Among the many hidden costs of a new car is depreciation. From the moment you drive off the forecourt, you’ll find that your purchase begins to lose value. What’s worse, this depreciation is easy to lose track of.
But there are some kinds of vehicle that don’t drop in value over time. Instead, they gain it! Often, the appreciation is even enough to cover the cost of classic car insurance. Let’s take a look at some of the factors which contribute to this phenomenon.
What Drives Appreciation?
The factors that push up the value of a car are difficult to anticipate. Prior to the release of the Back to the Future movie, the DMC DeLorean was a little-known coupe assembled in Northern Ireland whose manufacturer had already filed for bankruptcy, but its value has since surged. Given the enduring popularity of the film series, it’s likely that the value of the DeLorean will only rise, as the number of vehicles on the road is limited.
Nostalgia is a key factor pushing up the value of certain cars. If would-be buyers found themselves dreaming of owning a certain car, they’ll be willing to pay for it as soon as their circumstances allow. Again, when these desirable cars are out of production, the price is pushed up accordingly.
Classic car lovers tend to be defined by a desire to stand apart from every other vehicle on the road. While many drivers might feel exposed by the feeling that everyone is looking at them, a certain kind of extrovert will instead revel in the idea.
It’s for this reason that open-top cars tend to sell better during spells of hot weather: it’s easier to sell the image of the open road or the wind in your hair when the conditions are favourable.
Spotting a Classic
Faster cars tend to appreciate better than others. Style and aesthetics also play a role, as does the supply. But there are other features that might lead to that all-important wow-factor.
For example, the Honda Integra Type R DC2 is ranked among the greatest front-wheel-drive vehicles ever made, and sports distinctive looks which set it apart from the crowd.
Then there’s the Renaultsport Clio 182, which typifies the hot hatch phenomenon, packing huge performance into a small chassis. Mazda’s RX-7 is also hugely desirable thanks to its combination of svelte looks and performance.
If you want the best chance of appreciation, then you might look for limited-run variants of the vehicles with the qualities you have in mind. For example, the ‘Trophy’ version of the aforementioned Renault comes with lightweight wheels and other features.
Another factor which affects appreciation is modification. Vehicles which are kept pristine and faithful to the version which rolled off the production line tend to provide the best value in the long-term – despite the healthy aftermarket modification community that’s built up around certain brands.