PRICES RISE AS BRIT CLASSICS FLOOD INTO USA
Buying from mainland Europe is too difficult, say Americans
Americans are buying European classics in increasing numbers as they become more valuable on their side of the Atlantic. And buyers from the USA are finding dealing with mainland Europe so difficult that they’re willing to put up with right-hand drive models from the UK.
Demand and prices for Fiats, VWs and Citroëns, as well as traditional MGs, Jaguars and Triumphs, are up by about 30% according to new research in the USA. People looking for a bargain outside of the USA are being drawn to the UK because of language barriers and bureaucracy associated with European mainland countries.
John Kulin from classic car shipper Golden Chariots says: ‘Americans hate dealing with the French because there are so many procedures. Importing cars from the UK to the USA has so much less paperwork. It’s easy enough.’
Americans are set to buy more European classics from Britain as demand, and prices, rise for them in the States.
New market research suggests that some European classics have risen sharply in value and that demand for workaday examples is sky high. Brands such as Citroën, Fiat and Volkswagen are showing some of the highest price rises in the USA – and Americans are more likely to buy from Britain, despite the disadvantage of right-hand drive. Common language and simpler paperwork are cited as reasons.
Price guide guru Hagerty’s latest research indicates the Citroën 2CV, Fiat 124, and Lancia Flaminia Touring are up by at least 30% in value since 2015.
European cars that either weren’t imported to the States, or were sold in very small numbers, are scarce, and rising in values. The American buying public is sceptical of buying from mainland Europe because of language barriers and bureaucracy according to John Kulin from classic car shipper Golden Chariots.
He says: ‘Typically Americans hate selling to the French because there are so many procedures. And it works both ways. Buying cars from France or Spain can take its toll in bureaucracy and red paper. In France to register an American car you’ve imported yourself can take up to two years. However, importing cars from the UK to the USA has so much less paperwork attached. If the vehicle is more than 25 years old it’s even easier. We’ve recently sent a consignment of Trabants to America to a collector with no hassle.’
John Mayhead, price guide editor for Hagerty UK says: ‘We know how difficult it is to import and export from America to mainland Europe. There’s still a significant trend of American cars coming over here too – meaning that importation/ exportation between America and UK is high at the moment.’
That’s a major factor in Americans choosing to importing European cars from Britain, despite RHD, he adds.
Markets editor Richard Barnett says: ‘The language barrier is the main reason for them to import cars from us. That’s why hot-rods sell so well in Scandinavia – because the Scandinavians speak such good English. But it’s a worrying thought that we’re losing cars to people who tend be fickle, and only like them because of a trend. What happens in two years’ time once the American market is tired of them?’
The humble Citroën 2CV has increased in price and demand in America.