What is a Collector Car? Here's What You Need to Know.
What is a Collector Car?

“What is a collector car?” Are you thinking about investing in a collector car? Well, there are a lot of people out there just like you. If your reason goes beyond just being in love with a great older model, to wanting to buy a collector car that’s a worthy monetary investment, you’ll want the answer to this question.

What is a Collector Car?

What defines a “collector car” varies all over the world and has caused a lot of confusion, especially for those who are new to the market. In America, many clubs maintain a list of the eligible collector cars, produced between 1915–1925 and 1942–1948. In the UK, collector cars are divided into three wide-ranging categories; Veteran (pre-World I), post-Vintage (pre-1930s) and Vintage (1919 through1930). Collector cars produced after World War II don’t have clearly defined characteristics. Classic car magazines also play a part in defining collector cars. The popularity of a specific older model vehicle can also elevate the car’s standing in the collector or classic car category based on price.

How Does a Collector Car Differ from a Classic or Vintage Car?

There really isn’t a “formal” difference between the two. As mentioned above, the definition of collector cars varies worldwide.

When comparing classic and collector cars with vintage cars, the most important thing to keep in mind is that vintage cars represent two classifications. Collector cars fall within a broad category that consists of several subcategories that were manufactured during specific eras. Vintage cars fall under one subcategory of collector cars. The classification distinctions result in subtle variances. For instance, it’s easier to find and purchase a collector car, while vintage era vehicles retain the collector’s interest considerably longer than other eras, holding onto their cars for both investment and sentimental reasons.

Automobiles produced during the vintage era aren’t subject to depreciation, the most significant cost of owning a vehicle. Collector cars, on the other hand, produced after the vintage period depreciate at varying rates. The fact that vintage cars face a lack of depreciation makes them a better investment. Let’s face it, any investment that maintains its value for approximately 100 years is well worth considering. Also, collectors who are faithful to a particular manufacturer will have a lot of options when it comes to the collector car market.

The Collector Car and Arizona Emissions

Collector cars are at least 15 years old, but newer than 1966. Cars built in 1966 and earlier already are exempt from emissions testing. A law passed through the Legislature in 2006 and approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) makes it possible for collector cars in the Phoenix and Tucson areas to receive emissions-testing exemptions, exemptions that also apply to motorcycles in Tucson. To qualify for the emissions exemption, the automobile needs to be covered with insurance that is specifically for collector cars. The insurance limits the mileage on the car each year, along with ensuring that the collector car in question is a limited production vehicle.

When you’re ready to have your collector car restored, give us a call.

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