The collector car market continues to soften

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The Hagerty Market Rating is a monthly assessment of the collector car market’s activity and strength. For a detailed explanation of what goes into this rating, please click here.

The Hagerty Market Rating (HMR) dropped 1.2 points this month to 68.33—its lowest value in two years. Although this is not the first time that the Market Rating has decreased for 13 months out of a 15-month timeframe, the current downturn includes the steepest decline in Market Rating history. In the past year, the Market Rating has dropped 9.6 points. Before 2023, the largest single-year drop was only 6.9 points.

While still in the “expanding market” range of the spectrum, it’s very likely that the Market Rating will continue to decline as prices soften across the market. The pandemic boom has clearly come to an end.

This month was the first time since August 2017 in which every single metric used to calculate the Hagerty Market Rating dropped.

Despite more than $403 million in sales at the Monterey auctions this month, the Median Sale Price metric decreased two points to its lowest score in over a decade. This is due to last year’s record-breaking Monterey numbers moving out of the 12-month HMR calculation window, and being replaced by this year’s slightly weaker Monterey numbers. The median sale price at Monterey this year was 13 percent lower than a year ago.

Optimism among our industry experts is at its lowest point since the start of the pandemic, when all live auctions were canceled. After watching the Monterey auctions in person, they cited soft prices in the lower end of the market (read cars below $500,000 – it is Monterey, after all) as the main cause.

Brandan Gillogly

Any increase in raw numbers this month was not able to outrun inflation, which just reached its highest point in over a year. One example of this is the Average Sale Price in private transactions: despite increasing for the first time since spring, it showed as a loss in our final Market Rating numbers once inflation was accounted for. In contrast, the private market seems to be fairing well, with more than 45 percent of cars selling above insured value—this would have been a record less than two years ago.

Brandan Gillogly

Owners who held on to their cars through the market frenzy are also increasing insured values at a much slower rate. Currently, the ratio of increases to decreases of insured values is 3.6-to-1 and 8.9-to-1 for “high-end” vehicles and those valued under $250,000, respectively. While these ratios are still very much in the black, they are nearly half of what they were at their peak last year.

Next month, the Hagerty Market rating will gain the influence of a new Hagerty Price Guide release. While it’s doubtful that this will cause the rating to reverse course, we’ll be watching closely to see how much the softening of the market has infiltrated the real values of cars in our Price Guide.




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    Hagerty had better get in front of the trouble that is coming.

    CARB sent out surveys to classic car owners wanting to know how and where they use their cars and even asked for the miles on their cars speedometers.

    Their aim is to have Zero emissions zones much like London in the near future.

    What does this mean. It means they can restrict the use of ICE models in any part of California they would like. Yes this could be places like Pebble Beach and other car rich areas.

    This the first step to cut out historic vehicles on their way to the Zero Carbon Future in 2045.

    We the owners of these cars need support from SEMA and the historic car clubs of America to stop this. Hagerty had better step up now or it will not have anything to insure in the future. If we can’t drive them why own them?

    The Ace Café in England is in risk now as they are charging all ICE models a fee to travel to the Café. This extra cost is hurting their business as one of the historic gathering spots for motor heads.

    They have already damaged our oil that I have to use Racing oil to protect my flat tappet cam. I expect the Fuel will be next with more alcohol that will damage my fuel system.

    Please Hagerty stop this neutral position and help protect our Hobby. We are not destroying the atmosphere. You already hold our miles down so this should be a bargaining chip to protect our right to driver when and where we choose.

    Would be nice is the market so I could buy for pennies on the dollar. As it is many vehicles I like are out of my ability to afford.

    I hate we can’t edit here. I was trying to say it would be nice (for me) if the market was such, so that I could…

    The UN is a joke. I don’t believe a word they say. And Lewis Hamilton might be a good driver but he is an insufferable idiot. I’m glad you enjoy eating the food that my food eats.

    Like just about everything else, there was a pandemic bump. The interesting story will be where it settles out, and if there will be an over-correction before it settles. My WAG is yes there will be an over-correction, after which it will settle somewhere around where it would have been if COVID never happened.

    Part of the drop is because of people and organizations like Hagerty that keep the rhetoric going that prices are dropping and old cars are a bad investment. This same thing was perpetrated on Corvette owners 25 years ago. I know I owned 5 of them. Also, unfortunately there are people who whine because they can’t afford the cars. Well I have news for you, not everyone can afford mansions and big boats, or businesses. Maybe to be able to afford some luxuries or old cars you may need a part time job. Also Hagerty and other insurers like this rhetoric so they can under-insrure our old cars…sure the premium may lower…MAY get lower, but nothing else is getting cheaper so with the lower premium will come lower settlement payments. But that reproduction fender will still cost more due to inflation. I have 7 musclecars…had 8, but I sold a 68 Z28 for slightly over $90,00.00 3 weeks ago. So my car prices/values are not dropping, if someone wants to buy one they will pay what I value them. Of course all that said, there are many cars out there that are affordable, maybe set your sights lower, buy one and restore it. I know this sounds hars, and Hagerty may not print this, but know that this is my opinion and it is from 33 years of collecting old cars and restoring them. It is not a cheap hobby and “numbers matching 100 point restorations” are not for everyone.

    Are you lost?….This is a car site. We come here for the sole purpose of avoiding nonsense like this…try the NRA site…They love this type of discussion.

    The hobby has been ruined by the auction houses who blow smoke up your A$$ saying there an investment. The person(s) with disposable income with the home museum who say “Look what I have” have also contributed to overpriced cars. If you purchase a car that cost a million dollars or more are you going to drive it ? I drive my Pierce Arrow every chance I get, Its not a trailer queen or home museum piece. Beautifully restored by myself. I will never get back the $ invested and that’s OK.

    Market has soften also I believe because years ago we shipped older cars to Mexico and Cuna. We are seeing them bringing them back to us because they are considering them classics and worth a lot of money fixed up.

    Don’t be fooled by fools.. when 3 major car collectors DUMP their collections, that tells a tail for sure.. when 65 percent of cars at 2023 mecum auction were no sales. That tells a tail for sure.. when the hershey and carlisle 2023 shows had HALF THE VENDORS..that surely tells a tail… to buy a car is one thing.. to sell it is another.. if you are buying a car to ride around and look cool, then go for it ! but if you are buying as an investment.. RUN FAST IN THE OTHER DIRECTION !

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