A new survey by the NZ Federation of Motoring Clubs (FoMC) shows that the country’s classic car sector has an $11 billion footprint on the economy.
The survey was undertaken between June and July 2023 by Glasshouse Consulting and is said to be the first of its kind in New Zealand.
It saw 15,500 respondents from car clubs, club members, automotive museums, owners of private collections, businesses, and the public.
Prior to the survey, there was no way to put a number on the country’s love affair with classic vehicles and the services needed to keep them running, according to Garry Jackson, President of FoMC.
“The FoMC was inspired to undertake this survey by our UK counterpart, who has done several such surveys which have provided really valuable information on the importance of the historic and classic vehicle sector to that country’s people and economy,” says Jackson.
The survey found that approximately 279,200 historic vehicles grace New Zealand’s roads, each of which requires insurance, garaging, servicing, restoration, and presentation.
Adding to that is the turnover from trade businesses in the sector, investments from car museums and private collectors, and money spent by the public to visit events. So it’s no wonder the industry is worth $11 billion.
Jackson says that there are 5700 employees working within different parts of the classic car sector, more people than dentists and opticians in NZ combined.
Breaking it down, the survey showed that the average value of a classic car is $43,000, while a vintage truck or tractor is $20,900, and a classic motorbike is $12,000. Annual expenses for a classic car come to around $10,000.
Another significant finding from the survey was just how much Kiwis think these vehicles are important to the preservation of history, with 71 per cent seeing them as an essential part of the country’s heritage. A quarter even said they’d love to own one.
“The scale of these numbers has exceeded our expectations,” said Mr Jackson. “In these times of change and challenge, this survey reinforces and quantifies the strength of the historic and classic vehicle sector, and the huge contribution that all involved make to our economy and to our enjoyment of this special part of our heritage.”