According to a recent report, the value of classic cars rose by an astonishing 17% during 2015 alone.

That’s well beyond the rate you’d expect from an average investment portfolio, and you can expect to bring in more over a ten-year period than you would from art or wine.

You can rest assured that your car is likely to retain its value; after all, nobody is making them anymore. Perhaps most importantly, viewing a classic car in your garage or taking it out for a spin is infinitely more satisfying than looking at numbers on a bank statement.

So, classic cars are definitely worth the time and attention of anybody looking to invest in a collectable item, but how do you go about getting started?

The first step is homework. The age and beauty of a car takes the backseat to its rarity. Scarcity is the name of the game; you need to know how many extant makes, models, and year numbers of certain cars are around in order to determine whether asking price reflects value. It’s usually best to start your portfolio with German and Italian vehicles; there simply aren’t many Porsche or Ferrari models made in the first place.

When you enter the showroom, you need to know the exact make and model of the car you’re looking at, plus its chassis number and personal history. You’ll also need to look at the number of miles on the clock, the amount of original equipment, and documents detailing the maintenance, travels, and previous ownership of the vehicle. While researching, try to connect with other enthusiasts – most will be eager to share what they know. You might even find a previous owner.

Finally, make sure you work the cost of maintenance into your projections; the price of a part for a car nearing its 50th birthday is going to be far higher than if you were repairing a 2015 Focus.

All this comes down to the golden rule for investing in classic cars: you have to love them. Anyone with access to the right information could turn a quick buck, but the need to look into each model, treat it with respect, and commit to expensive, often time-intensive, maintenance work makes the collecting of classic cars one for the enthusiast.

If the thought of hunting up chassis numbers serves to whet your appetite instead of send you running, it’s the best sign that this is the investment opportunity for you.