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Classic Trucks: How Do You Determine the Value?

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Classic trucks hold a special place in the heart of those who collect them, whether they collect for practical or entirely sentimental reasons. To collectors, they aren’t just vehicles to get you from point A to point B. They’re pieces of history and symbols of times gone by.

As trucks become more popular with classic automobile collectors, knowing the value of the classic truck you have or the one you want has never been more important. If you’re in the market to either buy or sell a classic truck or you’re looking to get one you have insured, it’s essential that you first get a solid idea of its value so you know what you’re dealing with. Knowing the best value on classic trucks will help you not overspend, undersell, or underinsure.

What is Considered a “Classic Truck”?

You might hear terms like “classic,” “vintage,” and “antique” thrown about interchangeably, but when it comes to trucks, there is a difference between them. And to make it a little more confusing, all vintage and antique trucks are “classics,” but not all classics are vintage or antique. 

Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Classic Truck:  In most collector circles, a truck is considered “classic” if it was manufactured at least 20 years ago. Some go so far as to say 10 years, but the consensus is usually between 10 and 25 years.
  • Antique Truck: Again, depending on the organization that is defining the term, a truck is considered to be “antique,” usually when it’s between 25 and 45 years old. 
  • Vintage Truck: The most specific of the three designations, a vintage truck is a truck manufactured between 1919 and 1930. 

Knowing what you have in your garage is the first step to helping determine the value of classic trucks.

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Factors That Influence the Value of Classic Trucks

Determining the value of your classic truck is serious business, and, as such, there’s a systematic process involved to get an accurate value. 

Generally, a classic truck’s value is determined by rating it on a scale of 1 to 5 in 20 different areas. The score puts your truck into one of six categories, with Category 1 being pristine with low miles and few after-market parts and Category 6 being a truck that needs a lot of work.

Below are just some of the factors that could influence what category your classic truck is placed in:

  1. Condition: Let’s start with the most important factor. It doesn’t matter how sought after or rare your truck is considered. If it’s a rusted-out clunker, it won’t have the value you’re after. To increase the value of a classic truck that needs a little work, either get ready to do a restoration yourself, or find someone to do one for you. A professional-quality restoration will definitely add value.
  2. Restoration Quality: If your truck needs some TLC, the kind of work that is done in restoring it will determine how much the value increases when the project is finished. Remember that restoring a truck isn’t necessarily about making it look as new as possible. With all vehicles, it’s more about making it look authentic. With original parts, the value can increase significantly, but you won’t see much increase with a shoddy restoration.
  3. Mileage: As the saying goes, a car loses value the minute it leaves the lot. How many miles your truck has on it usually goes hand-in-hand with its condition. Logically, the more miles it has, the more wear and tear it usually has as well. However, if a car is well maintained and its condition has been preserved the whole time, the mileage will come secondary when it comes to overall value.
  4. Rarity: In a lot of ways, a classic truck is not unlike other collectible items, and the rarer an item, the more collectible it is. If your truck was massively popular and largely produced, it won’t have the same value as a truck where a limited number was produced, or few still remain.
  5. Popularity: Rare makes and models will drive your truck’s value up, but so will popularity. After all, a popular truck is highly sought after, and demand can make your value rise. The issue with popularity, though, is that it’s not a constant indicator of value. Popularity can come and go, so keep that in mind if valuation happens during peak popularity.

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Who Determines the Value?

Knowing what makes it valuable is all well and good, but you also need to know who to trust to give you an accurate value on your classic truck.

It takes a lot of resources to accurately determine how much your classic truck is worth. One of the primary resources you’ll need access to is data on how comparable trucks have been selling in the current market. In this day and age, the internet can be a treasure trove of this data as well as tools such as a classic truck value calculator or a classic truck value estimator that uses this data to give you a look at your truck’s value. Sources like the National Automobile Dealers Association, the Historic Automobile Group International, and the Hemmings Valuation Tool are all great places to start investigating the value of your classic truck.

Whether you have a Category 1 beauty or you’re hoping to get your Category 6 up a few grades, you’ll need to make sure your classic truck is accurately insured to protect your investment. At Classic Auto Insurance, we take pride in creating even the most casual classic truck collector with a customized plan that gives peace of mind. One important inclusion in our coverage is agreed-upon value. This ensures that if you experience a total loss, you will be compensated for your classic truck’s true value.

Call us today at 888-901-1338, or you can get an instant quote online here to see just how our classic auto experts can help you get the perfect coverage for your classic truck or any other vintage vehicle you treasure.

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