When is a car a classic car?

According to the market research company BBE automotive, young and classic car enthusiasts had exactly 2.418.775 youngtimers between 20 and 29 years of age and 675.005 classic cars with a proud age of more than 30 years registered in germany.

But when does a car actually become a youngtimer, how long does it retain this status and when does my car become a classic car?? Is the difference between youngtimers and oldtimers determined by connoisseurs on the basis of their appearance or is the official distinction between classic cars based on their age, type of use and classification?? You can find out more about when we start talking about youngtimers and when we start talking about oldtimers in our guide.

This guide article provides general information on the subject of oldtimers and youngtimers. You can find more detailed product information on the classic car insurance product page.

Table of contents

youngtimer and oldtimer are taxed the same way.

Classic cars – when does a vehicle receive the popular classic status??

When does a car become a youngtimer?
A youngtimer is a car that has reached the age of 20 years.

When does a car become a classic car?
If the date of the first registration of a vehicle is a proud 30 years ago, the car is called a classic car.

When does a motorcycle become a classic car??
Motorcycles are also considered to be oldtimers when they reach 30 years of age.

What is the difference between oldtimers and youngtimers??

There is no difference between youngtimer and vintage vehicles only in the date of their first registration. In addition to age, there is a difference between oldtimers and youngtimers in the way they are used and their classification. Basically, youngtimer cars have to fulfill far fewer requirements than oldtimers in order to be classified and registered as such.

Year of manufacture and age of the vehicles

When a car reaches the age of 20 years, it is called a youngtimer. From the age of 30, the car loses its youngtimer status and has real oldtimer potential. The decisive factor for this classification as old and youngtimer is the age of the vehicle date of first registration, not necessarily the year of construction. This is considered the cut-off date and must be at least 20 years in the past for a youngtimer and at least 30 years in the past for a classic car.

As of 2019, vehicles that were first registered for road use in 2004 can therefore be classified as youngtimers. All vehicles that were on the road as early as 1989 qualify for classic car status. By the way, not only cars but also motorcycles fall under this categorization.

Type of use of classic cars

Owners who take their classic cars to a large classic car meeting to show off their magnificent vehicle and meet like-minded people usually cause a stir in road traffic and attract a few glances. Because it does not happen too often that an oldie meets us on the way home. There is also a reason for this: if oldtimers are registered as such with a special license plate, the vehicles are subject to certain conditions regarding their use.

classic cars are not intended for everyday driving. In addition to trips to oldtimer meetings and oldtimer rallies, classic cars with red classic car license plates are finding their way out of the garage for test drives and to get to the workshop.

Fewer people are likely to look around for a youngtimer because, like newer cars, they can also be used in everyday life and we therefore encounter them more often. With increasing age, however, youngtimers will also become more conspicuous at some point in time.

Collector’s value of youngtimers vs. Official status as a classic car

In contrast to oldtimers, youngtimers have only a collector’s value and are therefore, at least at an age between 20 and 30 years, not subject to any special requirements to get a registration. Because an official youngtimer registration does not exist. In order to leave the vehicle registration office with a classic car registration, however, some requirements must be met.

But when does a car qualify as a classic car again?? Not every old car may be officially classified as a classic car. Some cars are over 30 years old, but do not meet the appropriate criteria for their owners to proudly call them oldtimers. Because to get a vehicle registration as a classic car, there are strict requirements. Among the requirements:

  • Passed classic car inspection
  • Original condition resp. True to original
  • Passed main inspection
  • Use for the preservation of "motor vehicle cultural heritage

The original condition of your classic car or the original contemporary condition after a classic car restoration must be checked by an expert, depending on the value of the vehicle.

Do you want a classic car with a market value from 10.000 with helvetia, a self-assessment with detailed photos is sufficient. Acceptance by a valuer is not required. With a value of up to 80.000 € a short assessment is due regarding the worthiness of preservation, which can be done for example by classicdata. If the market value of the oldtimer exceeds 80.000 €, a detailed full appraisal by an expert must be carried out.

Apart from the originality, the last due main inspection must have been passed. Special requirements for oldtimers compared to youngtimers are with regard to the use of the vehicle. While youngtimers can be used in everyday life, as long as they are not insured at a classic car rate, classic cars should serve the preservation of "motor vehicle cultural heritage" and should therefore only be exported on special occasions. These include, for example, classic car meetings and classic car rallies, but also trips to the workshop for necessary repairs and test drives.

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