Classifying a vehicle

Correctly classifying a vehicle’s condition is paramount when using Hagerty Valuation Tools®. Our pricing is unique in that we publish Hagerty Price Guide’s prices, and Hagerty Price Guide strives to provide a value for “true” #1 cars, and these values are often far and away more expensive than identical vehicles in lesser condition. It is estimated that more than 80% of cars in the market are either condition #3 or #4, so make sure you are confident in your car’s ascribed condition. Many sellers overrate the condition of their car; overeager buyers tend to do the same for potential purchases.

In addition to a vehicle’s condition, other factors can influence a price. Particularly, number of owners, originality, and documentation to support build claims or restoration work can all greatly effect a vehicle’s value. Note that the addition of factory options to a car can greatly impact the vehicle’s value, so pay attention to any pricing notes that are listed in the “Vehicle Value Details” section of the “Value Your Car” tab of the site.

Lastly, use Hagerty Valuation Tools® as a guide, not the Gospel. Use the information presented here to gain a deeper understanding of the market, apply your senses to what you learn, and consult with experts in the field before making any buying or selling decisions.

Condition Ratings

#1 vehicles in Hagerty Price Guide are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the car has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 cars is "concours."

#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and interior will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine compartment. The vehicle will drive as a new car of its era would. The one word description for #2 cars is "excellent."

#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior. #3 cars drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These cars are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. "Good" is the one word description of a Hagerty Price Guide #3.

#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the fender has a minor dent. The interior could have split seams or a cracked dash. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or the interior might not be stock. A #4 car can also be a deteriorated restoration. "Fair" is the one word that describes a Hagerty Price Guide #4 car.