London - Women are fuelling a mini-boom in classic car sales as they seek a better return on their money, as well as a fun drive. Once the preserve of middle-aged men and enthusiastic petrolheads, the classic car market is now attracting younger, financially savvy women.
New research by classic car insurance broker Footman James shows that over the past two years, the number of female classic car owners has risen by 40 per cent, with female customers now accounting for 11 percent of the UK market - and women are also better than men at spotting models that will appreciate in value.
The top classic car marques owned by women are Morris, Volkswagen, MG, Mazda and Land Rover, while the five cars that increased most in 2015 were the Fiat Dino (up 113 percent), Lamborghini Miura (62 percent), Peugeot 205 (44 percent), Land Rover Defender (43 percent) and Volkswagen Golf Mk1 GTi (43 percent). Women correctly identified the Lamborghini and the Defender, men only the Lambo.
According to the Knight Frank Luxury Index report by Andrew Shirley, classic car values have soared by 161 percent over five years and by 467 percent over 10 years. They also enjoyed a 17 percent surge in the year to March, against an average rise in the value of luxury goods of five percent - ahead of wine (nine percent), rare coins (six percent), watches and jewellery (four percent each), and even diamonds (one percent).
A 1957 Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti sold for a record €32.1 million (R505 million) in Paris in February. But everyday classics are a less risky investment - from Mark 1 Golf GTis to MGB Roadsters, Land Rover Defenders, VW Camper vans, or Italian cars built in the 1970s (as long as they’re in good condition).
Shirley says amateur investors should buy for love, not money.
“I wouldn’t rely on any increase in value to fund my pension,” he cautioned. “Get expert advice, ask questions, monitor the market and remember that maintenance costs will eat into your profits.”