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Future classics: Nine affordable used cars set to rise in value

Autocar logo Autocar 14/05/2018 Jimi Beckwith

Classic cars are a solid investment of late, with rare and loved classics fetching millions at auction. For anyone who’s not already a millionaire, though, that’s inaccessible. Luckily, analysts Cap HPI has created another roundup of ones to watch on the used market at a lower price point. Here are the latest future classics, according to Cap HPI.

Classic cars are a solid investment of late, with rare and loved classics fetching millions at auction. For anyone who’s not already a millionaire, though, that’s inaccessible. Luckily, analysts Cap HPI has created another roundup of ones to watch on the used market at a lower price point. Here are the latest future classics, according to Cap HPI.
© Autocar

Classic cars can be a solid investment, with rare and loved classics fetching millions at auction. 

But you don't have to sell out vast sums to buy a used car that could appreciate in value. We've asked the analysts at Cap HPI to pick out some affordable cars that could become future classics.

The most affordable future classics 

Renault Twizy

a close up of a car © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

One of the early electric vehicles, the oddball Twizy has been in production since 2012 and is still being made today. 

You’d think that would depress its classic potential, but its low production volume, way-out-there looks, 50mph top speed and relatively tame 62-mile range helped to make the Twizy something of an acquired taste.

They’re quite hard to find — there’s only one on PistonHeads — but prices start from £3,500 upwards. 

Renault Avantime

a blue car © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

Another French fancy, the Avantime is the only three-door MPV produced to date. 

In its time, that fact and a few packaging issues put buyers off, even though the arthouse styling caught the eye. Seventeen years later, the car's scarcity adds to its appeal and the Avantime is still bold and dynamic in appearance.

Want one? Well, they’re scarce and there's none available on PistonHeads (an equally kooky Vel Satis is available, mind). But when they come up, expect to pay between £4,000 and £10,000, depending on condition. 

Alfa Romeo Brera

a car parked on the side of a road © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

Few will disagree that the Brera is one of the prettiest cars to come out of Turin. 

Relative rarity caused by the car’s somewhat lukewarm performance at launch offset the striking looks, so the punchier 3.2-litre V6 attracts the biggest premium. The Vauxhall-engined diesel munched through cambelts relatively quickly, so well-looked-after examples can represent a bargain.

Prices vary, with leggy examples less than £5,000 but clean sub-75,000-miles cars approaching £10,000.

Peugeot RCZ

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

Peugeot’s answer to the Audi TT is no more and, with no replacement planned, demand is rising. 

Poor promotion led to its axing after just five years on sale, but not after it gained accolades for confirming the French brand’s renaissance. Handling, styling and pricing were all promising, but it couldn’t be saved.

That’s a win for used buyers — £6,000 will buy an early model with less than 90,000 miles on the clock, while prices max out at £15,000 for low-mileage late models in the PistonHeads classifieds.

Mk5 Volkswagen Golf GTI, R32

Mk5 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI, R32Golf GTI prices for the first and second generations have been rising conspicuously for a number of years now, but the unloved, lukewarm third and fourth-generation cars have been skipped. Values of the R32 version of the fourth-generation Golf have already started taking off, so all eyes turn to the hot Mk5 variants. That GTI was something of a renaissance for the hot hatch icon, while the VR6-engined R32 is an altogether rarer prospect. £4000 gets a high-mileage Mk5 GTI, while R32s start at around £2000 on top of this. The best buys are unmodified, though, so find a less used example for the best gains.: Mk5 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI, R32 Golf GTI prices for the first and second generations have been rising conspicuously for a number of years now, but the unloved, lukewarm third and fourth-generation cars have been skipped. Values of the R32 version of the fourth-generation Golf have already started taking off, so all eyes turn to the hot Mk5 variants. That GTI was something of a renaissance for the hot hatch icon, while the VR6-engined R32 is an altogether rarer prospect. £4000 gets a high-mileage Mk5 GTI, while R32s start at around £2000 on top of this. The best buys are unmodified, though, so find a less used example for the best gains. © Autocar Mk5 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI, R32 Golf GTI prices for the first and second generations have been rising conspicuously for a number of years now, but the unloved, lukewarm third and fourth-generation cars have been skipped. Values of the R32 version of the fourth-generation Golf have already started taking off, so all eyes turn to the hot Mk5 variants. That GTI was something of a renaissance for the hot hatch icon, while the VR6-engined R32 is an altogether rarer prospect. £4000 gets a high-mileage Mk5 GTI, while R32s start at around £2000 on top of this. The best buys are unmodified, though, so find a less used example for the best gains.

Prices for the first and second generation Golf GTI have been rising for a number of years now, but the unloved, lukewarm third and fourth-generation Golf GTIs have been skipped. 

Values of the R32 version of the fourth-generation Golf have already started taking off, so all eyes turn to the hot Mk5 variants. That GTI was something of a renaissance for the hot hatch icon, while the VR6-engined R32 is an altogether rarer prospect. 

£4,000 gets a high-mileage Mk5 GTI, while R32s start at around £2,000 on top of this. The best buys are unmodified, though, so find a less used example for the best gains. 

986 Porsche Boxster

a car driving on a road © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

Few cars pick up value like a classic Porsche, but the big earners tend to be expensive in the first place. 

The Boxster, however, is Porsche’s most affordable modern model and Cap HPI predicts that the first-generation Boxster, the 986, will have its moment shortly. Look for a clean, lower-mileage model and the sub-£10,000 you spend could grow.

Rock-bottom examples start from less than £4,000, but it’s not until £5,000 that the miles creep below 100k and not until around £7,000 that you can get the more desirable 3.2-litre cars. 

Suzuki Jimny

a car parked on the side of a dirt road © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

A new Jimny will be launched later this year, so the current-generation Jimny, as tough off road as it is diminutive in stature, is experiencing something of a resurgence in popularity. 

Sure, its on-road manners leave a fair amount to be desired, but with cult appeal it's definitely one to watch. It’s been in production since 1998, so there's a Jimny for most budgets. 

£2,000 buys a clean enough example with less than 80,000 miles. 

Toyota MR2

a car parked on the side of a road © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

Reliable? Check. Fun to drive? Check. Scarce? Increasingly, yes. That’s a holy trinity when it comes to appreciating modern classics and the Toyota MR2 is no different.

Naturally, the first-generation is most scarce, but will bring the biggest rewards: prices are already on the rise. Those on a budget should seek out a third-generation car, although they will have a longer wait before considerable appreciation sets in. 

Although tempting, £2,000 examples won’t have the same investment potential as more-cared-for £4,000 cars.

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