Which Classic Car is the Best Investment?

Thinking of investing in a classic car? When faced with some different options, making the right one can seem daunting. Read our breakdown of these important factors and help yourself make an informed decision.

At Towergate, we’d like to think we know a thing or two about classic cars – enough to provide classic car insurance. Investing in classic cars has made something of a resurgence in recent years but with so many options, where does one begin with navigating the tricky waters of finding the right car. The best investments can be categorised in three broad areas: (1) the right brand, (2) limited editions and (3) an illustrious history.

Buying the right brand

A Jaguar E Type V12 Roadster Series III (1971) can go for up to £165,000 in the right condition.

With returns of up to 257 per cent on some classic cars, it is easy to have pound signs in the eyes and just rush into buying the nearest classic car to you. But it is important to realise that this kind of increase won’t apply to every brand of car out there An Austin Maestro isn’t going to rocket to £70,000 in the next five years, for example.

This kind of massive surge in price is usually only reserved for certain brands and the right kind of cars from those manufacturers. You’ll need to head to high-end stuff from the likes of Maserati, Bentley, Aston Martin and Jaguar in order to make a serious profit. For example, a 1974 Jaguar E Type Series 3 V12 Roadster going for £165,000 is almost certain to make a profit on the amount invested.

Limited editions

There are only eight 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta cars still on the road - out of an original nine

It’s fairly simple logic that buying cars that had a limited production run will eventually pay off. Take the 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta, for example. With just eight examples left on the road (out of nine built) one sold for more than £5.6 million when it was auctioned in August last year. Look out for limited edition versions of cars, too.

An illustrious history

A 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula One racing single-seater went for a record-breaking £19m in 2013

Some cars just happen to have a fantastic story attached to them. For instance, the Aston Martin DB5 will forever associated with James Bond and the Mini Cooper S with The Italian Job (and Michael Caine, maybe) – links with film and TV are likely to push the value up even higher. But it’s not just the silver screen that helps. A car used in motorsport is also likely to get a high price at auction - in 2013, the Swiss Grand Prix winning 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula One racing single seater hit a record breaking £19,601,500. A little history can definitely go a long, long way!

With any investment, there are risks but by looking out for these pointers, you could be on the road to a healthy profit on your investment. Cashing in on the right brand, keeping an eye out on limited editions of popular cars and getting to grips with a potentially illustrious history can help you make the right investment.