When does a car count as Veteran, Vintage, Classic or Modern Classic?

National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire
People often ask the difference between a Veteran, Vintage or Classic car, so to help, here are definitions taken from the Beaulieu web site.


  • Veteran - officially a car made up to and including December 1918.
  • Vintage - officially a car made between 1919 and 1930. Although the term is often used to describe any car made before World War 2.  
  • Classic - generally any car that is no longer in production that is still popular. For classic car events organised by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) eligibility is set at 20 years. Generally this term is applied to cars from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.  
  • Modern Classics - a number of cars are being referred to as modern classics. These tend to be iconic sports cars from some of the classic marques that people believe stand out enough to be classics. Examples include: Ferrari Enzo; Jaguar XK8R; Aston Martin DB7 and DB9. 
  • Oldtimer - in some European countries classic cars are referred to as Oldtimers, notably: Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland.  
  • Exotic - in the USA foreign sports cars are often referred to as exotic cars, but this is normally reserved for more modern sports cars and they still use the term classic to mean the same as in the UK.


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