What kinds of cars will appreciate in value?

Most vehicles depreciate over time, but there are some cars that increase and appreciate in value. It's not always easy to predict which new models will become future classics and which will end up in the junkyard, but cars worth more decades later often share some common characteristics. They are typically rare, have design elements that were the first of their kind, and have a loyal fan base.

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While there's no way to know for sure what cars will appreciate and be worth more in the future than they are today, there are several types of cars today that maintain their value and often appreciate over time.

1950s American classics

These popular U.S. cars were made in the 1950s after World War II. Known for their tailfins and chrome, they featured sleeker designs than cars made in the 1940s at a time when style reigned supreme.

Muscle cars

American muscle cars are known for their V8 engines, high performance, and flared fenders. The original muscle cars of the 60s and 70s have been replaced with more practical and fuel-efficient models, but many of the classics are still highly sought after in today's market.

Affordable classics

The price tag on many classic cars is out of reach for most people, but affordable classics typically cost less than $40,000. They include domestic and foreign models, like the 1970 Chevy Camaro and 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. Classic cars in this category have seen some of the biggest value increases in the last 15 years and show no signs of slowing down. Learn more about finding out classic car values and what is considered a classic car.

British and German classics

Some of the most coveted collector cars are made overseas. These classic cars are known for their efficiency, reliability, ability to retain their value and include iconic brands such as Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche.


In a class by itself, the brand sells around 10,000 of these elite sports cars each year, and the exclusivity adds to their appeal and helps maintain value. While many become classics, Ferraris aren't immune to depreciation. The 1966-1967 Ferrari 365 California Spider experienced the biggest dollar decrease during 2021, dropping in value by $100,000, according to Hagerty's Pricing Guide.

Pro tip:

Think you might have a classic car on your hands? Check out Hagerty's Valuation Tools to see what your car is worth.

How do you know which models will be future collector cars?

Classic cars typically have several things in common, which may lead them to become future collector cars:

  • Rare: The fewer cars made, the more valuable they'll be. Cars with limited production runs are more likely to turn into classics.
  • Uniqueness: Cars that got a total redesign or introduced a new feature are likely worth more. Additionally, cars that include design elements that were the first of their kind and later became popular are more likely to become classics.
  • Cult followings: Car makes and models like the Ford Mustang, Jeep Wrangler, and Ford Bronco with a loyal fan base have a better chance of appreciating and increasing in value.

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