Depreciation is often considered as a given of car ownership, as shiny new cars transition into cheaper, used models.
But if you buy wisely, you might not have to worry about depreciation at all, particularly when it comes to classics and emerging modern classics.
Each year, car insurance firm Hagerty pulls together its ‘Bull Market List’, compiled by its valuations team that spends months identifying the cars that are likely to rise in value, coupled with sales results and data. It’s now announced its 2023 list, with the following models all likely to increase in value.
Audi TT Quattro Sport
Audi’s TT is one of the newer models listed by Hagerty by this year, and the model tipped to appreciate is the Mk1 Quattro Sport. Essentially the ‘final edition’ of the first-generation TT, Audi worked to make it more of a driver’s car through increasing the power and reducing the weight.
Just 800 were made for the UK market, with the most desirable coming with Recaro Pole Position seats – an option when new. Hagerty says a ‘huge price rise is unlikely, but it should continue to creep up’. Values currently stand at an average of £10,075.
The 1920s Austin Seven was drafted as a simple and affordable-to-run car at a time when few could afford their own motor vehicle, and incredibly this model is now 100 years old.
This Austin is renowned for being simple and easy to run and repair, with Hagerty describing it as an ‘inexpensive gateway into the vintage, pre-war car scene and also a refreshing antidote to modern cars.’ Prices have already increased compared to last year, to an average of £14,125. Hagerty says ‘Sevens are rising in value’ and have been helped by the model marking its centenary year in 2022.
Bentley Turbo R
When the Bentley Turbo R was introduced in 1985, it showed a performance side to this firm that helped to set it apart from rival Rolls-Royce, with its mighty turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 engine serving up an estimated 328bhp.
While current values (an average of £15,400) are below the 2020 peak, Hagerty says that it’s a ‘slow riser’ and a ‘massive amount of car for the money’.
While sometimes forgotten in Citroen’s history, the BX – sold between 1982 and 1994 – is an emerging model, yet currently still offers great value, with a current average price of just £2,150.
Again, the BX isn’t one likely to rise dramatically in price, but Hagerty says it’s ‘expecting values to increase slightly, probably keeping pace with inflation’.
Ford Fiesta Mk1
With Ford set to stop making the Fiesta by the middle of 2023, it’s likely to bolster the appeal of this supermini, including the Mk1 model that started it all back in 1977. Said to have ‘enduring popularity’, early Fiestas – now certified classic cars – are already on the move.
Currently valued at an average of £4,325, prices have already increased by around 20 per cent compared to pre-Covid levels, according to Hagerty. The insurer reckons that when a sporting Fiesta makes a ‘record price’, that will ‘pull up the values of all early, high-quality standard model Fiestas’.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum we have Lamborghini’s Diablo supercar from the 1990s. With its V12 engine and flamboyant looks, it’s a car that could turn heads wherever it goes.
Currently, however, Hagerty says prices are ‘exceptionally low’ for a ‘1990s supercar in today’s market’ – particularly when compared to the near-£1m that a Ferrari F40 is now worth. A Diablo now has an average price of £137,500 for a standard car and £179,250 for the sportier SV version, with the insurer saying it would be surprised if it did not ‘rise in value significantly in the next 12 months’.
Lotus Elise S2
When it comes to driver’s cars, it’s hard to better a Lotus, and in particular the brand’s Elise. While early S1 (series one) cars have already increased, Hagerty is now expecting the later S2 car – sold between 2000 to 2010 – to follow.
Hagerty says that the S2 model is ‘in many ways a better car’ than its predecessor, and is saying that its ‘value trend lines are all pointing upwards’. Currently priced from an average of £20,000 in the UK, examples in America are now frequently selling for double that.
Perhaps the forgotten model in the Mercedes SL’s successful history, the R129 (codename) SL was sold between 1989 and 2001, with the V8-powered SL500 said to be the sweet spot in the line-up.
Average prices for this usable modern classic have already increased by 20 per cent since lockdown to an average £17,475, but Hagerty says a rise of ‘20 per cent over the next two years would not be unexpected’.
Saab 99 Turbo
Saabs have a particularly loyal following, and even more so after this Swedish brand disappeared in the 2010s. It was the 99 Turbo, sold between 1978 and 1980, that helped to bring turbocharged engines to the mass market.
Fewer than 100 examples of the 99 Turbo are believed to remain in the UK, with current average values of around £14,000. Values have already been said to have increased by 20 per cent, with Hagerty expecting concours examples in particular to ‘climb within a couple of years’.
There’s a loyal scene that supports the Triumph Spitfire. Sold between 1962 and 1980, there are plenty of these two-seat roadsters still on the market, and there is said to be ‘good parts availability’.
While Hagerty says values have been ‘static’ in the long term, it says ‘there are signs good Spitfires are taking off’. Early cars in concours condition are the most valuable, with prices nudging more than £28,000 for the very best examples.