We from Corsia Logistics are quite fond of this whole niche. We have even made it a goal to provide the best classic car shipping services to every client. So we figured, it is important to shed some light on what these tariff changes may mean for collectors and regular people alike.
What is the new classic car tariff?
A few weeks ago, President Trump proposed a new tariff plan that has to do with imported vehicles. To put it briefly, it is a 25% price increase slapped on top of every single imported vehicle and auto part. This is a tenfold increase from the 2.5% we’ve had so far. And we are not talking just about classics, but every single vehicle!
To be fair, the President has likely not even given a thought about the ramifications this plan would have for car collectors. The main goal behind the tariff proposal has to do with keeping money within the United States. It serves to discourage people from importing vehicles in general.
You may think that this is all fine. After all, importing a European vehicle is not that easy in the first place. You have to go out of your way to do it. That is because imported cars usually do not meet US requirements. You have to pay quite the sum to make them drivable here. So this discourages such efforts anyway, even without the tariff.
However, the issue with classics lies elsewhere. They currently have a special status, as you can learn from our guide on how to import a classic car. This made it much easier to buy a vintage car outside of the States and not pay a premium for it. But right now? Well… let’s do the math.
It is not uncommon for a classic vehicle to have a 6-digit cost. In fact, it can often go up to a million dollars. A 25% tariff on that would mean the whopping $250,000 for what is essentially nothing! And if you think that this will not be a problem for regular people, you are wrong.
Why this tariff plan affects everyone
Maybe you have never considered purchasing a vehicle from Europe, let alone a classic. Most Americans are like you. Well, what if I told you that this tariff plan has less to do with European imports than you think?
Let me ask you this – what do you drive? Maybe it is a Toyota or an Acura. Perhaps you enjoy a BMW or a Mercedes. It is even possible that you are all about the American-made beasts of GM, Ford, and Chevy. But is your car truly American?
Here is the real conflict. It is quite likely that you are not driving a US-made car. It could be one manufactured in Canada or Mexico. Like the third-generation Dodge Challenger, which is assembled in Ontario. Want to get one? Be prepared to shell out an additional 25% for that. You will not be getting the top of the line package though. The vehicle is just 25% more expensive, but with no added value to that.
How car lovers are going to be hurt
Obviously, the majority of people are not car collectors. But many of us still enjoy older vehicles and we like looking at them. This is why there are many events, where you can go and be up close to a vintage car. Which actually makes for quite the fun family experience as well.
Take for example the Porsche Parade. There you can see a lot of fascinating vehicles from the marque. You can watch rallies, take a closer look at the classic models, buy merchandise and other awesome things. This is one of the bigger classic car events, but there are many community organized gatherings all over the country. What do you think will happen to them?
If car collectors are discouraged from buying non-US classics, we would likely see less and less such vehicles featured in the shows. Or even worse – some of these shows may disappear altogether. And sadly, it does not stop here.
Does the proposed tariff affect other branches as well?
You may think that a niche, such as classic car enthusiasts, is not that big of a deal. Sure, the tariff is going to hurt it a bit, but so what? It is more of a hobby market anyway, right? Why is it such a big deal?
One of the obvious businesses that can get affected is car shipping. After all, transporting the vehicle is a logistics task that is usually handled by a shipping company. This includes not only importing the vehicle from another country but also transporting it to different events, shows or even between collectors. Naturally, with classic car prices artificially going up, fewer such vehicles are going to be bought. Which leads to fewer being transported too.
Additionally, there are car restoration businesses that are also dependent on imported classics and parts. Many of them even buy the classics and resell them after restoration. So a 25% price increase can affect their bottom line in an obvious way.
To make things worse, the tariff can have repercussions across multiple niches, which we have not even considered. No one can precisely say how many small contractors can get affected by it and in what way. One thing is for sure though – they certainly will be. In the end, it might turn out the tariff would do the opposite of what is intended and would harm the US more than it would help.
What do you think about the tariff plan?
We are seeing how a government’s decision can lead to serious issues, which are often not obvious in the beginning. But something should be done once people voice their concerns.
Maybe we will not see a complete change to the proposal. After all, the President had his reasons for it. For example, I have to assume that there may be some merit to the tariff when we talk about new vehicles. However, I cannot really see the benefits of charging the classic car niche. Can you?
I am curious to know what you think. Perhaps there is something I am missing, and the tariff can actually turn out to be a good thing. Is that possible? Or do you think that it is just another way to wage a trade war?