To drive or not to drive? For many of Windrush’s prestige car storage clients, that is the question. For financial gain and/or personal fulfilment, is it better to keep the miles on the clock of your classic to single figures – or to simply aim your vehicle at the horizon and to hell with the consequences?
First off, a disclaimer. Just as Windrush’s long term car storage clients come to us with many different philosophies, so there’s no definitive answer to this debate. But in the blog post below, we’ll set out the pros and cons of high and low mileage, then offer you the best classic car storage in the business, whichever school of thought you belong to.
Highs & lows
Ask any valuation specialist for the bottom line and you’ll get the same answer: nine times out of ten, a low-mileage car wins hands down as an investment. Of course it does. High mileage typically equates to wear, tear and deterioriation across the vehicle’s mechanical ecosystem. There’s no turning back the clock, either, with even the most sympathetic parts replacement awakening the ire of purists who argue it isn’t period-correct.
The bigger picture
Press that same valuation expert, however, and they might give you an answer that’s a little more nuanced. As we’ve seen time and again at our prestige car storage facilities, if a higher mileage car has been treated well when off the road, it will likely be in better shape than a car that shows fewer miles but has been incorrectly stored in the long term. Add to that, if a buyer intends to drive such a low-mileage car, it will probably need a full overhaul first – while the value will tumble the minute the wheels touch the tarmac.
A question of collectibility
A second point to note is that high mileage has a wildly different impact on a vehicle’s residual value, depending on its collectibility. According to experts at Hagerty, a car in the ‘always collectible’ category (eg. the 2005-06 Ford GT) with less than 100 miles on the clock will sell at auction for 88% more than the price guide for that model, while a sub-100 car in the ‘collectible now’ bracket (eg. the Cadillac CTS-V) will typically auction for 48% more than the benchmark. Those financial figures move alongside the mileage – and spike or dip depending on the model. It’s not as open and shut as you might think.
Bear in mind, too, that ‘low mileage’ is a fluid term. Don’t just look at the numbers on the clock: factor in the age of the car and the average mileage too. For example, a 1980 911 Turbo with 100k under its belt has only covered 2500 a year on average. Whereas a vehicle with only half those numbers isn’t so ‘low mileage’, relatively speaking, if it only rolled off the line five years ago.
Exceptions to the rule
Of course, when it comes to anything with four wheels, there are exceptions to the rule. Just as a grizzled bluesman is inherently more interesting than a squeaky-clean boy band, some high-mileage cars buck the trend at auction. Seeing a Lamborghini with 100,000 miles is undeniably evocative, making us wonder at its battle scars and want to be part of its story. Then there are the one-offs – the limited-edition 911s, for example, or cars with former celebrity owners or racing pedigree – all of which will transcend their high mileage.
Plus, there’s one big factor we haven’t mentioned yet – pure and simple enjoyment. If you’re lucky enough to own a beautiful car, and your heart sings when you drive it, then nobody can tell you that’s the wrong decision.
Classic car storage that goes the extra mile
At Windrush, we welcome every kind of owner and pledge to do our very best by your vehicle. Whether you come to us with a pristine, never-driven investment and want to talk about our Customs Warehouse status, or a high-mileage road warrior that you’re hoping to keep in the form of its life, our long term car storage is simply the best in the business.
Talk to our prestige car storage team on firstname.lastname@example.org and discover the Windrush difference.