Car Collecting: How to Protect Your Investment

APRIL 2, 2024

Whether you’re new to the auto collection space or have an established inventory, collecting cars is big business. In 2023, North American auctions saw seven vehicles offered for over $10 million each, and the auction brought more than $3.4 billion in sales.

Those records are expected to be surpassed in 2024.1 Before you scour the internet looking for collector cars, here are some things to know.

What Makes a Vehicle Collectible?

If a vehicle is rare, it may be deemed collectible. “Rare” can mean the vehicle is hard to find, or it carries the name of an influential designer, or it had limited production numbers. Rarity can increase collectibility.2

Vehicles That Are Collectible in 2024

Here’s what experts are predicting for the 2024 collector car market:3

  • The McLaren F1 road car is at the top of the list. Known as “the next Ferrari 250 GTO,” the most recent public sale (in 2021) was for more than $20 million.
  • The 1963-1967 Chevrolet Corvette is also a hot commodity. A competitor of Porsche, the Porsche 991 (aka 911) will depreciate as its replacement 992 becomes more popular. 
  • The Subaru Impreza RB320 is expected to go big in the near future. Only 320 were produced, which checks the rarity box nicely.
  • Keep your eyes open for the rally-inspired special-edition Mitsubishis and Subarus. They are expected to exceed $100,000 at auction.
  • Ferrari, Chevrolet, Dodge and Aston Martin GT2/GTLM/GTS are gaining in popularity and are expected to fetch record prices in 2024.
  • Conversion vehicles are expected to exceed $200,000 in 2024. A converted 1963 Cadillac Eldorado sold for $154,000 in January 2023. A 1966 Pontiac GTO EV conversion just sold for $143,000 in January 2024.
  • Children’s cars are becoming a popular auction opener. RM Sotheby’s sold a scaled-down Ferrari F40 for $87,000.

Vehicles Expected to Appreciate in Value

If you’re looking to enter the collector space, the safest thing to do is search for a vehicle with limited production and strong engine power. That said, the following list holds promise for future appreciation:4

Not known for being a showstopper, this car has already hit the bottom and prices are now climbing.

These cars are essentially the same — a family muscle car. The major difference between the two is the seating capacity. Look for Hemi engines, as they positively impact the value of these vehicles.

Too good to ignore, this Italian sports car is half the cost of the 360 Modena. These cars hold their value, and as time passes, that value appreciates.

The present generation is almost guaranteed to be collectible in the future. Purchasers can add the Sasquatch package to any model, which gives them the equipment of a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, without the Rubicon price tag.

If you’re in the market for a Raptor, look for the generation built between 2010 and 2014 with a 6.2-liter Boss V8. Don’t forget, mileage and condition will impact the collectibility factor.

Lightweight, exceptional balance, and a limited-slip differential. You may not get rich collecting the front-wheel-drive Veloster N, but you’ll always find a buyer willing to pay for quality.

Experts believe there is one generation left in the Gladiator before it is retired. One-generation vehicles are almost guaranteed to become future classics. If you find it, get the six-speed manual transmission.

The coupe was only available between the 2009 and 2010 model years. During that time, only 1,266 coupes were built. The two-seater, rear-wheel-drive cars with a manual gearbox make them desirable now and into the future.

Finely built, fun-to-drive sports cars that look as good as they go. Experts expect them to appreciate in the future.

If you’re up for a challenge, try to locate a WRX hatchback, either in the base WRX or the faster STI. Collectors love them, as they are hot hatches, indeed — they’re fast. Hatchbacks aren’t usually considered “collectible,” but this one absolutely is. Compared with the price of a competitive WRX sedan, you'll likely pay a significant premium for the hatch.

How to Protect Your Collector Car Investment

Now that you know what makes a vehicle collectible, what to look for at this year’s auction, and where to look for future appreciation, you need to know how to protect your investment. These are the key things to understand:

Do not make the mistake of putting your collector car on a standard auto policy. In the event of a loss, a standard auto policy usually gives you the Blue Book value of your car. If you have a collector car insurance policy, you could recoup a “guaranteed value.” Guaranteed value is the amount you receive in the event of a loss, and no depreciation is applied.

Don’t confuse a guaranteed value collector policy with a stated value policy. A stated value policy does not promise to pay the full stated value in the event of a loss. The insurer has the right to pay either your vehicle’s depreciated actual value or the cost to replace your vehicle, whichever is less.

Most importantly, a collector policy is usually less expensive than a standard auto policy. Collector cars are not driven like regular-use vehicles; you therefore, you should not pay regular-use prices. That’s right — better coverage for less premium dollars.