Record spend on historic vehicles


The collective owners of Australia’s historic vehicles spend some $9.9 billion each year on their passion, according to a new Australian Motor Heritage Foundation (AMHF) survey.


The AMHF is a major custodian of Australia’s automotive knowledge and is dedicated to preserving Australia’s motoring history.

The Economic Value Study (EVS) of more than 6000 Australian respondents, distributed to over 800 motoring clubs nationally, was conducted for the AMHF by the Mercurius Group (TMG).

The historic vehicle fleet represents 4.4% of Australia’s 21 million total vehicle fleet and the enthusiast owners of an estimated 970,000 historic vehicles in Australia spend on average $10,240 per vehicle annually: around 12.5% more than people who own daily driven cars. (For the purposes of the survey, ’Historic’ vehicles were split into two categories: those 15 to 30 years old defined as ‘classic’ vehicles and those over 30 years old defined as ‘heritage’ vehicles.)

Around half of the survey respondents owned one historic vehicle, while the other half owned two or more vehicles.

Inspiration for the survey followed publication of the landmark 2020 HERO-ERA study done in the UK, after which the AMHF decided to find out what the economic contribution of historic vehicles was in Australia.

“The findings of this report have certainly highlighted the significance of the historic vehicle sector to both the community at large and the economic sector,” said Hugh King, chairman of the AMHF.

“The response from Australia’s motoring club members has been unprecedented and the economic modellers at TMG have never had so large a data pool to work with.

“In carrying out this study, we have shown that the historic vehicle movement is a large and vibrant part of Australia’s society and economy.”

The survey also revealed that the total annual economic impact, including both direct and indirect secondary expenditure, was $25.2 billion: with the sector creating almost 79,000 jobs – 42,000 direct and 37,000 indirect. These jobs generate $6.2 billion in wages and salaries annually. These are very large numbers by any standard.

Stavros Yallouridis, CEO of the Motor Traders’ Association of NSW (MTA NSW), said the AMHF’s survey gave yet more irrefutable evidence of the significant contribution of the automotive sector in the broader Australian economy.

“Despite the end of local vehicle manufacturing, Australia maintains a rich and diverse automotive industry, which employs hundreds of thousands of people across a range of roles,” Mr. Yallouridis said.

“The automotive sector is one of the backbones of our economy and is also at the heart of our communities. 

“This survey and the enthusiastic response, highlights the necessity for Australia to back its automotive sector with world-class training, local skills development and career pathways.”

Copies of the full report can be downloaded from the AMHF website (


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