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Does Higher Mileage Decrease Vintage Car Value?

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If you collect vintage cars, you may wonder how mileage impacts the overall value of your classics. Like with vehicles in general, your classic car mileage has a direct negative impact on its overall worth — the higher the mileage, the less your car will be worth. 

Fortunately, that’s not the only factor determining your classic car value, and you shouldn’t be afraid to put a few extra miles on your vintage car’s odometer. 

In this blog, we detail how high mileage impacts the value of classics and discuss other factors that will impact your vehicle’s resale value. 

How Much Does High Mileage Affect Classic Car Value?

Higher mileage on a vehicle typically means that its mechanical components have suffered more wear and tear compared to lower-mileage cars, and it may require more frequent maintenance to keep the vehicle running. Still, it’s important to recognize that this is just generally the case, and the overall condition of your vehicle is based on many components. After all, a car with 100,000 miles that undergoes regular oil changes and fluid checks will be in better condition than one with 80,000 miles that’s been neglected. 

While mileage is far from the only element determining your vintage vehicle’s quality, higher mileage will make it more difficult to sell at a desirable price. This is even more so the case if you obtain a classic car with low mileage. For instance, if you purchase a vintage car that has 50,000 miles and you end up adding 25,000 before reselling, that will likely significantly reduce its value. 

On the other hand, if you purchase a classic car with high mileage, adding more miles won’t impact its value nearly as much. If you buy a classic car with 100,000 miles, adding 25,000 miles will not impact its resale value nearly as much as the vintage car with 50,000 miles. You may even be able to offset this smaller depreciation because the model is likely becoming more valuable over time. Additionally, you can refurbish its components or perform other work to further increase its value. 

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Should I Add Miles to My Classic Car? 

While you should aim for low classic car mileage to preserve its value, you still need to drive your classic car regularly. Otherwise, your engine may rust, and your rubber hoses and fuel lines may become more fragile. Further, your car’s battery recharges when you drive, so going long periods without running the engine may kill it. 

You may also have a harder time selling your car if the mileage is too low. A car with too few miles may be a red flag for buyers because it means the vehicle remained idle for long periods. To optimize your classic car value, drive it regularly but refrain from taking lengthy trips that can spike your mileage. 

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Other Factors that Impact Car Value

As we’ve noted, mileage is merely one of several factors that can impact your classic car value. Other variables that will affect your car’s resale value include its:

  • Year, Make, Model, and Edition: Some cars are inherently worth more than others, and this can be due to several facets, like rarity, popularity, supply and demand, etc. The car’s year and edition will also play a fundamental role in determining its worth. For instance, a 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350R is certainly worth more than a 1994 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2D.  
  • Condition: The quality of a car’s body, interior, and mechanical components will impact its resale value. 
  • Authenticity: A classic’s authenticity is incredibly important. Classics that have parts with matching numbers are worth more than those with newer parts. 
  • State of the Market: Ultimately, your car is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Selling classic vehicles during periods of economic hardship usually means fewer available buyers. The state of the economy and classic car market will likely impact your car’s current market value.  

If you’re interested in learning more about what your classic car may be worth, consult a classic car value guide. 

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Protect Your Ride with Classic Car Insurance

Regardless of whether you own a classic with 10,000 miles or 100,000, you need to do everything you can to preserve its value going forward. You can protect your investment with Classic Auto Insurance.

Here at Classic Auto, we offer custom policies for collector cars, antiques, and other types of classic vehicles. These policies are based on agreed-upon value, meaning we’ll work with you to determine the true value of your vehicle. If the worst-case scenario happens and you total your car, you’ll receive your car’s full agreed-upon amount minus your deductible. 

You can learn more by calling 888-901-1338, or you can get an instant quote online here

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