Classic cars may appear as a decadent indulgence for those with money sprouting out of their ears, but they could just be one of the best investments you could make too.
With faith in stocks and shares plummeting, ‘tangible assets’ like classic cars are where those with money to invest can see real returns. And don’t think that at most you might make £50 here or £100 there on a classic car. Prices of bona fide thoroughbreds like Ferraris and Aston Martins are rising at an unprecedented rate, while even sub-£5,000 machines like old MGs could sell for exactly the same price that you paid for them a few years down the line.
Values for good condition old cars are growing above those of fine art, wine, equities and even London property. The prices of high-end Ferraris rocketed by 55 per cent in 2013 alone, while the classic car market has mushroomed by 257 per cent since 2005, according to banking service Coutts.
We’ve spoken to classic car expert and ex-Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson to find out just why classic cars could not only prove cheap to run, but could even give you change when you come to sell them on, a few years later. “What’s happened with the market is that tangible assets have taken over from non-tangible assets, your stocks and shares, banks, and so on have had such a torrid time recently that people with money to invest have gone into either property or cars – classic cars.”
It is possible to drive one of these cars, really quite cheaply compared to a normal car, because they’re simple to fix, easy to insure, you don’t pay road tax, and if it goes wrong, you can usually fix it yourself.
The story with classic vehicles gets even better for those with money to spend, Willson states, as owners aren’t subject to capital gains tax on on increases in value, when they come to sell on their cars. And prices are likely to keep going up for now, he adds: “I don’t think we’re anywhere close to the ceiling on some of these cars”.
Don’t think that owning a classic means you have to garage it and never drive it, either. If you understand basic mechanics, or have a good relationship with a mechanic you trust, parts and maintenance bills could be low too. “If you take an MGB that you could buy for £3,500 or less, you’ve got free road tax, classic car insurance, which is around £100 a year – okay it might not be the most economical but spares for MGBs are cheaper than those for modern cars.”
He adds: “It is possible to drive one of these cars, really quite cheaply compared to a normal car, because they’re simple to fix, easy to insure, you don’t pay road tax, and if it goes wrong, you can usually fix it yourself.”
Not convinced? Take a look at some of the affordable classics that could be yours for well under £10,000 on Motors.co.uk, from the MGB GT, Ford Capri, Jaguar XJ6 to a number of Triumphs from the 1970s, for instance.
Quentin Willson is co-presenting a new big budget production, The Classic Car Show, which launched yesterday and will run every Thursday at 7pm on Channel 5. Get a feel for the show in the clip above.
Picture: The Classic Car Show