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10 classic cars that have increased most in value over the last decade

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
The Volvo P1800 is the classic car that has increased most in value over the last decade, according to a study. Photo: David Brewster/Star Tribune via Getty Images
The Volvo P1800 is the classic car that has increased most in value over the last decade, according to a study. Photo: David Brewster/Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Volvo P1800 came top of the list in a ranking of classic cars that have increased most in value over the last decade, according to new research.

The value of a P1800 has grown by 283% since 2010 — adding an extra £21,569 ($28,765) to its value, according to the study by Vanarama.

Across the study of affordable classics, both more modern and traditional, the average value increase over a decade was 97%. The study found the top most 10 most appreciated classic cars under £15,000 and tracked their increase in value five times between 2010 and 2020 based on the average price for a second hand car standing at £15,000, according to the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] The Volkswagen Beetle, officially called the Volkswagen Type 1 (or informally the Volkswagen Bug), is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen,from 1938 until 2003. In 1973, the VW 1303 introduced a curved windscreen, pushed forward and away from the passengers, allowing a redesigned, padded dashboard to replace the pre-1973 vertical dash. A two-speed heater fan, higher rear mudguards, and larger tail lights were added. The changes to the heater/windshield wiper housing and curved windshield resulted in slight redesign of the front hood, making the 1971 and 1972 Super Beetle hoods unique. In late 1973, the well-equipped "1303/Big" special edition was introduced as customers were looking for less spartan cars. These have 15-inch wheels, metallic paintwork, a more luxurious interior, a heated rear windshield, and some other comforts.
The classic 1972 Volkswagen Beetle has risen in value by £10,285. Photo: Getty

The 1981 Mazda RX-7 came in second place having gone up by £7,628 in 10 years — an increase of 239% over the past decade.

At number three on the list was the classic 1972 Volkswagen Beetle which has risen in value by £10,285 since 2010, up 157%.

The 1968 Datsun 510 came in at number four, as it increased in value by £4,695 — a jump of 132%.

In fifth place was the 1983 Land Rover Defender which added on average £15,464 to its value — and extra 113% on its price tag at action compared to 2010.

1983 Land Rover Defender. Collectingcars.com
1983 Land Rover Defender. Photo: Collectingcars.com

The research also compared the returns that could be made on classic cars with how much money could be made through traditional investments. The study looked at how the value of commodities like stock, property and art would increase in value if £15,00 — the price of the average second-hand car — was invested.

Stocks gained the most in value over the past decade, increasing by 107%, according to the study based on Hagerty data.

READ MORE: The UK cities where property values have risen the most

However, the top five cars in the research all gained more value over 10 years than traditional investments including precious metals (45%), art (49%), and UK property (50%).

Sater, Sweden
A 1968 Ford Mustang GT. Photo: Getty

Top 10 classic cars that have increased most in value over the last decade:

  1. Volvo P1800 (283%)

  2. 1981 Mazda RX-7 (239%)

  3. 1972 Volkswagen Beetle (157%)

  4. 1968 Datsun 510 (132%)

  5. 1983 Land Rover Defender (113%)

  6. 1968 Fiat 124 Spider (81%)

  7. 1976 Alfa Romeo GTV (80%)

  8. 1968 Ford Mustang GT (67%)

  9. 1979 Jaguar XJ-S (39%)

  10. 1971 Triumph Stag Mk1 (15%)

WATCH: Meet the five fancy cars sold for millions