What Is the Hagerty Market Rating?

The Hagerty Market Rating measures the current status of the collector car market in terms of activity or “heat”; directional momentum; and the underlying strength of the market.

The Hagerty Market Rating is expressed as a closed 0-100 number with a corresponding open ended index (like the DJIA or NASDAQ Composite).

The Hagerty Market Rating is unique because it is the only measure of the overall state of the classic vehicle market that employs a comprehensive algorithm of weighted market/transactional data (including the world’s largest database of private sale transactions), correlated financial market instruments and other market factors.

  • Activity or “heat” is represented by variables like rate of change in auction activity (in numbers of transactions); private sales activity; the number of cars offered publicly for sale.
  • Directional momentum is represented by multiple valuation trends plotted from auctions, private sales and insured values.
  • Market strength (or weakness) is measure by variables such as Hagerty Price Guide values, public auction performance, subjective expert opinions and, other correlated financial market instruments.
  • In this market, liquidity is represented by the intersection of number of cars on the market, private sale and auction sale activity.

While theoretically possible, ratings at or near the 0 or 100 poles are not likely to ever be seen. The higher the “Number” goes in the scale, the more market activity it takes to move the number. The same is true at the lower end of the scale.

Interpreting the Hagerty Market Rating

Hagerty Market Rating Distribution Graph

Hagerty Market Rating - A How-To Guide

How it Works:

Each individual component of the Hagerty Market Rating is comprised of a number of individual measures, with each measure being scored on a scale of 0-100. Each component’s individual measures are combined into a “weighted average” based on how indicative the measure is of market status, which results in the overall score for each component of the Hagerty Market Rating. Like the rating for the individual components, the overall Hagerty Market Rating is a weighted average of the eight components’ individual scores, with those measures that are a more correlative of the market’s status treated with more preference in the algorithm.

Therefore, in order to calculate the overall Hagerty Market Rating, each component’s score must be calculated, which in turn requires that each individual measure’s 0-100 score must first be determined. To do this, we calculate each measure’s current performance against its historic performance. Scores for any measures that are based on dollar amounts are calculated using inflation-adjusted values relative to 2014 dollars. The resulting scores are then combined according to their predetermined relative weights for a final number.

For all measures, components, and the overall Hagerty Market Rating, a “bell curve” type distribution is expected, with 0 falling on the far left, 100 falling on the far right, and 50 landing at the curve’s peak. Because of this, the rating is more fluid in 40-60 range, and much more difficult to move at the rating’s extremes.

Components and Individual Measures:

The Hagerty Market Rating features eight components that reflect different aspects of the market:

Component (ordered by weight) Number of Measures
HPG - Editorialized Values Number of Measures 2

Since Hagerty Price Guide (HPG) publishes new prices every four months, calculations are based on a book-to-book comparison. Also, since HPG increases coverage on an ongoing basis, growth is only determined by comparing vehicles that exist in both the current and previous books. When reporting the Hagerty Market Rating during a timeframe where the new HPG data isn’t available, the value is projected based on past performance.

Measure
How It's Calculated
Meaning
Measure HPG - Average #3 Value
How It's Calculated Current Value
Meaning Overall current average price of condition #3 for all published vehicles.
Measure HPG - Median #3 Value
How It's Calculated Current Value
Meaning Overall current median price of all the condition #3 values for all published vehicles
Auction Activity Number of Measures 2

Auction activity represents less than 5% of annual sales, but is more transparent than any other market channel. Because of this high degree of transparency, Auction Activity closely monitored:

Measure
How It's Calculated
Meaning
Measure Auction - Overall Count of Cars Sold
How It's Calculated Moving 12-month average
Meaning Number of cars sold at auction
Measure Auction - Median Price of Cars Sold
How It's Calculated Moving 12-month window
Meaning Median price of all cars sold at auction
Expert Sentiment Number of Measures 1

To account for market factors that cannot be quantified through transactional data, a subjective opinion of the market is provided by a carefully curated list of experts. This panel is comprised of subject matter experts from all categories of collectible vehicles.

