Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2022

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At a Glance

  • Most cars lose value as soon as you drive them off the lot and continue to depreciate over time
  • Some cars reach collector status, which increases their value beyond what they originally sold for
  • Cars as investments can yield substantial monetary returns, but the cost of insurance, gas, and repairs should be accounted for

There are many ways you can invest your money, but people sometimes overlook their car.

Most cars start depreciating in value the moment you drive them off the lot. However, some cars are so beautiful, iconic, impressive, or unique that they become collector’s items. The value of those cars has a chance of spiking in the future, allowing any owner the opportunity to cash in.

Investing in cars comes with some risks, though. For example, the vehicle might not appreciate how you hope it will. It also comes with added expenses in costly repairs and specialty car insurance.

If you’re interested in buying cars that appreciate in value, comparing quotes with many insurance companies can help you find the best insurance for your investment. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to see what rates might look like for you.

Do cars appreciate in value?

Unfortunately, most cars do not appreciate in value as they get older. In fact, the opposite is true.

Most people have heard an outrageous number for the amount your car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. Some say 20 percent, while others go as high as 50.

The good news is that it’s not that extreme. However, most cars lose around ten percent of their value within the first month of ownership and 20 percent at the end of the first year.

A car appreciates in value only after time has passed, and it becomes a collector’s item. Some vehicles see a spike in value within a few years of their release, while others have to wait decades.

If you want to invest your money in a car, you should research the vehicle you’re interested in before buying it. However, you can get an idea of where to start below.

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Best Classic Cars to Invest in

Classic cars are generally what people think about when appreciating cars come up in conversation. However, not all classic cars are worthy of investment.

There’s a big difference between a classic car and an old car. If you’re interested in buying a classic car that will appreciate more than it already has, consider the following ten icons.

  • 1969-1974 Ferrari 246 Dino. The Dino Ferrari has a hefty price tag – over $300,000 – but that’s a steal compared to other vintage Ferraris. With only 3,761 built, the Dino continues to rise in value.
  • 1970-1985 Mazda RX-7. The Mazda RX-7 has known rust issues, and a lot were sold in America, but there’s no denying this car’s stylish character. Unlike the Ferrari, you can get an RX-7 in good condition for under $20,000.
  • 1966-1967 Pontiac PTO. The follow-up to the father of muscle cars (the ’64 GTO), this model has an undeniable classic style. A GTO in excellent condition can cost as much as $100,000, but experts expect the price tag to rise.
  • 1985-1995 Suzuki Samurai. While this vehicle has a problem with rollovers, the Samurai has gained popularity in recent years. You can buy a Samurai for around $10,000, but examples in good condition are growing sparse.
  • 1965-1970 Cadillac DeVille. The DeVille might have the most quintessential classic car look. Your fuel cost will be astronomical, but you can pick up a DeVille in great condition for around $28,000.
  • 1983-1997 Land Rover Defender. The Defender holds a special place in the hearts of people who love adventure vehicles. Today, some models sell for more than $100,000.
  • 1963-1967 Mercedes-Benz 230SL. While the 230SL had a solid engine for the time, it’s the look of the car that makes it stand out.
  • 1982 Porsche 944. The 944 was overshadowed by later models, but this was a solid car in the 80s. You can buy one for under $10,000 today, but you should hurry if you’re interested. The 944 price tag is on the rise.
  • 1981 Chevrolet Corvette. Stylish but not as much as other models, this Corvette is an affordable entry into the classic car collection game.
  • 1994 Jaguar XJS. This coupe has a six- or twelve-cylinder engine option, and the six-cylinder is obviously cheaper. Vintage Jaguars are always in style, and the ’94 XJS is an affordable way to enter the classic car market.

With the exception of a few classic cars, most keep their value reasonably well. You should always research a vehicle before you buy it, especially classics. Between higher gas consumption and expensive repairs, classic cars can require a lot of money.

Best Modern Cars to Invest in

Modern cars can be a bit trickier to figure out where to invest because there’s no guarantee they’ll be popular in the future. However, there are some hallmarks you can look for in a modern car that might make it profitable in the future.

Some brands, like BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes, will likely always be popular. You can also look for unique features, beautiful designs, and reliable systems.

While there’s no way to predict the future, here are ten modern cars that might turn into solid investments.

  • BMW 1-Series M Coupe. While this car isn’t the most luxurious car BMW ever made, it boasts a fun ride. With only 6,300 vehicles produced, the M1 coupe still sells for the original $47,000, though cars with low mileage sell for much more.
  • Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The Raptor made a huge splash in the truck market when it was introduced in 2010. Raptors are popular because they are comfy rides just as at home on city streets as they are off-road. Since its debut, the appeal of the Raptor hasn’t faded.
  • Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Hailed as one of the last big-engine cars Mercedes has designed, the C63 AMG is a powerhouse and expected to sell well to collectors for years to come.
  • Honda S2000. Released in 1999, the S2000 has been consistently named one of the best cars for drivers over and over. Drivers love the experience behind the wheel of an S2000, and this car will likely be popular for years.
  • Porsche Cayman R. Porsche’s are always a safe option for people looking to invest in a car, and the Cayman R is no different.
  • Subaru WRX STI Hatchback. An unexpected addition to this list, the WRX has resisted appreciation for over a decade. The selling price of a 2008 WRX is right around the original cost.
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The value of this car is two-fold: first, it’s an extremely sporty car that can handle itself in a race. Secondly, Mitsubishi likely won’t make a similar car in the future.
  • Alfa Romeo 4C. This car is all but destined to become a classic with sleek curves, a powerful engine, and a lightweight carbon fiber tub chassis.
  • Aston Martin Vantage. This vehicle was made to compete with the Porsche 911. To keep up, Aston Martin put an incredibly powerful engine into it. Aston Martin has switched from this monster engine to a sleeker twin-turbo V8, making this a collector’s car.
  • Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. One of the newest models on this list, the beautiful design and a large engine strike a powerful image.

A good way to predict if a modern car will become a future classic is to gauge how many people are talking about it. While this doesn’t always prove true, vehicles that make a big impression today typically keep their desirability.

How do you protect the best investment cars?

The best way to protect your investment car is to get the right insurance on it.

If you’ve chosen to invest in a modern car, make sure to get full coverage on your vehicle. That includes liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. If you plan on driving the car, you should also consider additional protection such as the following:

  • Underinsured/Uninsured motorist
  • Roadside assistance
  • GAP coverage
  • Custom parts and equipment
  • Rental car reimbursement

If you decide to buy a classic car, you should consider specialty classic car insurance.

First, consider what you plan on doing with your classic car. For example, if you’re part of the classic car show circuit, you won’t need the same coverage as a person using their car as their everyday ride.

You should also consider the company you want to buy from. Most of the biggest companies offer classic coverage, but several providers are also dedicated to vintage cars.

The company that will work best for you depends on what you use your car for and how much coverage you want to buy.

If you’re interested in classic car insurance, Grundy, Hagerty, and Safeco are some of the best companies.

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Find Car Insurance to Protect Your Investments

A vehicle can be an excellent investment if you buy the right one. In fact, some experts think that purchasing a car can be a better investment than property.

If you decide to purchase a car to invest in and build value for your future, you’ll need ample coverage to protect it.

Since cars that appreciate in value need better insurance coverage, you should compare quotes with as many companies as possible to save money. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to see what quotes might look like for you.

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