The closest thing we humans have to an odometer is the calendar. While it’s illegal to turn back your car’s odometer to zero, we humans turn back our calendar odometer to zero every year. You are not allowed to give your car a fresh start with fake mileage, but we’re encouraged to begin with a clean slate every January 1st.
But before we embrace the new year and our new selves, it’s important to look back at the past year and reflect on what is working and what we should leave behind.
For many of us, the collector car hobby is a major part of our lives, so it’s important to assess the good, the bad, and even the ugly parts of this past car collector year.
The Good: Many Newcomers Embrace Car Collecting
Overall, 2023 was a good year for the collector car industry even though it also came with challenges. We saw more people entering the hobby as the prices of collector cars were fairly moderate. As you probably know, the value of most collector cars slowed down. Rather than prices going up rapidly, as they have in the last 10 years, the prices stayed fairly steady, and some vehicles even sold for remarkably less than what one would expect.
How is this a positive rather than a negative? The reason why this is beneficial for the hobby is because it allows more people to become collectors. The costs of classic vehicles are down, allowing more individuals to join the collector car community at affordable prices.
Another positive aspect of 2023 was that more cars hit the collectability index. Although some established collectors might look down on what they see as typical cars from the early 2000s, these newly designated classics welcome even more collectors to the hobby. There is no better place to see the direction of the hobby than through the hundreds of Cars and Coffee events around the country. This year, many of these shows were filled with late-model cars. That’s a good thing for the collector car industry.
The Bad: Inflation and Rising Insurance Premiums
While it’s great that many new collectors are joining the hobby, 2023 certainly wasn’t without difficulty. The continued compounding of inflation hit hard on those who wanted to restore classic cars. In many cases, the restoration cost outweighed the project’s value. This means that many worthwhile restoration projects are on hold as collectors wait for costs to return to normal. Sadly, there’s no telling how long they’ll be waiting, and I fear that the time for normal costs is a long way off.
The rise in inflation also heavily impacted collector car insurance providers and policies. An industry that has seen few price increases over the years has now found itself behind the curve on the cost of repairs. For the first time in decades, it has become more expensive for most collectors to insure their cars. Unfortunately, this will likely be a trend we will continue dealing with in 2024.
Some collectors now ask what they can do to lower their premiums and whether their current insurance provider is right for them. There are ways to lower insurance premiums, and one way is to compare different insurance providers. While Classic Auto takes great pride in our ability to offer affordable and flexible classic car insurance policies, it’s okay to shop around and find the right insurer for you.
The Ugly: Disrespecting Super Cars and Others’ Safety
Finally, we have the ugly. This came in the form of content creators abusing vehicles for internet clout. As someone passionate about cars, it concerns me to see the ongoing mistreatment of supercars in pursuit of internet fame. With the continued growth of social media and the need for more followers and excitement, some content creators have abused truly great cars for fleeting attention and a few clicks. A quick YouTube search for supercar crashes will reveal hundreds of videos showing devastating accidents. Most of these crashes were avoidable, and some were even on purpose.
This relentless push to get clicks at the expense of important vehicles will negatively affect the collector car hobby. First of all, the cars themselves will start to have a bad reputation with all of these crash videos, leading to issues with insurability. After all, if you can’t get insurance or face astronomical premiums, you can’t drive your vehicle on the road.
Secondly, content creators’ extreme and dangerous driving will lead to copycats who shamelessly pursue attention. Many Cars and Coffee shows have been plagued by reckless driving from participants looking to get their 15 minutes of fame. In some cases, this has led to shows being canceled. Some misguided drivers have even done donuts and engaged in other dangerous maneuvers close to crowds. Many of these outings ended in tragedy this past year.
Embracing the New Year
If I could wave a magic wand as I turn my calendar back to zero, I would take from 2023 all of the new collectors and their desire to join the hobby. As they connect with other motor enthusiasts and attend events, the industry will grow and remain healthy. I would also take with me those who support the collector car industry, the most important being insurance companies. Of course, no one likes rate increases, but it’s important for pricing to meet the demand of claims.
Going into this new year, I would definitely leave behind those who abuse their cars and risk injury to others. I hope those content creators realize their negative impact on the hobby and instead decide to become a positive influence moving forward.
You can keep your classic protected in 2024 and beyond with Classic Auto Insurance. We offer flexible plans tailored to your vehicle’s needs along with great benefits, such as inflation guard and nationwide roadside assistance with flatbed towing.
Happy Motoring in 2024.