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Cheap Today, Classic Tomorrow?

Fancy a cheap classic to put your personal plate on but want to shell out as little as possible? What makes some cars reach classic status before others?

Brand plays a big part. Take a look at the Volvo P1800 coupe (the 'Saint' car) and the Jaguar E-type. In the sixties, they cost roughly the same, but now an E-type is worth ten times a P1800.

Cheap today, classic tomorrow? | The Private Plate Company

Often the first version of a car is considered the most desirable. That's why Mk1 Golf GTi's and Mk1 Mazda MX5's have been appreciating for the last five or ten years - if you can find ones that haven't been mucked about with.

Rarity is important. You can still pick up an original Mini for a reasonable sum but the pickup and first Mini Coopers have gone through the roof.

The impact a car makes has a bearing as well. Classics tend to be bought by people that loved them as kids but only now can afford them. Hence the Mini Cooper, the GTi and the MX5 - all were revelations but appeal to different generations.

Most of these are performance cars: for example, a Ford Capri 1300L will cost a lot less today than a 2.8i. Two-door cars and convertibles always appreciate faster than family saloons.

The top five to watch

To finish, we've used these factors to identify five cars which have reached rock bottom prices but in a few years will be appreciated by the people who adored them as children.

1. Mini Cooper S - the later BMW version, go for the earlier one with a supercharger rather than the later turbocharger.

2. Alfa Romeo 156 - possibly the best-looking four-door car ever, which handles superbly too.

3. Chrysler PT Cruiser - dramatically different looks and bargain prices.

4. Audi TT - early Quattros can still be found for around for £2,000.

5. BMW 3 Series convertible - the early Nineties ones (E30) are already well over £5,000 but the slightly newer ones (E36) are still cheap and unlikely to depreciate any further.

Of course, the beauty of putting a private plate on one of these is that it will help disguise their age until trends catch up with you. Contact us today if you're interested in a private plate for your soon-to-be-classic car.">Jaguar E-Type 4.2 by MSVG licensed under">Creative commons 4

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