19th January 2024

How much is my classic worth?

When was the last time you checked what your classic car or bike value is? It’s a question all enthusiasts should regularly consider – especially when setting up agreed-value vehicle insurance. It’s a subject that can be easily overlooked because our retro, classic or vintage vehicles are often bought for enjoyment rather than financial reasons. 

Many will tell you that classic cars and bikes should not be seen as investments, but many owners have found the value of their pride and joy has appreciated in recent years. In fact, some experts predict that values will continue to increase as the 2030 ban on new petrol or diesel cars approaches. 

We’re also living in a cost-of-living crisis, where bills are being scrutinised more than ever. It’s never been more important to be aware of today’s classic car or bike pricing - read on to discover the tools available to help you work out a free classic car valuation. 

Classic car and motorbike price guides 

The good old-fashioned classic car guide is commonly viewed as the go-to place for an older car valuation. It’s been a mainstay of classic car or motorbike magazines for decades, compiled using several sources which often include data from owners’ clubs and marketplace sales data.  

A word of warning though – they’re not always an accurate reflection of car appreciation value due to the frequency in which print listings can be updated. This means that the figures in the guide don’t always reflect the current prices each make and model is achieving on the market. Therefore, you should only treat price guides as they are originally intended – as a guide. Your vehicle may be worth more or less than the published figure, dependent on year, specification and any modifications. 

The motor trade views all modern used vehicles as unique once they are no longer new, pricing them accordingly. This is because they are all different in terms of age, condition, mileage, owner history, maintenance upkeep and specification. This is how classic cars should also be viewed. For example, each Ford Escort on the market right now will have a unique combination of history, condition and asking price.  

Some optimistic sellers might ask far higher prices than the market dictates and, of course, demand will play a factor in the price your classic commands. 

Credit: The Market by Bonhams

Classic Car and Motorbike Auctions 

Auction houses have become more popular for owners looking to sell their pride and joy, with online platforms allowing enthusiasts to become spectators from the comfort of their armchairs. Due to the number of different vehicles sold on a regular basis, combined with the wealth of knowledge that valuations teams at auctions have, they are a fantastic resource for owners looking to understand the state of the current market. 

A recent auction result can demonstrate what buyers are prepared to pay, giving a clear indication of what a similar vehicle is worth at that time. 

Anyone looking to sell their classic can enquire with an auction’s valuation team to understand what it might be worth, then decide whether to consign it for auction. 

Credit: London Classic Car Show 

Classic Car and Bike Owners’ Club Valuations 

Being part of a classic car or bike owners’ club offers a variety of benefits. There’s the social element from attending club car and bike shows, the expert knowledge from like-minded owners who can help keep your vehicle on the road, the classic vehicle insurance savings that can be made (speak to Footman James about this, if you’re not already an owners’ club member) and their ability to advise you of the value of your vehicle. To source an accurate valuation, owners might be asked to present their vehicles at a club event or provide detailed photographs and the history of the vehicle. 

The insurer’s perspective 

When setting up a classic car policy with Footman James, we ask owners to provide their own estimate of its value. Next, our underwriting team will either instantly agree the valuation (based upon the nearly 40 years’ worth of data/trends), or ask for further evidence from the owner if the value sits outside of the normal parameters. 

If we require a little more information, we’ll ask you to complete a vehicle condition form. This may also require you to source a vehicle expert from a marque specific club to independently value the vehicle. 

For clients looking to maximise the value of their classic vehicle, it’s always worth looking after your vehicle by keeping on top of its condition and consider limiting its annual mileage (for example, taking it off the road during the colder winter months). 

Policies at FJ our issued on a Market Value basis unless you choose the Agreed Value option.

Market Value means if your vehicle is lost or totally destroyed, you will be paid out the value of the vehicle at the time of the claim in line with current market trends, this could be more or less than the value you have stated.

Agreed Value gives you peace of mind that the true value of your vehicle has been assessed at the outset of your policy. You have the certainty that you will be paid out the amount stated regardless of the market value at the time of the loss. The maximum amount you will be paid out will be the Agreed Value stated, regardless of the market value at the time of the loss.

It is important that you check the value of your vehicle regularly to ensure that this is up to date and in line with current market trends. If the value is not kept up to date this may result in you not receiving the true value of your vehicle in the event of a claim.

For more on agreed value with FJ, please visit our FJ+ options here.

Porsche 996 is well maintained great interior drives great owned for 10 years plus reluctant sale basically can’t get in or out comfortably age that is

Martin, 30/01/2023