The average classic car enthusiast spends more than £4,000 a year on their hobby, according to new research. A study by the International Federation of Historic Vehicles (FIVA) found classic cars are making a “huge financial contribution to local and national economies”, despite only covering a handful of miles.
FIVA claims its survey is the “largest and most detailed ever carried out”, with more than 55,000 enthusiasts taking part. The survey also collected 128,000 “detailed evaluations” of historic vehicles in an attempt to provide “an unrivalled knowledge base” for FIVA and its member federations.
The organisation found the average enthusiast spends €3,800 (around £3,270 at current exchange rates) per year directly on their vehicle or vehicles – a sum that includes insurance, repairs, storage, servicing and fuel. If indirect spending such as events, accommodation, and food and drink is included, the figure rises to €4,858 (£4,182) per year.
As a result, FIVA says the two million enthusiasts represented by FIVA member clubs spend an estimated €10 billion per year. That , the organisation claims, is a “very significant” contribution to the economies of the countries involved.
That contribution comes despite the survey finding most classic cars are seldom used. The average historic vehicle is taken out 15 times a year, with cars travelling an average of 1,413 kilometres (878 miles) and motorcycles covering an average of 877 kilometres (545 miles) every year.
Lars Genild, the chairman of the FIVA Legislation Committee and organiser of the survey, said the study showed the value of the historic vehicle scene to global economies.
“FIVA has undertaken a major survey every 5-8 years and this is the most recent update, conducted in late 2020,” he said. “The results we’ve announced so far provide vital facts and figures to help protect the future of our automotive heritage at a time of rapid change.
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“Our figures show the very significant economic contribution by the historic vehicle movement to both local and national economies. It’s also critical to note that – at a time of changing attitudes towards the use of motor vehicles – historic vehicles, on average, travel extremely low distances and are primarily used for leisure purposes only, very often as part of public events.
“Meanwhile, our survey highlights the far-reaching value of historic vehicle clubs not only to individual enthusiasts but also, through events and activities, to society as a whole, preserving automotive heritage as a rolling museum for generations to come.”