Understanding The Difference Between Classic, Antique, And Vintage Cars

Three key factors can help you distinguish between these cars.
09-Mar-22 08:19 PM IST
Understanding The Difference Between Classic, Antique, And Vintage Cars banner
Highlights
  • These rare vehicles are the envy of all car buffs.
  • You can find some real gems for cheap prices if you go looking for them.
  • Here's how you can distinguish between the three types.

Classic, antique and vintage may sound like the same thing but they aren't. There are various distinctions between these three types of cars. There are basically three aspects that you need to consider when you're trying to distinguish between them. This guide should definitely help you classify them correctly. Let's take a look at what you need to know in order to understand the difference between classic, antique, and vintage cars in today's times.

Age

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The first key difference between classic, vintage and antique cars is their age. Just like the age of any car affects its price, the case with old cars is also the same. A vintage car is an extremely old car that can date back to the early years of four-wheeler vehicles. In that sense, you can refer to any car manufactured between 1919 and 1930 as a vintage car. An antique typically belongs to the late-twentieth-century and is manufactured in the decades before and after 1975. As for a classic car, it is any car manufactured between 1975-2000.

Status in India

India, until recently, did not have legal classification for old cars, which made registration and re-registration of such cars difficult. Recently the transport ministry mandated an amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act that stated that any car older than 50 years would be classified as a vintage car if it has not incurred any major modifications to its body over the years. There is so separate classification by Indian government for antique or classic cars. But a recent scrappage policy announced by the government has made classic car owners a tad worried. The government plans to de-register all personal cars older than 20 years by June 1, 2024. At which point, these classic cars will have to undergo a fitness test, following which they may be scrapped if they fail this test. Furthermore, the re-registration cost for such cars which do pass the fitness test will be 8 times higher for private cars.  

Price

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Only the price of the car cannot be grounds for determining a vintage, classic or antique car. However, it can certainly help find out how valuable and desirable such a vehicle is. For instance, the make and model's rarity, as well as its desirability and demand by consumers, its condition, quality of restoration, and mileage, are the various factors responsible for putting a price on the vehicle. Because the conditions of cars, as well as the atmosphere in the market conditions itself, tends to vary so heavily, there is no one definitive authority on determining collector car values.

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Now that you know the difference between vintage, antique and classic cars, you should find it very easy to distinguish between them. This way, if you ever stumble upon a machine from the past that grabs your heart, you will find it will be a simple enough job for you to negotiate the purchase.

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