With Thanksgiving festivities and the winter holidays just around the corner, November is the official start of the spending season. During this season, discretionary expenses go up for everyone, and this will likely be even more the case this year.
The ongoing rise in inflation means consumers at all income levels will likely feel the financial pressure of the holiday season. Aside from gifts, decorations, and winter clothing, consumers must face the mounting costs of food and energy, the two most impactful areas of daily life.
These rising costs usher in two important questions: How does the increased cost of living affect the collector car world? And what opportunities does this period bring? In this Month of Motoring, we’ll answer these critical questions and discuss how the economy may impact your collection.
Storing Your Collector Vehicle For Winter
Although winter doesn’t officially start until December 21st, November marks the beginning of the colder months for most of the country. This means that it’s time for collectors to store their classic cars, a process known as “pickling.”
To ensure a trouble-free spring, many collectors will thoroughly service their classics, including a complete fluid change, battery tenders, a show-stopping detail job, and other important work. This pre-storage preparation is frequently a costly process and has become even more expensive with rising prices. Now, pickling can easily run you $300 if you work on the vehicle yourself, or you may even spend thousands of dollars if you hire someone else to service the vehicle.
Many collectors are finding the rising prices beyond their means and are shortchanging the pickling process. Rather than using the most trustworthy brands, these collectors are opting for second and third-tier products. Some are even skipping the fall storage routine altogether. Instead, they’re just doing a quick wash before retiring the car for the winter. This reduced service could have a significant effect when the garage doors open back up in the spring.
Of course, with times being tough, many need to save money wherever possible, and focusing on holiday expenses takes precedence.
The Future of the Car Market
A quick look at how cars were selling in November likely provides a hint on the direction of the collector car market. There is no question that sales this past month were slow, and prices were generally lower across the board.
You can see this clearly from the sales on Bring a Trailer, which is a great resource for buying and selling classics as well as feeling the market’s pulse. Of the 3,367 cars presented for sale, just 50% of those offered with reserve price changed hands. This shows that there was a disconnect between what the sellers wanted and what buyers were willing to pay. It’s anecdotal, but it seems that this November saw a significant dip in sales. Additionally, cars that sold saw a much lower asking price.
One extreme example of a drop in sales price was a 1962 Ferrari GTO. This remarkable vehicle changed hands on November 15th for only $51.7 million, significantly lower than the car’s pre-sale estimate of $70 million. Perhaps inflation and November’s extra expenses are affecting all collectors, no matter their net worth.
Finding a Great Deal in This Economy
While times are certainly tough, this moment presents a unique opportunity for some collectors. Now is the time to find great deals on classic cars, as was the case for the 1962 Ferrari GTO.
When you hear of a car owner struggling to maintain a collector car, don’t be afraid to reach out and see if it’s for sale, especially if it’s a vehicle you want in your collection. You might be doing the owner a favor, as it will remove the stress of the daily upkeep. Perhaps the collector can even buy back the vehicle when times are better.
Additionally, if you find an owner actively looking to sell their collector car, you can use face-to-face bargaining to secure a great deal. Of course, online auctions are an easy way to get your car in front of a large audience, but the extra expense in delivering the vehicle can be enough additional cost to not hit the seller’s reserve.
Face-to-face bargaining also allows you to tell your personal story in the collector car hobby — you can discuss why you want the vehicle, which may resonate with the seller and lead to an even better deal. You can also convey the vehicle home after the sale, greatly reducing transportation costs. These two variables might be enough to meet the seller’s desired price while also getting a deal.
In-person purchases are certainly more work than pushing the “buy now” button online, but in the end, the experience will likely be far better. Plus, you might just make another car friend along the way.
Protect Your Car All Winter and All Year Long with Classic Auto
You can keep your classic protected for years to come 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.
Ready to learn more? Call our classic car insurance experts today at 888-901-1338, or you can get an instant quote online here.