Hagerty Valuation Tools® use vehicle values from our own independently published Hagerty Price Guide, and these values are among the most accurate in the collector car world thanks to two major factors: our data and our expertise.
Breadth and depth of transactional data
Hagerty Price Guide works tirelessly to ensure that all facets of the collector car marketplace are considered when we evaluate a vehicle’s value. We understand that public auctions are a relatively small percentage of collector car transactions (less than 20%, in fact), but that the visible nature of the venue provides a great opportunity to learn about vehicle values. Because of this we take great efforts to review both small- and large-scale activity in this channel around the world. We perform our own on-site vehicle inspections to provide us as detailed an understanding as possible of every car that crosses the block, and we consult respected third parties to fill in the details on those cars we are unable to review.
We also understand that dealer sales represent an even smaller volume of transactions (approximately 12%), but that those transactions are typically very well informed. A good dealer can describe a vehicle’s specification down to a car’s tire size, and that is why we go to great lengths to receive sales figures directly from established dealers who trade solely in collectible automobiles. In addition, we talk to scores more dealers on a regular basis to learn both micro- and macro-level opinions about the state of the market.
Most importantly, Hagerty knows that peer-to-peer sales – those exchanges that are conducted outside of the public eye and away from scrutiny – have historically been elusive. As these sales rarely make headlines but constitute the overwhelming majority of the collector car marketplace (71.5%, to be exact), we have developed a process to aggregate transactional data from our vast network of willing insured clients. We actively solicit and record details regarding tens of thousands of these transactions annually.
In addition to these transactional inputs, we actively monitor asking prices. Hagerty also has access to the insured values of hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Our data aggregation is a continuous process, and the careful study and research allows us to publish three times per year (January, May, and September).
In the collector car world, our data is possibly the most well-rounded of any organization.
Access to data is only part of the story, however. It is Hagerty Price Guide’s familiarity with the industry and close association to the market itself that translates raw data to meaningful insight.
The classic car marketplace behaves differently than the new or used car market does. In particular, classic cars are an emotional purchase and their buyers scrutinize their details to a much greater extent. There can also be a tremendous variance between cars of the same year/make/model description. As such, it is imperative that all of a vehicle’s details are understood before interpreting a sale price’s comment on the market. Low mileage, full documentation, overall condition, rarity, and significant modifications can all greatly affect a vehicle’s value – more so than with a three-year-old car.
At Hagerty Price Guide, we don’t just look at a given model’s transactional price and volume. We note condition, history, optional equipment, quality of restoration, degree of documentation, and sales venue, just to name a few.
The values Hagerty Price Guide publishes are not programmatically computed, but rather they are filtered through our experts’ collective experience. Instead of relying on an algorithm to interpret all of the data we have compiled, our analysts go to great lengths to understand the individual reasons that a car sold for the amount it did.
In addition to looking at recent sales data for a given model, we also overlay other market factors to provide a more grounded vantage of the vehicle values we publish. Inventory, demand, recent trends of similar vehicles, movement within related market segments, and general directions of the car market overall all influence a car’s published value. We also evaluate changing tastes among buyers and developing fads within the hobby, and we relate these inputs to larger economic factors outside of the car hobby, like home equity crunches, employment statistics, and fuel prices.
Through this effort, you can be assured that the prices we report are fully considered, exhaustively researched, and – most importantly – accurate.