Younger Generations Shaking Up Collector Market

For the first time in 2017, GenXers and the generations after them eclipse Baby Boomers as the largest number of people interested in acquiring classic vehicles. Their influence is impacting the collector market in many different ways.

Younger Enthusiasts Rule

While Boomers have ruled the collector market for years, the gap is closing, according to statistics that show the number of insurance applications for classic vehicles. In the past few years, GenXers and Millennials are passing Baby Boomers, with 53% of insurance quotes in 2018. And that percentage only seems to be growing.

What Qualifies as a Classic Car?

Classic car wisdom says that people collect cars that they dream about owning in their youth, but usually couldn’t afford. This reasoning isn’t holding for GenXers and Millennials who seem to be flocking to the powerful, analog machines of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The data shows Baby Boomers tend to own vehicles that are on average 14 years younger than they are, while Millennials tend to own vehicles that are on average seven years younger than their age. Nowadays, what qualifies as a classic car? “Does that car or vehicle have collectability?” asks Drew Yagodnik, President of Classic Auto Insurance. “In today’s world, what we’re looking at is, ‘Is that vehicle really in demand? Or will it be in demand potentially down the road?’”

New Tastes are Breaking the Model

While the current data shows vehicles from the 60’s and 70’s are most appealing for younger generations, it also suggests a rise in interest for vehicles from the 1980’s, 1990’s and even later models.

Jacob Greisen, Head of U.S. Motoring Department at Bonhams adds, “Speaking in pure generalities, the under $100K market is booming, and that is where the majority of sales occur. “New” trends seem to be a continuation of trends that have started in the past few years. Early SUVs and exotic cars from the 1990’s and early 2000’s are on many buyers’ radar.”

Among the newer vehicles most frequently added to policies are the Corvette ZR1 (C6-generation, 2005-2013), Bentley Continental GT (2003-2010), Porsche 911 GT2 (996-generation, 1995-2005), Aston Martin V8 Vantage (2007) and Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 (1998-1999).

“Exceptional late-model Porsches continue to emerge with strong results,” notes Gordon Duff, Global Head of Auctions for RM Sotheby’s, “and then on the other end of the spectrum we’re seeing sustained and even growing interest in American classics; a Marmon Sixteen Coupe and an Auburn Boattail Speedster are now worth a million.”

Millennial Influence

As the Millennial generation, now in their 20’s and 30’s, continues to move into higher paying career positions, their discretionary income will continue to rise and influence the collectable car market. One area that seems to be of interest to Millennials is electric vehicles. While battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) only represent a small fraction of vehicles on the road today, their popularity continues to grow. To appeal to these new enthusiasts, San Diego, California-based Zelectric Motors converts and rebuilds vintage VW models including Bugs, Microbuses, Karmann Ghias and early Porsches into electric vehicles. Overseas, Jaguar and Aston Martin now offer reversible electric versions of their classic cars. British firm RBW Classic Electric Cars will even build a new-body BEV MGB, Jaguar XKSS or Jaguar C-type replica.

The Classic Auto Insurance Difference

As an independent agent, your goal is to find the best protection possible for your collector clients. Saving them money strengthens the loyalty they give you and keeps them coming back. In partnership with Classic Auto Insurance, you can offer the coverage and options a collector wants, tailoring policies to fit their needs and doing it for less than what a standard auto policy might cost. Agent partners also enjoy a minimum commission of 10% for every new and renewed policy. To become a referring agent, contact us today.

Learn more about how to fully protect a classic »

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