the company underwriting guidelines and the issued policy. This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage. For more information about The Hanover visit our website at