HomeCar CultureCommentaryAre women buying into the collector car hobby?

Are women buying into the collector car hobby?


Of the more than 200 cars at Pebble Beach in August, four were entered as being solely owned by a woman| Larry Edsall photo
Of the more than 200 cars at Pebble Beach in August, four were entered as being solely owned by a woman| Larry Edsall photo

‘More women than ever join the classic car market,” the headline on the news release reported. “Numbers grow by 40 percent in the last two years.”

Forty percent growth in two years? How did we miss this surge?

Well, it turns out we did not.

The news release was from Footman James, a British collector car insurance broker, which reported that its data indicate that 11 percent of classic car owners are women, and that this figure has increased by 40 percent in the past two years.

While 40 percent growth is significant — climbing from 8 to 11 percent in just two years, it remains just the tip of the classic car iceberg.

Is the same thing happening on this side of the pond, we wondered? We inquired of Hagerty, the American-based and world’s largest insurer of collector cars, and asked what its data might show.

Hagerty says that 8 to 9 percent of its policyholders are women, and that percentage has been and remains steady; no 40 percent growth rate here. Hagerty noted, however, that the 8 to 9 percent figure applies only to vehicles owned solely by a woman and does not include the many vehicles for which a husband and wife are listed as co-owners.

So why are British women buying classic cars? As part of its study, Footman James surveyed more than 1,000 British women and more than 900 men. Among women, 26 percent said they would consider purchasing a collector vehicle.

Footman Jones also reported that while more British women are buying collector cars, the average age of those women is falling and now stands at 52.

Oh, and those women are well-attuned to the current marketplace, the report added. Asked to select the vehicles that had increased the most in value in the past year, women did better than men in the Footman Jones survey.

“Nowadays the classic car market is no longer an old boys club” Liam Lloyd of Footman James was quoted in the news release. “The popularity of mainstream media has introduced a whole new array of people to the world of classics, reflected in the rising interest from female buyers across the country.

“However for any buyer, regardless of age or gender, it’s important to keep a few top tips in mind. Look to buy the best, seek expert advice, don’t be afraid to ask questions and monitor the market. Also, while it’s natural to focus on potential increases in value – it’s just as important to make sure it’s a car you actually like. After all there’s a reason it’s often called a passion purchase.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Hagerty noted, however, “that the 8 to 9 percent figure applies only to vehicles owned solely by a woman”
    Single women? Boy friend say’s lets put this in your name? Every Sat. morning at SPD parking lot(also Kmart and some others) Grass Valley there are anywhere from 50 to a 100 cars there and from what i can tell is none owned by a women.
    Just say’n

  2. My wife is the proud, sole owner of seven classic cars. She researched and purchased them all on her own. Mike E Thomas might be interested to know that we have met many women owners who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic with the hobby. Although the car scene is still dominated by men, women are a growing force. Publications such as Throttle Gal Magazine cater to the woman owner/enthusiast and women only car clubs are beginning to show up in our area as well. Although in some places it’s strictly a boy’s club, here in metro Chicago, women definitely have an increasing presence in the car scene. My wife and I both enjoy attending local car meets and rides as an activity that we can enjoy doing together.

    • Thanks for the chime in Steve. I am not saying they are not out there but hard to find. My wife and i go to the local hang out every Sat. morning(weather permitting)and she enjoys looking at all (usually around 80 to 100)the different cars and asks questions about them. Granted some of those are not quite what you and your wife would be driving(if you drive them) I am glad you/your wife have the resources to be able to purchase seven classic cars. Most of us don’t and if that is what i missed($) on the article when it came out then i guess i need to pay a little more attention. Hope your wife and yourself enjoy that large collection she has acquired.
      Happy motoring

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