When it comes to purchases holding value, vehicles are among the worst. Because the vast majority depreciate the minute you drive them off the lot, to the tune of up to 20% in the first year and 15% each year after, many cars have little resale value to their owners.
However, given the chaotic state of the auto market the past couple of years — a market plagued by lopsided demand, supply chain restrictions and low inventory — some used models are selling for more than the MSRP of their new counterparts.
As crazy as that sounds, this is a temporary situation. If you want to get real value for a used car, you have to look toward vintage varieties.
According to Progressive, in general, there are a number of models you should be targeting for investment purposes — particularly those that are unique, rare or enjoy a cult following. These include memorable American models from the 1950s (stylish gas guzzlers like the Cadillac Eldorado, Lincoln Continental or Ford Thunderbird) and reliable British and German classics (vehicles from Jaguar, Aston Martin, Mercedes, or BMW).
Old Porsches, Ferraris, Corvettes and high-end muscle cars from any period will usually retain some value, but the insurance giant also recommended affordable cars that you might be able to get for under $40,000 — like a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle or a 1970 Chevy Camaro.
Brake For It lists dozens of classic cars that may appreciate in value, including older post-WWII models (Ford Model T, Duesenberg Model J), always-in-style classics (early Corvettes, Mustangs, Shelby Cobras), first generation off-roaders (Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, International Harvester Scout) and oddballs (DeLorean DMC-12, Buick Riviera Boat Tail).
But “classic” doesn’t necessarily mean “old” now. One of the best places to look for cars that are rising in value is Hagerty’s annual Bull Market List, due to the wide range of vehicles it scrutinizes and up-to-date collector trends it considers (six vehicles in this year’s list were built after 2000). “The 1980s and ’90s are officially hot, with good survivors bringing premium money from Gen X and Gen Y collectors,” said the site.
The following are the 10 cars (and one motorcycle: the 1936-1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead [$90,300-$115,000]) that Hagerty expects will gain in value in 2023, with price ranges for vehicles in excellent condition.
- 1992-2006 AM General Hummer H1 ($105,000-$127,300).
- 1968-1970 AMC AMX ($30,500-$40,600).
- 2008-2015 Audi R8 (Manual)($154,000-$186,700).
- 2001-2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 ($31,400-$39,300).
- 2001-2010 Lamborghini Murciélago ($302,700-$342,700).
- 2004-2010 Mecedes-Benz SLR McLaren ($329,300-$380,700).
- 2003-2008 Nissan 350Z ($37,500-$44,900).
- 1985-1993 Saab 900 Turbo ($22,200-$25,800).
- 1991-1998 Suzuki Cappuccino ($12,200-$16,700).
- 1984-1988 Toyota Pickup 4×4 ($20,700-$26,700).
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