We here at Neighbor have noticed a trend in the peer-to-peer self storage industry: A lot of people are seeking (and offering) space to store cars.
Listings for parking spaces, street spaces, garages, unpaved lots, parking lots, driveways, and carports grew 314% from 2019 to 2020 on the Neighbor platform. Garage listings alone grew 76% in that time.
That got us wondering about the people who make up that part of our customer base. Are they car collectors? How many cars do they have? What are their struggles when it comes to finding safe storage for their cars?
So we surveyed over 1,000 owners of classic, collectible, or vintage cars. Here are some of the things we learned:
- 69% of people who own at least one collectible, vintage, or antique automobile consider themselves to be “collectors.” Nearly half of people who self-identify as collectors bought three or more cars in the last five years. Another third bought two cars in the last five years.
- Though car collecting is often thought of as a more masculine pursuit, 49% of self-identified collectors are women. Male car collectors tend to be older (60% of them are over 35), while female car collectors tend to be younger (almost half of them are under 35).
- One in four collectors says their car collection is worth more than $100,000.
- Half of car collectors say they want “a few” more cars. 1 in 6 say they want “a lot” more. Just 1% say they want to get rid of any of their cars.
- Car collecting is a surprising pandemic hobby — 40% of collectors say they grew more interested in the hobby in the last year.
- Most collectors store their cars at home, in their own garages. But about 1 in 4 stores their cars somewhere other than their home. One in 10 rents a storage garage. More than half have spent at least $5,000 to store their cars.
- 45% say they’ve gotten rid of other belongings to make more space for their cars. 40% have built a new structure to add storage. Nearly a third have moved to a new home with more storage space or a bigger garage to store their cars.
- For most people, collecting cars is something they do for fun, or “for the love of cars.”
How Many Vintage Car Owners Are Car “Collectors?”
In our survey, 1,019 people responded that they own at least one collectible, vintage, or antique automobile. Of those, 69% said they would call themselves “car collectors.”
What makes a collector stand out from someone who just owns some classic cars? Well, in our survey, 46% of self-identified collectors said they’ve bought three or more cars in the last five years. Another 36% said they’ve bought two cars in the last five years.
And what was somewhat surprising is that, even though car collecting is something many people think of as a more masculine hobby, the self-identified car collectors who participated in our survey were almost exactly evenly split between men and women — 49% of collectors were women, while 51% were men.
Male car collectors tend to be older — 63% of them are over age 35. But women who collect cars tend to be younger — 47% of them are under 35.
Virtually All Car Collectors Want More Cars
More than a third (36%) of vintage car owners say their entire collection is worth more than $100,000.
Even so, most vintage car owners want more cars than they currently have. Only 36% said they have enough, while 63% said they’d like more. Less than 2% said they want to have fewer cars.
Is Car Collecting a Pandemic Hobby?
We know all about playing Animal Crossing and baking sourdough bread. But was car collecting the pandemic hobby no one saw coming?
It might be. While 51% of car owners said they were already car lovers before 2020 and that hasn’t changed, 40% said they grew more interested in buying vintage cars over the last year.
Car Owners Are Making Big Life Changes (and Shelling Out Money) to Store Their Cars
Most respondents in our survey (53% of them, to be exact), said they store their cars in an attached or detached garage at their home. But many survey respondents have so many cars, they have to store them in multiple locations, and some store cars both on their own property, and in places other than their home.
One in four said they store their cars somewhere other than their home, and one in 10 pays to rent a storage garage for their cars.
54% said they’ve spent more than $5,000 renting, buying, or building space to store their cars.
And spending money isn’t all these car owners are willing to do to make sure they have adequate storage for their collections. 45% said they’ve gotten rid of other belongings to make space for their cars, and 37% said they’ve built a new structure to add car storage on their property. Nearly a third (30%) said they’ve moved to a new home with a bigger garage or more storage space.
For Most, Collecting Cars Is a Hobby That’s Just for Fun
For most people, owning a vintage car (or an entire collection of them) is just for fun. Only 15% of respondents to our survey said they try to resell their cars for profit after restoring them.
We surveyed 1,019 American adults who said they own one or more collectible, vintage, or antique automobiles using Pollfish.com.
Survey respondents ranged in age from 18 to over 54. They were:
- 11.29% ages 18-24;
- 27.77% ages 25-34;
- 32.48% ages 35-44;
- 16.39% ages 45-54; and
- 12.07% over age 54.
They were 52.99% female and 47.01% male.
Respondents came from 49 states and the District of Columbia.