BUSINESS USE OF A CLASSIC CAR

Using your classic to earn a few extra pennies can have implications for your insurance.

The good news is that many brokers allow a small amount of paid work as part of a typical policy, though you need to be clear about where the limits lie.

Wedding bells

Most classic car owners will be asked to involve their car in a wedding at some point. If you’re doing it as a favour to a friend or family member, that’s fine – its included in the ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ category of use.

The crucial phrase is ‘For hire or reward.’ In other words, if you get paid for it, you need to tell your insurers. But don’t assume it will cost you extra.

‘You can extend your policy to cover you for a small number of paid weddings every year,’ says Andy Fairchild of Footman James.

‘We offer free cover for ten paid weddings a year, but even paying a small fee to extend the cover is usually worthwhile. You’ll need to notify the insurer in advance of each wedding to make certain that cover is in place.’

For those whose hobby is turning into a fully-fledged business, there are separate wedding hire business policies.

On film, on screen or a night on the town?

Insurers find it very difficult to cover TV and film shoots.

‘It’s usually impossible to predict the exact circumstances, or what you’ll be required to do with your classic,’ says Andy Fairchild. ‘Therefore we can’t often cover it. Neither do we cover still photography, for example for fashion shoots – there are too many unknown factors.’

Ask the producer or the agency that books you to show evidence of their own insurance before agreeing to any filming work with the car, as it’s the only way you’re likely to be covered.

‘School proms are normally excluded too,’ says Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director of Heritage Classic Car Insurance. ‘That extends to other paid hire work like birthday outings or any other special occasions.’

This isn’t insurers being awkward, it’s due to the law: with the exception of wedding and funeral use, cars and drivers must both be specially licensed by local authorities for paid carriage of passengers.

Any other business? Beware of using your classic for occasional work trips. It might seem insignificant, but it needs specific cover if it falls outside the definition of Social, Domestic and Pleasure. Mark Wilkinson has an example:

‘A teacher may need to go to another school for a meeting, which would need class one business use. We can normally cover this for a small additional premium.’

There’s better news for occasional autojumblers. If you use your classic to transport goods to a show to sell them, it only counts as business use if this trade is your main occupation. For casual participants, it’s sensibly regarded as falling under the heading of ‘pleasure.’

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