Measure
How It's Calculated
Meaning
Measure Expert Opinion - Market Survey
How It's Calculated Poll of experts on 1-100 level of confidence in the market
Meaning Average score of the responses
Hagerty Price Guide - Indices Number of Measures 2

Hagerty’s Collector Car Indices were the first stock-market style indices designed to report on movement of the classic car market, and the Hagerty Market Rating accounts for performance among 2 particular indices. Since Hagerty Price Guide (HPG) publishes new prices every four months, calculations are based on a year-to-year comparison. When reporting a Hagerty Market Rating during a timeframe where new HPG data are not available, the value is projected based on past performance.

Measure
How It's Calculated
Meaning
Measure Indices - Hagerty Hundred ™
How It's Calculated Current Value
Meaning Average condition #2 value for 100 most popular Year/Make/Models insured by Hagerty that are published in Hagerty Price Guide
Measure Indices - Hagerty Blue Chip
How It's Calculated Current Value
Meaning Average condition #2 value for the 25 component cars of Hagerty's Blue Chip Index (most collectible production cars of the post-war era)
Private Sales Activity Number of Measures 2

Hagerty solicits sale data from its clients, which serves as an indication of activity in the private market. Hagerty’s private transaction database is the largest of its kind in the collector car world.

Measure
How It's Calculated
Meaning
Measure Private Sales - Average Sales Price
How It's Calculated Moving 12-month average
Meaning Average price of cars sold through private hands
Measure Private Sales - % of Cars Selling Above Insured Values
How It's Calculated Moving 12-month average
Meaning Percentage of cars selling for more than for what they were insured
Insured Values - Broad Market Number of Measures 1

Cars valued $20,000 - $200,000

Insured values in and of themselves do not provide valuable insight about market values due to a variety of factors, but comparing changes in insured values over time as well as the ratio of clients increasing versus decreasing their insured values (and by how much) is a useful indicator of market performance. Insured values most closely align to the FSBO market. This component is a reflection of mainstream market activity and is weighted accordingly. When considering insured values, Hagerty separates collections with many cars (High End activity) from market activity among owners who own one or two cars (Broad Market) to more accurately isolate performance in the market’s mainstream.

Measure
How It's Calculated
Meaning
Measure Broad Market - Ratio of Value Increases to Decreases
How It's Calculated Moving 12-month average
Meaning Ratio of the number of cars that increased their insured value to the number that decreased their insured value
Insured Values - High End Number of Measures 1

Cars valued above $200,000

The size of the collector car market can dually be defined by the aggregate value and the aggregate number of cars; dividing the insured values segment into high-end collections and broad-market levels allows us to minimize the disproportionate sway high-value cars might exert on these numbers.

Measure
How It's Calculated
Meaning
Measure High End - Ratio of Value Increases to Decreases
How It's Calculated Moving 12-month average
Meaning Ratio of the number of cars that increased their insured value to the number that decreased their unsured value
Correlated Instruments Number of Measures 4

While no reliable and direct causation tying the performance of one economic instrument to the performance of classic cars has been established, broader economic factors are certainly correlated to some sectors of the collector car market. Values in the Correlated Instruments component are taken at the first of the month every month, and actual growth is determined month over month. Due to a loose relationship between these instruments and the collector car market, Correlated Instruments are weighted low.

Measure
How It's Calculated
Meaning
Measure Correlated - S&P 500
How It's Calculated Current Value
Meaning Current value of S&P 500
Measure Correlated - Median US Home Price Index
How It's Calculated Current Value
Meaning Current median US home price index value as reported by Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Measure Correlated - Price of Gold Per Ounce
How It's Calculated Current Value
Meaning Current spot price of Gold per ounce (USD)
Measure Correlated - Retail Sales exc. Food Services
How It's Calculated Current Value
Meaning Current value of Retail Sales less Food Services Sales (USD)