Modern Classics: The Enthusiasts Driving Newer Collector Cars

Modern Classic Car Enthusiast

The 1990s are back in a big way. If you’re paying attention, you’ll see ‘90s influences all over TV, movies, and music – not to mention rising interest among car enthusiasts in vehicles manufactured during the Seinfeld era.

For agents, this growing segment represents a lucrative new source of customers with specialty vehicle policy needs. Thankfully, Hagerty protects ‘90s and newer too – and we can help connect you to the enthusiasts driving this demand.

Ready to grow your book? Here’s what you need to know.

Why ‘90s collector vehicles? Why now?

Call them what you want: modern classics, youngtimers, or RADwood cars. Either way, enthusiast vehicles from the late 1980s, ‘90s, and early 2000s are on fire. By our estimation, more than 28 million collector cars manufactured in 1990 or later are out there in the U.S. alone. You may also be surprised to learn more than half of all new Hagerty quotes today are written for modern vehicle opportunities.*

Why? We chalk up the ‘90s and newer boom to both age and income trends.

Buyer demographics are shifting

We know the Millennial generation represents the collector market’s largest growth sector. Millennials and Gen Z are the most likely age groups to report having a classic or collector vehicle already at home in their garages. Interest in owning a classic among these two generations is also high and actually exceeds both Gen X and Baby Boomers! Bottom line: your market is getting younger.

Modern classics can be more affordable

The auction market has gone gangbusters lately. That means some buyers, especially first-timers, are being priced out of traditional classics. Costs are typically a bit less steep for many vehicles manufactured in and around the 90s. For those seeking to enter the hobby without taking on a second mortgage, ‘90s era vehicles offer more value for the price of admission.

Nostalgia for the ‘90s is real

Collector car buyers entering their prime earning years likely received their drivers’ licenses in the decade prior to Y2K. And like most of us, these young enthusiasts gravitate toward the vehicles they grew up around. Raised on racing video games like Gran Turismo, this generation fondly remembers the influx of imports during their youth. They see ‘90s era Japanese sports cars the same way their parents saw American muscle cars of the 1960s and ‘70s, and it shows up in their collector vehicle interest.

Finding next-generation enthusiasts

You can find ‘90s and newer owners and new prospects practically anywhere. Look for enthusiasts around ages 40-55 who have that third car they love, but rarely use.

Local events like Cars & Caffeine™ and RADwood are also great locations to prospect. RADwood is the premier automotive lifestyle event celebrating vehicles from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Hagerty took ownership of this brand in 2022 as part of its mission to preserve driving and car culture for future generations.

You can even go prospecting for clients already on your book. As collector vehicle values continue rising, it makes sense to check in. Use the Hagerty Valuation Tools® to calculate any value changes and make sure they’re protected for what the vehicle’s truly worth.

Earn trust and loyalty by shifting these cars from standard to collector car policies. The minimal effort it takes to make the switch more than justifies the long-term client satisfaction, retention, and referral opportunities you’ll receive.

Sharing the benefits of Hagerty Drivers Club® is another opportunity to engage with potential ‘90s and newer collectors. 84% of Millennial enthusiasts tell us they’d be interested in purchasing a membership, with roadside assistance, VIP experiences, and Marketplace features most appealing to this group.**

Qualifying a 90s-era collectible car

Here’s your reminder that 1990s and newer cars are right at home on a collector policy through Hagerty. Think convertibles, two-door sports cars, rides with big block V-8 engines, and rare vehicles with a limited production run. Here are a few examples, but there are way too many to list.Keep in mind 90s and newer vehicles must meet the following requirements to qualify:

  • Your client’s vehicle must be used for collector activities (not a daily driver, up to 7,500 annual mileage in most states; up to 5,000 annual mileage in California, Florida, and New York).
  • The vehicle must have a $3,500 minimum value.
  • The car or truck must be in good condition unless under active restoration.
  • And the vehicle must be stored properly – preferably in a garage, but a carport or driveway is allowed in many areas.

Policy benefits like Guaranteed Value®, our expert claims team, and flexible usage extend to ‘90s and newer vehicles as well.^ Additional endorsements like Cherished Salvage®^^ and Vehicle Under Construction can provide further peace of mind for clients with unique insurance needs.

And whether it’s grunge or boy bands, your client’s ‘90s music collection will not affect the quote. Hagerty is here to provide the right coverage no matter what CD or cassette you find in the glove box.

Grab your flannel and start quoting

Collector car culture can’t and won’t end with cars built in the 1960s and ‘70s. Not with Dodge Vipers, Mazda Miatas, Nissan Laurels, and other iconic vehicles from the pre-Internet ‘90s now qualifying for historic plates.

Together, we can offer the best protection for these vehicles and pave the way for a new generation of enthusiasts.

You can find resources for writing ‘90s and newer vehicles in the Hagerty Agent Business Center. Fact finders, sell sheets, and sample vehicle lists are all available. You can also call us at 800-747-5348 or live chat at to talk about additional coverages for your client's vehicle.

We offer dedicated support 7 days a week. As your expert partner in all things automotive, Hagerty is here to help.

*Source: Hagerty Policy quotes **Source: HDC Pricing October 2021 (North America), US Direct Brand Tracking Study 2021 ^ Less any deductible and/or salvage value, if retained by you. Guaranteed Value includes all taxes and fees unless prohibited by state law. ^^ Cost of 15% of the vehicle’s comprehensive and collision premiums (if applicable) and is subject to change. Title branding is subject to state laws and regulations. +Price subject to change. Maximum increase of $25,000 per policy period. Value will return to original Guaranteed Value (AB: Agreed Value) at renewal, unless you request a value increase, and Hagerty agrees. Guaranteed Value, Cherished Salvage, Cars & Caffeine, Hagerty Drivers Club, Guaranteed Value & Hagerty Valuation Tools are registered or common law trademarks of The Hagerty Group LLC, ©2024 The Hagerty Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Hagerty Group, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hagerty, Inc. Membership by Hagerty Drivers Club (HDC), a non-insurance subsidiary of The Hagerty Group, LLC. Roadside services provided by/thru Cross Country Motor Club except in AK, CA, HI, OR, WI & WY where services are provided by Cross Country Motor Club of California, Inc. For additional information and a complete description of benefits, visit Purchase of insurance not required for membership in HDC.