We do love a classic car and have been insuring them 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 but we do have a particular love of the Jaguar marque. We are in the course of restoring a 1951 XK120, which will be in regular use.

The first car to wear the Jaguar badge was the 1935 SS Jaguar 2.5l Saloon and it was one of the most distinctive and beautiful cars of the pre-war era. SS Cars became Jaguar after WWII as “SS” had awkward connotations and the first Jaguar car was the XK120 which went on to become an automotive icon thanks to its stunning design. The next notable Jaguar model was the C‑type, followed by the D‑type, with its signature tail fin. The 1960s gave us the E-type and when it was first launched at Geneva in 1961 it was an instant success. I had the immense privilege of sitting in the Geneva Motor Show car, 77RW, when I visited Gaydon last year. The task of replacing the iconic E‑type fell to Malcolm Sayer. His XJ-S was even more aerodynamic than its predecessor, thanks to its flying buttress C-pillars and concave rear window. Not universally liked at the outset, the XJ-S seems to have grown on people and values are on the rise.

The list of Jaguar cars is extensive (see below), and I cannot think of any that I would not happily have in my garage. I have owned an XJ6 2.9; XKR 3.6; XJ-S 4.0 (a rare manual) and my wife had a TWR XJ-S 7.0 V12 (7 mpg and got through a set of rear tyres in less than 1,000 miles. I never liked to ask why).

  • Jaguar 2½ Litre (1935 – 1955)
  • Jaguar 3½ Litre (1937 – 1948)
  • Jaguar Mark V (1948 – 1951)
  • Jaguar Mark VII (1951 – 1957)
  • Jaguar Mark VIII (1957 – 1959)
  • Jaguar Mark IX (1959 – 1961)
  • Jaguar Mark X (1961 – 1966)
  • Jaguar 420G (1966 – 1970)
  • Jaguar XJ6 (1, 2, 3) (1968 – 1987)
  • Jaguar XJ12 (1972 – 1992)
  • Jaguar XJ6 (XJ40) (1986 – 1994)
  • Jaguar XJ12 (XJ81) (1993 – 1994)
  • Jaguar XJ6 & XJ12 (1995 – 1997)
  • Jaguar XJ8 (X308) (1998 – 2003)
  • Jaguar 1½ Litre (1935 – 1949)
  • Jaguar Mark 1 (1955 – 1959)
  • Jaguar Mark 2 (1959 – 1967)
  • Jaguar S-type (1963 – 1968)
  • Jaguar 420 (1966 – 1968)
  • Jaguar 240 & 340 (1966 – 1968)
  • Jaguar S-type (1999 – 2008)
  • Jaguar X-type (2001 – 2009)
  • Jaguar XK120 (1948 – 1954)
  • Jaguar XK140 (1954 – 1957)
  • Jaguar XK150 (1957 – 1961)
  • Jaguar E-Type (1961 – 1974)
  • Jaguar XJ-S (1975 – 1996)
  • Jaguar XJ220 (1992 – 1994)
  • Jaguar XK8 (X100) (1997 – 2006)
  • Jaguar XKR (X100) (1997 – 2006)

But what constitutes a “classic” Jaguar? 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.

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.

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 manage to insure an Aston Martin V8S in five separate places, which is now in one piece, very beautiful and insured for £350,000. Cover also 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 Jaguars, there are a number of 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

Talk to one of our friendly consultants to assess your needs and find a bespoke insurance solution to suit your business.

01442 24 24 00

7 High St, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 3AA