We do love to insure a classic car and have been doing so for over 30 years. Whilst the motor car was not invented in Britain, for many decades we produced many of the most famous makes and sold them around the world. Few of those manufacturers still exist. One that does but now under Chinese ownership is MG but most think of MG as a British sportscar manufacturer. The best-known MG model is the MGB in Roadster (soft top) and GT (hard top) guises.

MG cars had their roots as a 1920s sales promotion of Morris Garages, a retail sales and service centre in Oxford belonging to William Morris. The business’s manager, Cecil Kimber, modified standard production Morris Oxfords and added MG Super Sports to the plate at the nose of the car. A separate MG Car Company Limited was incorporated in July 1930. It remained Morris’s personal property until 1 July 1935.

But what constitutes a “classic” MG? DVLA lays down strict rules about what they consider to be what they call “Historic”, which is a car registered prior to 1st January 1982 (at the time of writing) but insurance companies do have differing views. Some will consider classic status from 15 years old; others require cars to be over 25. Exemptions may apply in the case of particularly rare models or cars which have a special history – perhaps celebrity-owned. Most examples of what people think of when MG is mentioned do qualify. Some cars that purists may dismiss as simply “badge-engineered” such as the MG Metro, Maestro, Montego and X-Power do have quite a following. I drove an MG Montego Turbo briefly as a company car and really flew although I was much less enamoured of the talking dashboard.

MGs continue to be popular as they are generally easy to maintain with parts readily available, many specialists across the world and several active and supportive clubs. They are also – particularly the B & BGT – easy to modify either for competition or road use. A popular modification for the B is upgrading the standard 1798cc engine to 1950cc. Our insurers are generally happy to offer cover for sensibly modified cars.

MG cars include:

And what is “classic insurance”? Essentially, it is pretty much like normal car insurance with the added benefit of an agreed value should your vehicle be stolen or damaged beyond economical repair. For most cars, our insurers will agree a value based on a photo array – all four sides (must show registration plate), engine bay and interior. For higher values or where the insurer cannot agree a value based on photographs, a valuation from a car club – most marque clubs offer a valuation service – a dealer or other expert can be provided. However, the valuer must not be someone who has worked on the vehicle themselves – vested interest and all that. Without an agreed value, the car can be treated as just an old vehicle and valued pretty much as scrap.

Most of our classic insurer partners will allow for vehicles to be repaired at a garage of the owners’ choice – subject to being able to agree costs. Where a car is “written-off”, the agreed value is paid but generally the owner can purchase the salvage if required.

Commonly, the classic vehicle insured must not be the only vehicle in the family. There must be a “daily driver.” There is always a maximum annual mileage – anything from 1,000 to 5,000 generally and driving is restricted to named persons. Classic car policies do not accrue no-claim discounts, mainly because the premiums are too low to warrant them. On the other hand, having a claim means not losing any bonus. A garage or other secure building is preferred but insurers will consider – for most vehicles – secure off-road parking on the customers’ own land. Cover can include use for wedding hire and classic rallies but not for competitive racing. Cover for overseas use – what used to be called “Green Card” – is normally included free of charge.

Cars not in current use or being restored can be insured on an off-road basis – a garage or secure building being essential – but valuation can be difficult, especially if the car is in pieces. We did once insure an Aston Martin V8S in five separate places, which is now in one piece, very beautiful and insured for £350,000. Cover does not apply for damage incurred whilst the vehicle is being worked on, so you need to be careful with that welding torch.

In addition to genuine MGs, there are several replicas, recreations and “continuations” – mostly of excellent quality and significant value. We have insurers who will consider insuring these on a “classic” basis.

Some of our staff have over 25 years of experience in providing insurance for classic vehicles and can provide the best independent advice available. Please call us on 01442 242400 or visit our website www.aicinsure.co.uk/classic


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