Mazda MX-5 is the UK's fastest appreciating classic since April

Hagerty's Price Guide and Classic Index has revealed the latest movements in the UK classic car market, and values are on the up

The latest from Hagerty’s UK Price Guide (HPG) is good news for Mazda MX-5 owners, as the small Japanese sports car has been the UK’s fastest appreciating classic car since April 2018. First and second generation MX-5 owners will undoubtedly be beaming at the news.

As a whole, the classic car market in the UK has grown by 1.07% since April, with over half (52%) of all tracked vehicles rising in value, which is impressive stuff. When you consider the famed economic theory on ‘the market for lemons’, then it likely means that buyers are becoming more certain of the quality of cars they’re buying, or the quality itself is increasing. To create as representative set of data as possible, the HGP’s Classic Index focuses on the 50 most popular UK classics.

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The top risers include the second generation Mazda MX-5 1.6i at a staggering 8.5% increase in price, and Italian classics Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato 1.6 and Fiat 500 F at 5.0% and 4.3% apiece. What these cars share in common is their practicality compared to more high-market vehicles, and often go for prices the everyday motorist could afford.

There’s a greater variety in the cars increasing in value by smaller amounts, with the Aston Martin DBS Vantage gaining in price by 1.6%, and the VW Beetle 1200 and MGB-GT V8 up by 0.9% and 0.4%.

Simple economics can explain some of the biggest depreciators. Prices for the likes of the Aston Martin Lagonda Series I, Ferrari Testarossa and 308 GTB Standard, and Willys MB Jeeps had previously risen rapidly after a long period of low values, driven up by demand. With the wave of interest in these cars having passed, they’re returning to more ‘realistic’ prices, albeit with a drop in value of 11.9% for the Aston Martin.

The HPG has tracked over 40,000 individual prices of over 2000 different classic cars, and it collects its data from auctions, insurer values and private sale prices. and although it shows continued growth of the classic car market, it is the smallest incremental increase in six years, and 26% of classic models dropped in value since the last update in April.

Reading stats doesn’t tell the whole story, with Hagerty International marketing director Angus Foryth offering some interesting insight.

‘It's clear the market is currently in flux, although we believe prices are correcting rather than anything else. For example, the Aston Martin DB4 Saloon has dropped by around 3.5% (average of £385,500 from £399,500). We’ve also seen some models struggle at auction. We’ve noted six no-sales at auction since August of early ‘flat floor’ Jaguar E-types (including two desirable ‘outside bonnet lock’ cars).’

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