The Hagerty Price Guide actively tracks market values so owners, as well as buyers and sellers, have an accurate picture of their car’s worth. The latest update to the guide provides a headline market overview of the first 6-months of 2021 and the trends and fluctuations recorded over that time.

More cars are being sold

Sell-through rate is up significantly compared with last year (80.5 per cent compared with 70.7 per cent). The number of cars offered is also up: we’ve tracked 4019 this year so far (4666 in the whole of 2020). This is probably the result of two factors: the COVID-19 constraints that prevented a lot of live auctions last year, and an increase in Hagerty’s ability to track data which means we’re watching more of the market than ever.

Average prices are on the up

The average sale price in 2020 was £38,984 and so far this year it’s recorded as £45,648. This is unexpected: the big-value sales in the UK usually take place in the second half of the year and prices are expected to rise even further by the end of December as a result.

Cars are selling much better against their estimates

This year, 34.7 per cent of cars sold for over their top estimate, compared with 17.9 per cent in 2020. The number selling for under their low estimate has fallen, too, to 24.7 per cent (39.5 per cent last year).

The average sale price in 2020 was £38,984 and so far this year it’s recorded as £45,648
The proportion of 1980s cars offered has risen the most

Last year, 14.6 per cent of cars offered were from the 1980s. This year, it is 16.4 per cent. That’s the biggest gain per decade/era.

1990s cars are still the most numerous

This year, 1990s cars accounted for 18.1 per cent of the cars offered; last year it was 17.5 per cent. Both are the top figure per decade.

More modern cars were the most likely to sell.

85 per cent of 2010+ cars and 81.5 per cent of cars from the 2000s sold when offered. This is a repeat of the pattern we saw last year.

‘Fair’ condition cars were most in demand

Of the cars we rated against the Hagerty Price Guide conditions, those of condition 4 ‘fair’ had the best sell-through rates at 81 per cent. Restoration cases were the worst; only 39.3 per cent of those sold.

Bonhams sold the most expensive car

A 1937 Bugatti Type 57 sold at their New Bond Street sale in February for £4.047M.

But Gooding & Company dominated the top ten

Of the top ten cars sold at UK public auction that we tracked, Gooding & Company sold seven of them, Bonhams two and Collecting Cars one.

Porsche and Aston Martin dominated the top 100.

30 of the top 100 cars sold in UK sales were Porsche, 24 were Aston Martins. Ferrari were next with 14. The Porsche figures were boosted by the 38-car Leonard Collection sale by Collecting Cars in May.

Paris dominated European sales

When European sales are taken into account, five of the top ten cars were sold at the February Paris auctions by Bonhams, Artcurial and RM Sotheby’s

John Mayhead, Editor of the Hagerty UK Price Guide, said

“The first half of 2021 has been a fascinating time in the classic and collector market. The popularity of ‘fair’ cars is really notable: these are not perfect but are drivable and worth less than other examples. That these are so popular supports our view that the boom since the Covid lockdown has been generated by enthusiasts rather than investors. The number of cars selling over expected price is fascinating: this is a combination of more realistic pre-sale estimates and demand fuelling higher prices. The number of Aston Martins in the top 100 sales is also very notable: for the last couple of years, we’ve seen many Aston Martins struggle at auction. This could be linked to the company’s more general reversal of fortune in the last year.”

John Mayhead, Editor of the Hagerty UK Price Guide

Hagerty is best known as a classic vehicle insurer, but with a 600,000-member strong Drivers Club, a magazine with 1.9m readers, more than 1m monthly unique users visiting its media site and 1.6m subscribers on YouTube, it is one of the world’s largest automotive lifestyle brands.

Read the full feature here

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