Millennials Start Buying Classics (and They Like Chevys)

Gen Xers and Millennials now make up 53% of people shopping for classic car insurance, according to data from Hagerty.

The findings end of countless years of ‘boomer and pre-boomer dominance. With the younger generations coming into some money and stability, they’ve started buying the older cars they pine after. And interestingly, they appear to be the same cars boomers wanted.

The same icons from the ‘60s and ’70s (Mustangs and Camaros) remain the most popular among younger classic car buyers. Interestingly, though, SUVs and trucks have become more popular.

If you exclude Mustangs, the 1985 Chevrolet K10 is the most popular classic car on the market among millennials. As the Millennial owner of an ’86 C10, I can say that the price and the abundance was the main attraction, but that’s not it.

Millennials are 35% more likely to buy a classic truck or SUV than their predecessors according to Hagerty.

But it’s not all American muscle. As, perhaps, shouldn’t be a surprise, Japanese cars are also big among millennials.

The fact that Japan’s golden era (in the American market, anyway) is now far enough in the rearview mirror for the cars to be considered classics doubtless has a lot to do with that metric, but millennials are four times likelier to get a quote on a Japanese classic than a pre-boomer.

But the handover from older generations isn’t just because the older ones are fading. Admittedly, pre-boomer classic car sales are falling, but baby boomers aren’t really slowing down. Gen Xers and millennials are simply buying more.

Whereas a decade ago, millennials only asked for about 20,000 quotes per year, now they’re getting nearly 120,000 per year. Baby boomers, meanwhile, are up from a little over 200,000 per year to a little under 300,000 per year.

That makes sense, though, because in 2009, a portion of the millennial population was only nine years old and nine-year-olds are famously risk-averse and normally invest in dividends and blue-chip stocks. And also can’t drive.

The millennial portion of the population, even by this limited metric, makes up less than 20% of classic car insurers. Gen X, meanwhile, makes up more than 30% of classic car insurers, while boomers make up nearly 40% of the population.

So, apparently, the industry still pretty much looks like you’d expect it to. So next time you hear Chuck Berry playing at a classic car show, don’t be surprised to see toes tapping. Just don’t be shocked if you hear it followed by some Janelle Monáe.

[source: Hagerty]