The Collector Car Market: By the Numbers

The vehicles from the 2021 Bull Market list.

The collector car market has always been a lucrative source of revenue for agents thinking outside the two-car garage. Not sure where to begin? We got you. Here’s a 50,000-foot view of the market, the enthusiasts, and the amazing vehicles you’ll find when prospecting for business.

Collector cars: a premium opportunity for agents

The collector car market has grown exponentially over the last two decades. It makes sense when you think about it. As millions of daily drivers age from new to used, and from used into “classics,” your pool of specialty insureds should rise in tandem.

But just how big is the market these days? These numbers should give you some perspective:

  • 43 million: Hagerty data tells us around 43 million cars in the United States fit the Hagerty definition of a collector vehicle. That’s around 16 percent of the nation’s 275 million registered vehicles.
  • $2.2 billion: This is the total amount of sales from North American collector car auctions in 2021.
  • $1 trillion: The combined value of those 43 million collector cars represents an estimated (and) astonishing $1 trillion in total insurable value.

Those are big numbers. It’s clear the market is substantial. But is it growing? Can it sustain itself? The short answer to both questions is yes.

Collector car values have been rocket-strapped for nearly two straight years – including a stretch of valuation increases lasting 15 consecutive months. And even with an inevitable bump in the road, the market is poised to carry its gains into 2023 and beyond.

One significant reason? The youth movement.

Let’s give Generation X some long-awaited recognition. These days it’s Gen-X, Millennials, and Gen-Z driving the majority of Hagerty quotes for collector car insurance. Gen-X enthusiasts are just now reaching their peak earning years, with the latter generations well on their way .

Forty-two percent of millennial owners acquired their first enthusiast vehicle within the past five years.

While baby boomers still account for the majority of Hagerty collector car policies, younger enthusiasts represent the biggest drivers of growth.

Portrait of a collector car enthusiast

The love of driving crosses all generations, but who is the average enthusiast these days?

First thing’s first. Whether you call them enthusiasts, car nuts, gearheads, or something else entirely is irrelevant. Just know that somewhere along the way these “car people” went mainstream.

In fact, there are 69 million individuals in the U.S. who may be considered car enthusiasts, and these are the drivers most likely to own or consider owning a collector vehicle of any age.

A few key demographics really tell the story:

  • Average age: 56 years
  • Average household income: $144k
  • Average amount of time in the hobby: 20 years

More than one-third (34 percent) of enthusiasts are retired, and 22 percent have children under 18 living in the household. More than half of these kids are teenagers.

What draws enthusiasts to the hobby? These are the top three reasons for owning a collector car among all age groups:

  • Fun to drive 58%
  • Look great (visual appeal) 46%
  • Personal nostalgia 38%

Two-thirds of enthusiasts have attended a car event in the last two years (hint: these are great places to prospect). And even the remaining third stuck at home tell us they’re eager to get back out to shows. An overwhelming 90% of enthusiasts plan to attend an auto event in the next few years.

These events include local car shows and cruises, marque-specific rallies, and laid-back cars and coffee events most popular with younger enthusiasts. This is a great opportunity to activate an event and bring these enthusiasts to you. Let us know if you’re interested and we can help!

Identifying classics, collector, and enthusiast vehicles

When talking collector vehicles, we should probably define the term. When you hear “classic,” any vehicle 25-30 years and older is usually fair game. But there are subtle differences in terms.

  • Vintage cars typically refer to those manufactured between 1919 and 1930. An easy example: the 1916 Ford Model T.
  • Antique cars refer to vehicles aged 25 or older according to the Antique Automobile Club of America.
  • A classic car, as defined by the Classic Car Club of America, is a “fine or distinctive automobile, American or Foreign built, produced between 1915 and 1948.”

As you can tell, these definitions leave plenty of gray areas. Just know that any type of vehicle may be considered collectible (or not) based on condition and scarcity. Check out the Vehicles We Protect one-pager for a handy quick-reference guide.

Look no further than the Hagerty 2023 Bull Market List to find a nice cross-section of collector vehicles illustrating the point. These vehicles, as selected annually by our valuation team, are collectible based on their righteous combination of value gains and insurance demand (usually with a sprinkle of overall uniqueness).

  • 70s-era exotics? Check. The Ferrari 246 Dino was the marque’s first mid-engine road car and pushed the brand into the modern era.
  • 90s-era Porsches? Yup, the 968 checks all the boxes.
  • Burly European overlanders? Sure. Land Rover Defenders from the ’83-97 era make the list. Trucks and SUVs are another popular segment among the younger generation of buyers, and both are right at home on a Hagerty policy.
  • 80s-era wagons? You know it. The 1983 Volvo 245 represents a RADwood-era car with some real get-up.
  • 60s boats? Hagerty has policies for those, too. But we’re talking the ’65-70 Cadillac DeVilles, complete with heated seats and power steering.
  • How about EVs? Say what you will about electronic vehicles (we’ve heard it all) but early Teslas are holding their value and represent a significant touchpoint in automotive history.

See, collector vehicles aren’t just hot rods and muscle cars these days. As long as it’s not a client’s daily driver, these fun cars deserve specialty policies that take into account their use and value.

Collector vehicles deserve specialty protection, and that’s exactly the niche Hagerty is here to fill.

NPS 82: navigating the collector car market with Hagerty

You’ll find car enthusiasts make great customers.

Enthusiasts tell us they own two fun-to-drive vehicles and two daily drivers on average. And they usually have additional assets to protect — like second homes, boats, and camping trailers.

Car enthusiasts also share high satisfaction scores! Our members report a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 83, which is a customer satisfaction value easily eclipsing the industry average of 39.* We keep our customers happy and renewing year-after-year by providing automotive extras to fuel their passion:

  • Original series videos with a combined 330 million+ views.
  • The award-winning Hagerty Drivers Club® magazine — reaching more than 2 million individuals six times a year.
  • Hagerty Drivers Club, the ultimate community for car lovers, brings together more than 790,000 members. Enroll your clients in the club and leverage our original content as value-add marketing touchpoints outside of your agency’s annual billing cycle.

Contact Hagerty for more enthusiast data

The numbers don’t lie.

Hagerty is here to help you navigate the collector car market and close as much insurance business as possible. Our bona fides include more than 2 million insured vehicles across the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, with an 89% PIF (policy-in-force) retention rate .** Not too shabby.

Call us at 800-747-5348 for support, or live chat at to talk collector cars. We’re here with dedicated support 7 days a week.

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The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and connote be relied upon as such.

1 Hagerty Why Driving Matters Study, October 2020. 2 Hagerty 2022 Enthusiast Report, July 2022. *NPS Score as of June 2021. ** PIF retention rate year-to-date as of Sept. 23, 2022.

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