25th May 2022

The FJ Indicator Report

As one of the UK’s leading insurers of classic and historic vehicles, Footman James should have a pretty good idea of what the future holds for enthusiasts and their vehicles.

Encouraging the next generation of classic owners is one of our top priorities – and it’s also vital we listen to the interests, opinions, and concerns of the people who make our scene as great as it is.

We’re delighted to introduce the Footman James Indicator Report – a brand new deep dive into the current classic scene, which captures the state of the nation. Across three sections – Owners, Vehicles and Business & Environment – we’ve explored the changes experienced in recent history, as well as what the future may hold.

We’ve spoken to FJ clients, classic enthusiasts, industry experts and the general public, resulting in more than fifty pages of intelligence. From Top Gear’s Jason Barlow and Octane’s James Elliott to Pistonheads founder Dave Edmonston, the Indicator Report is packed with opinion... Even key OEM industry figures from Audi, BMW, Ford and Suzuki have their say.

FJ ambassador Harry Metcalfe said, “Let’s get one thing straight right from the start, classic cars are here to stay, whatever restrictions are placed on new ICE car production. I say this because demand for good classics continues to increase, which is a bit of a shame because I’d love to be able to buy a Ferrari 288 GTO for £150,000 again…”

“Today, there’s much talk of the environmental impact of private car use yet, globally, they only contribute 9% of total CO2 emissions and the amount classic cars contribute to this total figure is so small it’s immeasurable, as the total mileage classics do is so tiny.”

Available to read for free now, our Indicator Report is designed as a catalyst; we want to start conversations, fuel discussions and signal the direction in which we’re heading.

As a starting point, we dug into the data on our current valued Footman James policy holders. We found that 91% of our clients are male - with the majority in their 50s and 60s. To us, it seems obvious that we need to work harder to engage younger generations into our colourful classic scene – not only will this allow classics to stay on the road well into the future, but the market for these vehicles will also be sustained.

You’ll hear this repeated throughout the report: this is not about alienating one group. It’s a push for more inclusivity, to encourage different types of enthusiasts to share our passion for interesting vehicles – regardless of make, model, age or gender.

You’ll be able to read the results from a new Footman James-commissioned survey of 3,000 UK residents, which tells us how the average person feels about classics. Without giving away too many spoilers, it is fair to say that the resulting data shows promise… Almost half of Gen Z (49%), those born between 1997 and 2012, say they would like to own a classic in future. Similarly, just over half (51%) of Millennials said they are also keen to join our scene.

FJ client research also discovers that only 10% of enthusiasts identify a classic vehicle by age alone, signifying the increasing number of neo-classics entering the fold.

The FJ Indicator Report also signifies that the lines are blurring between enthusiast groups. We’ve found a decreasing focus on marque-specific activities, and more on regional, scene-specific events. A quick scan around the car park at the next FJ Coffee & Chrome event will surely back up this theory.

David Bond, Managing Director at Footman James, said: “The Indicator Report has been no small undertaking, but I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved here. As a business, we’ve learned so much about how we can support the sector going forward, and I’m delighted at the response we’ve received so far. I would like to personally thank everyone who’s taken part and helped to make the report what it is – a true indication of the ways we can move forward together, regardless of the vehicle we drive.”

We hope you enjoy reading the Footman James Indicator Report. We’re always keen to hear your opinions - right now, more than ever, its vital we keep the conversation going.