FI­NANCE THREAT TO FU­TURE CLAS­SICS

Re­search sug­gests that fewer young peo­ple are buy­ing older cars

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Nick Larkin

‘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.

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