Collecting diecast model cars is a great way for car enthusiasts to own the models they love.
Whilst buying the full-size vehicle is often financially out of reach, owning a detailed replica represents the best way to acquire a piece of automotive history.
Popular with people of all ages, the pastime first originated during the early 1900s when diecast toy manufacturers started to make miniature versions of the Model T and MG sports cars. Advances in the manufacturing process meant that the 1930s were the dawn of a new era for these replicas, which now closely resembled the original vehicle.
At the height of the hobby’s popularity during the late 1960s, the diecast model cars produced were highly regarded for their exact-scale realistic details and superb interiors. Nowadays, collectors become hooked because of their appreciation for the artistry and intricate detailing on each vehicle.
The resurgence of interest in this unique hobby means that we conduct diecast model car valuations on a regular basis. We field calls from novice collectors who want to know what price they should pay for items as well as dealing with experienced collectors who need to know how much their collection is worth.
Regardless of your experience, the aim of this diecast model cars value guide is to provide you with a detailed insight into the prices (and demand) for previously sold models.
How to start a diecast cars collection
The type of diecast model car you choose to collect is entirely up to you.
Your collection could be centred around specific themes, manufacturers, years, movies or models. For example, someone who likes a certain type of car, such as a Jaguar X Type, may try to collect all the different models that have been produced. They may try to acquire the exact same car, but in various different sizes or scales.
It doesn’t matter which area of interest you choose, just make sure it’s one which suits your budget and is of particular interest to you.
Diecast model cars scale and sizes explained
Diecast model cars are available in various sizes – known as scales – which range from 1/18 to 1/64. The scale represents the ratio or proportion of the model in comparison to the original real-life car. The bigger the second number, the smaller the diecast car.
Toy manufacturers do produce diecast model cars as small as 1/144 and as large as 1/4 scale, but the most popular scales are:
1/64: Measuring about 3 inches long, these are the smallest size commonly produced. This scale is more popular with brands like Matchbox, Hot Wheels and NASCAR. Model cars that are 1/64 can sometimes be described as being on the S scale.
1/43 and 1/32: The most common model car ratio in the world is the 1/43 scale, made popular by the Dinky Die Cast Toys, which were made in the 1930s and usually measuring between 4 inches and 6 inches.
1/24: About 8 inches long, replicas on the 1/24 scale can have the same amount of detail as a 1/18 car, but they tend to be more expensive to buy.
1/18: The biggest scale produced, their 11-inch size shows off the car in most detail, but makes storage difficult so very few are manufactured or collected. Collectors and hobbyists who want more authentic details like working hoods, doors and boot trunks should opt for models built on the 1/18 scale. These cars will have finer details such as operational lights, engine electrical wiring, rubber hoses and suspension as well as a realistic interior.
1/20 to 1/25: Replicas in this scale ratio are also known as the G scale.
1/48: Models of this scale are often referred to as being in the O scale.
1/87: A car this size is known as being HO scale.