FINANCE THREAT TO FUTURE CLASSICS
Research suggests that fewer young people are buying older cars
‘This looks as if it will have an impact on the supply of future classics’ geoFF lancaster, Fbhvc
Future generations of classic cars are in jeopardy because motorists are opting to buy their first vehicle new on finance rather than go for a traditional ‘old banger’.
Potential victims include the Rover 75 and 400, various MGs, Jaguar X- and S-types, and nineties and noughties BMWs and Mercedes.
Zak Mattin of modern classics specialist, IGM Pedigree Motors, says that new finance deals are having a massive effect, which will have an impact on the classic market of the future.
He says: ‘I started selling modern and unusual classics, mainly from the 1980s and 1990s, three years ago and even then things were beginning to change.
‘The market for £1500 everyday cars has just gone. At one point a Ford Fiesta around that price would go as soon as it was put on sale. That would certainly not happen nowadays. The type of customer who would buy those cars is often someone who would just want transport and go for a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP).’
There is a danger of the trend ‘mirroring scrappage’ in sending potential future classics to the scrapyard, warns John-Joe Vollans, editor of CCW’s sister magazine, Modern Classics. He says: ‘If someone has £5000 to spend on a car they might decide to use some of this for the deposit on a PCP instead rather than taking the risk of owning and running a secondhand car on which parts could be expensive.’
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has also expressed concern over both this situation and a further threat to ‘classics in waiting’ – their electronic complexities.
FBHVC communications director, Geoff Lancaster, says: ‘This looks as if it will have an impact on the supply of future classics in waiting, but there is also a concern that the electronic complexities of these cars is going to make them difficult to preserve.’
The concerns for future classics come as a result of a new survey that has been commissioned by Motoring Defence Lawyers, which concluded that 38 per cent of drivers now get their first car new on finance.
Of the 1371 drivers surveyed, economy was cited as the main reason for opting for new, with modern cars being more fuelefficient. A change of attitude also had a major impact, with almost one in three saying that they would be ‘embarrassed’ driving an old car when they first passed their test.
Matthew Miller, managing director of Motoring Defence Lawyers, says: ‘Given the aspirational nature of Millennials and the range of more costeffective cars and finance options available, it’s not surprising to see that new drivers are aiming higher.’
The findings were echoed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Spokesperson Emma Fricker says: ‘New finance schemes are having a major impact on the way private motorists are buying new cars and this has an impact on the demand for older used vehicles.’
Future classics like the rover 75 are at risk because of a shift in people buying new cars on finance, rather than secondhand.