The Millennial Collector: Three Things Agents Should Know

Millennial car collector with Ford Bronco

Millennials embracing the collector car lifestyle are fast becoming the largest and most lucrative buying group in the U.S. Here are a few things car insurance agents should understand when targeting this younger generation.

Millennials have been blamed, fairly or not, for dismantling many of society’s sacred cows over the years. Almost everything, from paper napkins to department stores to golf, has been dramatically impacted by the shopping habits of the Millennial buyer.

Even major institutions aren’t immune (think of this age group’s changing views on home ownership and marriage). But what’s the Millennial take on collector cars? As insurance agents, should we be worried?

Thankfully, not a bit. The late 2020 Hagerty “Why Driving Matters” survey+ reveals a few interesting and encouraging data points agents might not expect from the Millennial market.

Here are a few takeaways to keep in mind when forging relationships with this younger generation of collector car buyers.

1. Millennials want classic cars

If Millennials once wanted only experiences like vacations (and the social media posts that come with them), that narrative has clearly changed. These days, this age group is increasingly looking for something to hang on to.

And in many cases, that something a collector vehicle.

Results from the Hagerty survey* showed 57% of Millennials interested in classic car ownership as compared to 33% of Baby Boomers. Gens X and Z fell in the middle at 49% and 53%, respectively.

Even amidst a global pandemic — or perhaps because of it — these younger generations show the highest self-reported desire to drive and own a classic.

This is good news for our industry, and it just makes demographic sense. In the years ahead, you’ll have a higher probability of covering a Millennial’s car than a Boomer’s.

2. Millennials are buying (and owning) classic cars

I know what you’re thinking. Just because this generation wants a classic doesn’t mean they’re buying them, right? Actually, classic car ownership is already higher among Millennials than any other demographic group.

A full 25% of surveyed Millennials* tell us they own a classic. Reported ownership among Gens Z and X ticks downward to 22% and 19%, with only 13% of Boomers reporting a classic in their garage.

At Hagerty, the proof is in the pudding: since 2016, vehicles owned by Millennials and insured through Hagerty have increased 270% (compared to a more modest Boomer growth rate of 39%).

As Millennials reach age 40 and beyond, their recreational income is increasing. At the same time, their attitudes are transitioning into a desire to be part of something bigger, like the collector car community. Again, this is despite widespread reporting from the past decade that Millennials prefer “experiences” over “things.”

Or maybe that’s still true, but those experiences now include ownership of a classic or collector vehicle.

Still, some may wonder whether millennials are just inheriting the classics their parents are leaving them. Maybe that’s true, and that might account for the lower ownership rate among Boomers. And yet, the Hagerty survey shows more Millennials and Gen X’ers than Boomers have searched online for both classic vehicle insurance quotes and values.

Either way, they’ll need a policy to cover their car, right? Whether it’s an inheritance or an outright purchase, it’s an opportunity for you.

3. Millennials will need lots of classic car protection

Just how much insurance will this generation need? Let’s run the numbers.

Millennials make up 72.1 million Americans. If 25% of them own classic cars (which is a ton of rolling steel sitting in American garages!) that’s over 18 million cars that need to be insured.

Beyond that, a recent study from Coldwell Banker showed that Millennials stand to inherit over $68 trillion and will hold more than five times the wealth they do today.

Studies have also shown Millennials will pay a premium for luxury items. And while only 30% feel loyal to brands, a full 70% will go out of their way to spend money on a brand they’re loyal to.

With this much collective buying power, the future of classic and collector cars belongs to the Millennials.

The kids are alright – and they need you

As Millennials come of age and continue embracing the collector car lifestyle, it’s mission-critical to stay connected with these buyers. We know they appreciate expertise, and that’s where savvy agents can set themselves apart.

You can start by logging in to the Hagerty Agent Business Center. Inside you’ll find links to marketing resources, lead-generation tips, and vehicle Valuation Tools®. Pre-made social media templates are also available to help you reach the enthusiasts in your orbit.

The increasingly experience-based Hagerty portfolio of races, events, and automotive media makes the Hagerty Drivers Club® a no-brainer offering for Millennial buyers. Providing a variety of digital touchpoints can help position you as a brand (and partner) that deserves their trust.

Through our partnership, insurance clients with Drivers Club receive, on average, more than one automotive touchpoint per week.

We also invite you to join our LinkedIn Agents and Brokers community, where you’ll find real-world learnings, best practices, and a community of like-minded colleagues to help you connect, share, learn, and grow.

As your expert partner in all things automotive, Hagerty is here to help. Call us with any questions at 800-747-5348 or live chat at

*Source: Hagerty 2020 why driving matters survey (Oct 2020).

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