Classic, Vintage or Antique — What’s The Difference?

Author: Jason / Date: October 4, 2022 / Tags: antique

Classic, Vintage or Antique --- What's The Difference?

( – When it comes to older cars, people often think of classics, but not all of them fall into the same category, some are considered antique or vintage. Each of these terms has defining characteristics. Let’s take a deeper look.

Each state sets its own rules regarding what classification a vehicle falls into. However, within the car industry and enthusiast community, the guidelines are pretty straightforward. Any car over 20 years old is considered a classic. A vintage vehicle is typically one manufactured between 1919 and 1930. Antique cars sort of fill in the gap between vintage and classic but must be more than 45 years old. 

Some states, however, only consider a post-1925 vehicle a “classic.” In others, the term antique is one that a vehicle legally earns by adhering to the state’s regulations on the matter, such as keeping the car as original as possible, including paint jobs. In some states, like Louisiana, any car over 25 years old fits into all three categories.

One reason cars need to be classified comes from the insurance industry. Policies that cover “classic cars” have specific requirements regarding how much they can be driven, how old they are and sometimes even where they are stored. Each company will have its own underwriting guidelines, so be sure to shop around if you need this type of coverage.

The truth is that many car enthusiasts have their own personal definitions of each of these classifications, sometimes leading to a bit of confusion. However, there’s one thing they can all agree on — their love for older vehicles.

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