Is an old-timer an interesting investment?
As soon as the sun shines, they pop up more often on the streets: the old-timers. Due to their pure driving experience, retro design and simple mechanics, they radiate a lot of charm that enthusiasts continue to appreciate. But are vintage cars also an interesting investment?
Suppose you have set aside a nice amount. You can leave that on your savings account or you can start investing. But maybe it is also interesting to invest in an old-timer? While modern cars rarely increase in value, there are some valuable gems among classic cars if you look well.
Not every old car is an ‘old-timer’ in the eyes of the legislator
Until recently, the legal age limit in Belgium was 25 years old, but under the impetus of Europe it is gradually increasing to 30 years in 2022.
Specifically, a car must have been put on the road more than 27 years ago in 2019 in order to obtain the status of old-timer (and the corresponding tax benefits). It is therefore not the year of construction that decides, but the entry into service.
Expensive in use?
From hundreds to hundreds of thousands of euros: you decide how much you want to spend on your old-timer. Of course there is more to it than just the purchase. Many starting vintage car buyers have difficulty estimating operating costs. Of course, these differ greatly from model to model, but the Belgian Federation for Old Vehicles (BFOV) provides an indication.
In 2017, the BFOV surveyed the spending of its members in a survey. This shows that they spend an average of 1,747 euros a year on restorations (especially the bodywork and the engine) and 605 euros on maintenance. Of course, you still have to add costs such as fuel (587 euros) and car insurance (309 euros).
Cars with a purpose
While four to five years ago massive investments were made in almost all vintage cars, an evolution is now noticeable. “Certain cars are certainly still interesting to invest in, especially those with a purpose: cars that you don’t just leave in your garage, but that you can do something with,” says Gregory Tuytens of Bonhams. That auction house organizes the most famous car auction on Belgian soil, the Zoute Sale by Bonhams during the Zoute Grand Prix in Knokke.
Whether he has a tip for those looking for a fun and affordable old-timer? “I think small, sporty Alfa Romeos from the fifties and sixties are a smart investment. They are still quite affordable and a lot of fun to drive. They are young and old, they are often very elegant and like to be seen on the streets. Alphas are competitive and therefore suitable for use in various rally events. At the same time, they are very useful as a summer car. They are often purchased as the first classic. Alfa Romeo is 110 years old next year and is one of the most important brands in our car history. “