How Much Is Your Classic Car Worth?

Written by Mike Wilson on July 20, 2017

We all tend to be creatures of habit, and us classic car owners are no different. We live for the moment when we can kick off our established routine of getting our cars out of winter storage and ready for the season.

We’re typically so involved in our preseason prep, that we often overlook one of our annual responsibilities of checking our classic car’s current value. It’s funny how a few years of the value of our vintage vehicle remaining stagnant, could lead us to expect the status quo in terms of value going into the upcoming season. But the thing is, your pride and joy's worth is not determined by the typical factors that often applies to typical cars.

Of course, there are some anomalies that may result in a classic car jumping in value. But seeing as we cannot predict those anomalies, here are 6 concrete reasons that could increase your classic car’s valuation, which in turn should prompt a call to your broker to discuss possible adjustments to your coverage.

  1. (Diminishing) Supply and Demand 

    As the years go on, the (real) quality classics tend to become more and more rare. It’s not a guarantee that because your classic is rare that it’ll shoot upwards in value, but it’s definitely a contributing factor when faced with premium classics.

  2. Condition Rating 

    The condition rating plays a big part in assessing the value of your classic. Condition ratings are classes that enable insurers and appraisers to speak a common language to define the condition of classic cars. Having a spread between ratings 1 and 4, with 1 being the most pristine of classics in every sense of the word, while 4 is typically used as daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. 4s are also great when trying to source original parts for your higher rated classic.

  3. Original Paint and Colour

    While it’s no secret that having a well maintained (or restored) original (factory) paint job on your classic car will yield the best value; if you have something original but unique, like a custom colour of your classic that was provided by the manufacturer rather than being done post-purchase, it will likely increase its value. This, however, is tightly tied into numbers 1 and 2.
  4. Original Parts 

    If your classic still has all original parts and maintenance has been done professionally ensuring the classic’s integrity, you’re in a very good position to have an increased valuation on your classic ride. Remember to search for Condition Rating 4 classic, which will help provide parts for your higher rated classic.

  5. Mechanical and General Functionality 

    Obviously, unless we’re an exception to the rule, we need our classic car to be in working order for the value to (ever) increase. Ideally, as mentioned in number 4, we want to have all original factory parts and accessories, from the 8-track and dash dials, right down to the cork gaskets and gear knobs, in working condition.

  6. The Exchange Rate

    Remember, not too long ago our dollar was on par with the US dollar and doing favourably against the Euro. Canadian buyers were able to import classics for about a third the price that those same cars would command in today’s market.

    While the lower dollar doesn’t bode well for those looking to purchase a classic from our neighbours to the south or overseas, for current owners you may be surprised to find out that the value of your car may have risen significantly.  

Also consider this…

The overall condition of the vintage vehicle will play into the general valuation. We already know that proper maintenance is a priority, even without considering valuation. The thing that should be kept in mind is that despite our vehicle being in the same (great) shape as the previous year, we can never be sure what the global classic car market is driving or demanding.

That said, just as you would reach out to your investment broker to know how your investments are performing, make it a point to reach out to your classic car insurance broker to verify if your classic car’s valuation has increased. This will enable you to make educated decisions about your investment and make any insurance adjustments necessary.

Remember, your car is insured for its agreed value, so you want to always ensure your passion is protected for what it’s worth today.

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