1. Home
  2. Car insurance
  3. Should you invest in a classic car?

Should you invest in a classic car?

During the pandemic, many people might have looked at investing their money in property, stock or gold. However, new data suggests that investing in a classic car might also have generated a good return.

We’ve investigated just how much a classic car has increased in value since the pandemic, compared to other investments. If you own or are thinking of buying one, classic car insurance can help protect it.

Close up of classic cars

 

How have investments grown since 2019?

Image showing the average return on investment for classic cars, gold, the UK property market and stock between 2019 and 2022.

Best classic cars under £50,000 Affordable classic cars under £30,000 Ferrari F355 Average price of gold Average price of a UK home Average price of stock
May 2019
£40,242
£20,923
£47,450
£999.942
£229,061
£7,275.27
January 2022
£68,401
£26,692
£148,920
£1339.683
£272,833
£7,500.98
Percentage Increase
69.98%
27.57%
213.85%
33.98%
19.11%
3.10%

We gathered data from 5 different categories to see how a classic car compared to other investments. These categories were UK housing(1), the FTSE100 stock market(2), gold(3), affordable classic cars (under £30,000)(4), and classic cars under £50,000(5, 6).

According to the data we collected, investing in the FTSE100 was less profitable between 2019 and 2022 against all other investments. There was a 3.1% increase in the average price of stock during this period, while the housing market increased 19.1%. But, data reveals that classic cars and gold were most likely to make the most profit if invested between 2019 and 2022.

When it came to cars, there was one model in particular that appreciated in value most of all: the Ferrari F355. This model increased in value by a whopping 213.85%, on average, over the course of the pandemic. Data shows that its value grew from £47,450 to £148,920, on average, making it by far the best investment during this period.

Car Make / Model under £100000 Annual Google searches Rarity (number produced) May 2019 value January 2022 value Total profit percentage
Ferrari F355
607,000
11,273
47,450
148,920
213.85%
Ferrari Testarossa
2,376,000
7,177
83,220
175,930
111.40%
Porsche 928
1,261,500
61,000
47,450
76,650
61.54%
Datsun 240Z
2,394,000
164,000
47,268
66,138
39.92%
Citroën 2CV
793,500
3,800,000
28,288
37,449
32.38%
Nissan Skyline GT-R
8,207,000
1,268
65,700
83,950
27.78%
Alfa Romeo Montreal
260,600
3,900
91,250
108,770
19.20%
Plymouth Roadrunner
720,000
81,125
41,793
49,129
17.55%
Lotus Esprit
820,500
10,675
51,100
59,203
15.86%
Pontiac Firebird
2,313,000
697
29,200
32,120
10.00%

In fact, if we were to look at the most profitable cars under £100,000, the second most profitable car during this period was also a Ferrari: the Testarossa. This car saw a 111.4% increase, on average, between 2019 and 2022. But, the Testarossa was almost double the price of the F355 to begin with, at £83,220. Both of these vehicles have an average starting price that’s likely inaccessible for many in the UK. So, they might not be the first choice for investment. Data also shows that not all classic cars come with a price tag as high as Ferrari, and profits could still be made if you choose to invest.

While you may expect the rarest cars to appreciate the most, this wasn’t the case for any vehicles in the category of classic cars under £50,000. The Datsun 240Z was one of the least rare cars on the list, with approximately 164,000 produced(7). The Datsun saw a profit of 39.9% over time, whereas the Porsche 928 (with 61,000 produced) saw a value increase of 61.5% during the same period. These 2 cars had an almost identical value back in 2019, as well as the runaway victor that was the Ferrari F355.

Overall, however, it was the best classic cars under £50,000 that returned the most profit, with an average of 70%.

An image showing the average value percentage increase of classic cars bought between 2019 and 2022.

Car make / model under £50000 Annual google searches Rarity (number produced) May 2019 value January 2022 value Value percentage increase
Datsun 240Z
2,394,000
164,000
£47,268
£66,138
39.92%
Ferrari F355
607,000
11,273
£47,450
£148,920
213.85%
Porsche 928
1,261,500
61,000
£47,450
£76,650
61.54%
Pontiac Firebird
2,313,000
697
£29,200
£32,120
10.00%
Citroën 2CV
793,500
3,800,000
£28,288
£37,449
32.38%
Plymouth Roadrunner
720,000
81,125
£41,793
£49,129
17.55%

The second category of affordable classics, however, could also have been a wise investment. This category was made up of 13 cars under £30,000. At an average price of £18,475, these cars saw an average increase of 28% between 2019 and 2022. While this was close to the average value increase of gold (33.98%), it didn’t come close to the 70% gained by classic cars under £50,000.

 

What was the best investment?

Overall, our data suggests that the best investment to have made over the pandemic was most likely a classic car under £50,000. This is due to the overall rate of profit, although the initial financial commitment might not be feasible for all drivers.

Louise Thomas, car insurance expert at Confused.com, said:

“Classic cars could be a great way to invest your money, usually, in the rarer makes and models. While things like the housing market, stocks and gold can all be unpredictable, data shows that classic cars seem to be in high demand.

“But investing in a classic car isn’t always feasible in comparison to other investments, like the stock market. With the latter, you can start as small as you like when it comes to your finances. But for the average UK driver, the upfront costs of a classic car might be out of reach. When you also then consider the added necessities, such as maintenance costs and classic car insurance, it can add up substantially over time.

“These extra costs can become expensive, particularly when classic cars can be harder to repair or replace. This can also have a knock-on effect on the price you could be paying for car insurance, so it’s always worth shopping around to keep your costs down. If you're thinking about investing in a classic car or you already own one, insurance for your classic car is a great way to protect your assets for the future.”

Methodology