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Hagerty charts the changes in the classic car market

posted on 13/04/2023
Hagerty charts the changes in the classic car market

The latest update of the UK Hagerty Price Guide shows that the world’s most valuable cars continue to become more valuable, and that the young drivers of the ‘80s and ‘90s are reliving their youth and snapping up hot hatchbacks.

Launched in 2012, the Hagerty Price Guide tracks the values of cars from £multi-million exotics to humble hatchbacks, collating the results of auction sales, dealer sales and in some cases private sales, to help build a true picture of the financial value of a car.

Each quarter, the latest valuation data is applied to the Hagerty Price Guide, freely available through Hagerty’s online valuation tool, with 15,000 makes, models and year of vehicles now listed.

Hagerty has formed seven bespoke indices within the Price Guide the first of which is the representative Classic Index, a group of 50 cars selected by Hagerty to best reflect the average UK classic car market, including cars as diverse as the Ford Capri, Datsun 240Z and the Daimler 250 Dart.

The Best of British Index tracks classic British icons, such as the Austin Seven and Land Rover Series I through to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, and the Hot Hatch Index includes the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI MkI and the Renault Clio Williams, a former star of the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market List.

The Italian marque index tracks cars such as the 250 GTO, one of the world’s most valuable cars, right through to the 400i. The Porsche Index includes Porsche models such as the Carrera GT and 911 2.7 RS, through to the 944 and Boxster.

The Gold Index features top collector cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, Ferrari F40 and the very earliest examples of the Jaguar E-type. Finally, in a stark contrast, the Festival of the Unexceptional Index includes household names such as the Ford Cortina and Vauxhall Cavalier to the Austin Montego.

Hagerty has highlighted the key takeaways from the 31st update of the Hagerty UK Price Guide, as follows:

The market was dipping before Covid… but then picked up

Each of the seven different groups of cars followed a similar pattern at first, dipping in value at the end of 2019 but then almost every type of car peaked in value after the lockdown lifted.

The top cars did best…

Hagerty’s Gold Index cars have risen most in percentage terms, taking the lead after a really strong performance in 2022 when some cars – including the Ferrari F40 and Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing – soared in value.

Hot hatchbacks were just behind

Hot hatchbacks were the top gainers throughout 2021, and still retain second place. Such cars as the Ford Escort XR3i, the Vauxhall HS Chevette and the MG Maestro Turbo all made big gains.

The Classic Index was in a strong third place

Hagerty’s Classic index performed well, rising 18 per cent on average in the five years. The Classic Index’s post-Covid dip was the least pronounced of all indices and shows consistent growth - signs of a healthy, thriving market.

Best of British cars had a poor 2022, but bounced back

The Best of British Index saw a few key cars on the list reduced in value, such as the Austin-Healey 100, the Sunbeam Tiger, and the Jaguar XK120, while the value of other key cars, like the Aston Martin DB5, remained relatively flat. But over the past 12 months, the list was pulled up by a handful of cars that soared in value, including the Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth that rose 41 per cent in the last year alone.

Ferrari dipped last year

A whole-marque index containing cars that are very expensive is going to be disproportionately affected by the top cars changing a little in value and also other influences like exchange rates. In addition, 2021 saw Hagerty add the 348, F355 and California models to the Guide, all lower values in Ferrari terms which has an effect overall, and in the last 12 months the F50 and Enzo were added which brought averages back up again. Hagerty experts noted the ‘up swing’ was also aided by big changes in exchange rates.

Porsche peaked, then dipped

The Porsche Index peaked in late 2021, with big rises pretty much across the board but then dipped. This happened for different reasons to the Ferraris: Hagerty added a huge number of lower-valued models to the guide including 996 and 997 Porsche 911s and some generations of the Boxster. Even so, the average value has climbed back and continues to rise, and Porsche generally remain strong sellers.

FOTU Index

The Festival of the Unexceptional Index has struggled a little in overall terms, with the index now at about 90 per cent of its value of 2018. That said, every car in the Index rose or remained static in the last year, with some, such as the Vauxhall Viva HB, the Citroën CX S2 and the British Leyland Princess 1800, all rising over 10 per cent in the same period.

Concluding John Mayhead, Editor of the UK Hagerty Price Guide, said, “Comparing these indices over time really shows what a diverse and complex place the classic car world is. That there were common dips at the end of 2019 before Covid, and spikes afterwards does show that, across the board, the market was affected by the lockdowns, but generally in a positive way. The strength of the Gold Index reflects what’s happening elsewhere: some people do extremely well during times of economic hardship, and they tend to be wealthier. That said, the hatchbacks are hot for another reason: the best ones are starting to demand really top money from younger buyers. Overall, it seems the market seems to be in a healthy place.”

The full update can be found here

Hagerty can provide bespoke, data-drive stories and features to journalists. For more information, please enquire via email.

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