1. Do you really want it? Afford it? Need it?
This seems silly, but you should really weigh your position before buying a classic car. Many experts say that new drivers for classic cars are disappointed because of the cost to fix up or maintain them.
Before purchasing the car, shop around for similar models, and take them out for a test drive. By testing similar models, this will give you comparable knowledge towards each car. The majority of the time, it’s hard to see if there is anything wrong with an old car, but once you drive three or more, you should get a good feel for how it should run.
2. Buy what you’re passionate about.
Chances are good that your classic car will appreciate with time, but do not make this a reason for purchase. There is a difference between purchasing ’65 Mustang because you know the market value of the car will increase in 10 years and purchasing it to drive around Miami with your hair blowing in the wind. Car collectors find most pride in their cars with the ones that are most related to early memories.
3. Do your homework.
Just like with purchasing stock for your portfolio, purchasing a new car should be investigated and researched with the same cautiousness. Some topic to research include: How many models were produced, what were the original productions of the car, is there is a database of how many exist or are registered.
Obtain the VIN Number or Vehicle Identification Number, which will tell you the history of the car in a timeline form.
4. Beware of fake/counterfeit cars.
Believe it or not you have a better chance at counterfeiting a car than a $1 bill. It is very hard to notice with the untrained eye. Counterfeiters can buy reproduction or original parts with identification codes that would fit the actual car however it would be on the counterfeit. In most cases the VIN tags, engine block numbers, and fender numbers will be altered without being able to notice.
The best way to avoid this is extensive research. The best way to guarantee a good sale is having proof. Many classic cars come with a lot of documentation and if it is truly a classic, papers can trace back all the way from the original dealer. Window stickers, warranty cards, and the chain of ownership documented will provide useful information.
5. NO “Excuses”.
Any car that has a story that seems a little far to reach or too unbelievable, probably is. When selling cars, dealers and owners will do what they need to get rid of vehicle including bending the truth.
6. Buy an unmodified car.
If you are looking to collect cars or looking to purchase a classic car and eventually resell you should look at the car as it would leave the factory. Unmodified cars are the most attractive cars to collectors and buyers. Original miles and parts is what make these vehicles special and not having those puts a damper on the car.
Throughout the years new modifications on classic cars have been common. We call them “restomods.” Restomods are not bad vehicles; they just have modifications outside the era the car was made. Most commonly, retromods are usually an upgrade to the chassis and engine.
7. Don’t buy a perfect car.
So you bought the ‘perfect car’ in the best condition possible and now you are scared to drive it. When purchasing cars that are considered perfect, drivers tend to become paranoid and are concerned for every raindrop, pebble, or bird passing by. Owners of these cars find themselves polishing and waxing their cars in the garage more than they drive them.
Buy a car that looks good and restored with good driver quality. It is okay to have a few cosmetic flaws here and there, remember the car has been around for some time too.
8. Don’t try to restore a barn vehicle.
The best advice to you if you found your dream classic car in a barn is, to leave it there. Sadly, many drivers looking to restore their dream make and model who find their vehicles in a barn for the past several decades do not accurately estimate costs of restoring. Projects are commonly occurring where it was $70,000 to restore and at the end of the project the value of the car is $40,000.
Car flipping seems easy and looks as if anyone can do it, but in simple terms, it’s not. Stay away from cars that you discover in a barn or old storage place because it will be more hassle than profit.
9. Avoid auction fever.
From ebay to on-site live auctions, competition for classic cars can get intense, which means you might pay for it. Sometimes buyers get more caught up in the act of bidding and the feel of winning than the original purpose of wanting a classic car. Bidders may find themselves even settling with cars they do not necessarily want or wanted to pay.
If you are going to use an auction to purchase a vehicle consider these factors. Determine what kind of vehicle you desire with features and use a range for price in order to keep yourself within budget and stick to them.
10. Give your car a name.
Once you buy the car fun is not limited to cleaning the car and spinning it around the block, instead have fun with it. Join a car club where people like you appreciate the value of cars and the effort and pride behind them remains shared by owners. Continue to talk among people in classic car industry and you will quickly gain knowledge and expand your horizons.
11. Insure your classic car accordingly.
After registering your classic car, make sure to insure it properly. Newman Crane specializes in classic car insurance for any year and model. We would love to chat and save you some money. Just fill out the quote from on our homepage or give us a call at 877.874.4673