Lightning never strikes the same place twice. Goldfish only have a three-second memory. A penny dropped from the top of a tall building could kill someone. What do these three things have in common? They’re some of the most commonly believed myths.
Myths and half-truths permeate every walk of life, from science and nutrition to history and healthcare. Classic cars aren’t immune, either. Unfortunately, some classic car myths are widely accepted as fact — which can impact your decision-making when buying or restoring a classic car.
Let’s take a look at a few common classic car myths.
1. The Lower the Mileage, the Better
At first glance, this commonly held belief seems to make sense. After all, a car driven less will have less wear and tear and be in better condition. The truth is a bit more complex.
Extremely low mileage on classic cars can become more of a liability than a fantastic find. That’s because a car that’s driven regularly and (this is key) well-maintained is likely to be more reliable. Plus, old parts will have been replaced with new ones, and any issues that plagued that particular model in the past will have been fixed. Takeaway: Don’t assume lower mileage means a more valuable, better car.
2. Rarity Means Higher Price
According to the laws of supply and demand, the rarer a car, the higher the price. The theory seems common sense but doesn’t play out in the real world. While rare models tend to be expensive, rarity isn’t the deciding factor.
On the contrary, many mass-produced classic cars are also among the most priced and desirable. A car’s initial value or perceived rarity doesn’t always play a vital role in the current price. Instead, carefully caring for, maintaining, and preserving a classic car is a more reliable way to increase value.
3. Pristine Restorations are the Most Desirable
Let’s preface this myth with one caveat: a classic car’s condition does impact price. A car that’s been lovingly restored and maintained will be worth more than a car that’s been poorly maintained and heavily used. At one time, perfectly restored classic cars were considered the most desirable.
In recent years, however, market conditions have shifted. Today, the most desirable classic cars are original, unrestored, and remarkably well-preserved. Known as a preservation classic, this collector car often costs much higher than even the most careful restoration.
4. Cars Only Become Collectible After 20 Years
You’ve likely heard that car value depreciates the minute you drive it off the dealer’s lot. In most cases, it’s true. You may have also heard that a car can’t be considered a classic until after it hits that 20-year mark. Often, it takes a few decades — and quite a few other factors — for a car to become a collector.
There are some exceptions, however… which makes this a myth. For instance, the 2005-06 Ford GT sells for almost four times its original price. The value of the 2004-06 Porsche Carrera GT has stayed the same since it came out. And early aughts model years of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited are selling now for more than they initially did.
5. Collector Car Insurance is Expensive
Another common misconception? Insurance for classic cars is expensive, especially when compared to insurance for modern cars. This isn’t the case.
Collector car insurance prices depend on a few variables. An insurer considers factors like make, model, how the car is stored, condition and more. And because collector cars are often used as a secondary form of transportation, that’s also considered.
As you can see, many beliefs about collector cars aren’t grounded in reality. And when it comes to buying, repairing, restoring, and maintaining a collector car, the fact is that classic car myths can impact the decisions you make.
At Wayfarer Insurance, we’ll help you separate fact from fiction. Contact us with your collector car insurance questions. We’re here to help you make informed decisions and protect your investment. Give us a call at 1-844-929-4768 or contact us online.