12 February, 2018

Classic, Veteran and Vintage Car? What’s the difference?

Have you ever wondered what classifies a car as a Classic, Vintage and Veteran? We have.

In this article, we will be exploring what requirements a car needs to be in order to be classified as either one. This has taken us from the HMRC right down to the drivers themselves.

Kicking off our investigation will be Veteran Cars.

What is a Veteran Car?

A Veteran Car is simply a car which was built before the First World War (up to 1918). In our feature on British Manufacturers, you’ll be able to see examples of Veteran Cars. Here are some examples of Veteran Cars.

  • Peugeot Type 3 – One of the oldest cars to be road-worthy after first being created in the early 1890’s.
  • Hay Motor Car – created in 1898, the Hay Motor Car said to not need oil or water to run the car. It’s also incorrectly known as the Hay & Hotchkiss.
  • Vauxhall A719 980cc – One of the first Vauxhall made with an extremely rare A719 being auctioned off in 2012.
  • Spyker 14/18 – Entered into a 15,000km race from Peking to Paris and came 2nd after 6 months.

What is a Vintage Car?

Moving on to what is somewhat straightforward are Vintage Cars. Now, what’s important to remember here is that there are Vintage Cars and Post-Vintage Cars.

Cars which are Vintage were manufactured between 1919 and 1930.  Examples of Vintage Cars are:

  • Aston International - Widely regarded as one of the best light sports cars of its time and called ‘International’ to be in line with Aston Martin’s racing efforts.
  • Rolls Royce Phantom – Replaced the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and the original of an iconic series beginning in 1925 and featuring 8 different generations.
  • MG 14/40 – The 40 came from the proposed engine output which was in line with other cars of that time.
  • Alfa Romeo RL – Just 2,500 were built with very few remaining today. They were originally designed for racing but changes in the sporting regulations forced a change to a road car instead.

What is a Post-Vintage Car?

Post-Vintage cars were manufactured between 1931 and 1945. Examples of post-Vintage cars are:

  • SS Jaguar 100 – The 100 came from its theoretical maximum speed of 100mph. It’s a 2-seater sport which was the answer to the SS 90 which had everything apart from performance.
  • Bentley Mark V – production was short-lived due to the outbreak of WW2 but seven till remain today
  • Morgan 4/4 – Morgan’s first venture into the family market with their first car featuring 4 wheels.
  • Bugatti Type 57 – just over 700 of these were produced and were able to reach speeds of up to 120mph.

What is a Classic Car?

This is where it gets really fun because a classic car can be considered many things. To get a definitive answer we did some research.

  • DVLA – The Government announced that vehicles which are 40 years of age as of the 1st April of the present year are considered ‘Classic’ and exempt from Road Tax. What this means is that Vehicles built prior to 1977 are considered classic as that is 40 years prior to 2017. From 2018, it will go forward to 1978 and so on.
  • HMRC – The HMRC have taken a different approach and have stated that if a car is at least 15 years old and valued from £15,000 then it’s considered classic.
  • Insurance Companies – they have taken another approach whereby insurance can be obtained for a car which is 10 years old or more. However, it’s recommended to go to a specialist in classic car insurance. One thing that must be mentioned is that different insurers have their own classifications which lead us to our final argument.


What do you think a classic car should be? What are some of your favourite Vintage or Veteran cars? Get involved! Hit the share button and start a conversation. Here are some of our classic car picks.

What could be considered a Classic Car? Here are some of our picks.

  • Jaguar E-Type – Described as one of the most beautiful cars in the world and still adored by car enthusiasts alike all over the world. You can find out more information about the E-Type in our feature on Jaguar here.
  • Aston Martin DB5 – Catapulted to worldwide fame by its appearance in James Bond. You can read more about the story of the DB5 in our feature on Aston Martin here.
  • Ferrari Enzo – Named after their founder, Enzo Ferrari and built using Formula 1 technology. Only 400 of these cars were made.
  • Mini – An icon made famous by the likes of Austin Powers, The Italian Job and Mr. Bean. The iconic Mini is a deserving contender for a Classic Car. Find out more about the Mini here.

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Classic, Veteran and Vintage Car? What’s the difference?
Classic, Veteran and Vintage Car? What’s the difference?
Classic, Veteran and Vintage Car? What’s the difference?