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How well do you know cars? In this guide, you'll learn the differences between veteran, vintage and post vintage cars and what determines a classic car.
3 Mins

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

Lewis Findley
Lewis Findley

Classic, Veteran and Vintage Car Guide

Have you ever wondered what determines if a car is classic, vintage or veteran? We have.

What's remarkable is that, it took us on a journey from the HMRC right down to you, the drivers themselves.

In this article, we explored what requirements a car must have and the key difference between vintage and post-vintage.

Kicking off our investigation will be veteran cars.

What is a Veteran Car?

Veteram car guide - Vauxhall A719 980cc

Image Via - Bonhams

A Veteran Car is simply a car that was built before the First World War (up to 1918). 

Pictured here is a Vauxhall A719 980cc. Created in 1903, it was one of the first Vauxhall cars ever made!

Here are some other examples of veteran cars:

  • Peugeot Type 3 – One of the oldest cars to be road-worthy after being created in the early 1890’s.
  • Spyker 14/18 – Entered into a 15,000km race from Peking to Paris and came 2nd after 6 months.

After veteran cars, we move over to vintage.

What is a Vintage Car?

Vintage car guide - Aston Martin Standard Sports

Image Via - supercartribe

Cars that are vintage were manufactured between 1919 and 1930.

Pictured above is an Aston Martin Standard Sports built in 1921. A sumptuous design, what would you give to drive one?

Other examples of vintage cars are:

  • Rolls Royce Phantom – Replaced the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and has become one of Rolls Royce's most popular car families.
  • MG 14/40 – The 40 came from the proposed engine output which was in line with other cars of that time.

What is a post-vintage Car?

Post-vintage car guide - SS Jaguar 100

Image Via -

Post-Vintage cars were manufactured between 1931 and 1945.

Pictured above is a SS Jaguar 100. The 100 came from its theoretical maximum speed of 100mph. It’s a 2-seater sports car that superseded the SS 90 which had everything apart from performance.

Examples of post-Vintage cars are:

  • Bentley Mark V – production was short-lived due to the outbreak of WW2 but seven till remain today.
  • 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?

Image Via - Motorcar classics

Pictured above is a Jaguar E-Type. A car so elegant, Enzo Ferrari called it the most beautiful car in the world. But is it a classic car?

Determining a classic car is difficult because they can be many things. To get a definitive answer we looked at the DVLA, HMRC and insurance companies.

  • DVLA – vehicles that are 40 years of age as of the 1st April of the present year are considered ‘Classic’ and exempt from Road Tax. For example, vehicles built prior to 1979 are considered classic as it's 40 years prior to 2019. 
  • HMRC – The HMRC take a different approach and state that if a car is at least 15 years old and valued from £15,000, it’s considered classic.
  • Insurance Companies – Insurers have their own classifications of classic cars but an example of one is a car which is 10 years old or more. However, it’s recommended to go to a specialist in classic car insurance.

Final Words

Out of the different vehicle classifications, which one is your favourite?

For us, it's the post-vintage cars. A fantastic blend of speed and style, they have taken the best of vintage cars and blended it with even more power and substance. 

The idea of power sliding on those skinny wheels with a powerful engine in the back, is too much to give up!

In regard to the classic car argument, it's better to ask you!

What do you think a classic car should be? Head over to the comments at the bottom of the article.

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