Can you rent a classic car?
Yes, you can rent a classic car, and classic car rentals are especially popular for events like proms and weddings. However, the process of renting a classic car is different from a regular car rental. You'll need to look for companies specializing in classic car rentals or consider renting from an individual. The types of classic car rentals you'll find can also vary greatly based on your location.
How can I search for a classic car rental?
Most standard rental car companies don't offer classic cars for rent. Instead, you'll need to look for a company that specializes in classic car rentals or a private owner willing to rent you their car.
Classic car rental companies: Specialized rental companies typically offer guarantees on their vehicle's performance or they'll offer a backup vehicle if the car you rent has problems. However, you'll be limited to that company's rental fleet.
Car-sharing services: Classic car owners can list their vehicles for rent on a car-sharing service website, and you can search for the vintage car you want to rent. The car-sharing company facilitates the transaction and many of the details, including financial safeguards for both parties.
Note: Just like a normal rental car company, car-sharing services have minimum age requirements for drivers. Some car-sharing sites make it possible to search for vehicles with a driver included, which can be useful for events or car enthusiasts too young to qualify as a rental driver.
Does location affect classic car rentals?
Unless you're willing to spend a lot of money to get a car brought in from out of town, you'll be limited to the classic cars available to rent in your area. If you have a specific vehicle in mind, you'll have more luck searching for it in a big city. But even in heavily populated areas, climate can limit availability. For instance, DriveShare shows around half as many listings in the New York City area compared to Sacramento, despite New York's much larger population. Classic car maintenance can be complicated and costly, so classics are often kept in regions with year-round mild weather.
How much does it cost to rent a classic car?
When you rent a classic car, expect to pay significantly more than you would for a standard rental due to the higher value of classic cars and their limited availability. Depending on the make and model, you can pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand a day. You can also expect to put down a security deposit of a couple hundred dollars or more.
How do I inspect a classic car rental?
Compared to modern cars, classic cars may not be in perfect condition when you rent them. Even the best-maintained classics may have quirks like difficulty starting in certain conditions or controls unfamiliar to the modern driver.
Before you get in your classic car rental and drive away, ask for an overview of the vehicle, ideally on paper if there are existing damages or issues. You should also find out how to operate any controls you don't recognize, if there are any performance quirks, and how to handle problems that could arise. Inspect the vehicle carefully and take pictures of any imperfections before you drive off.
Insurance for classic car rentals
Your car insurance can typically cover car rentals with the same coverage limits you have for your car. However, depending on the classic car you rent and your current auto coverages, you may want to purchase additional protection just for your rental. If so, ask the rental agency or car-sharing service about the rental car insurance they offer before you book.