Tim Setterfield – June 25, 2022
Most people have a dream car they have desired for as long as they can remember. If you can begin taking steps to make your dream a reality, congratulations! Choosing a classic car is not a simple journey, even when you know which car you want to purchase. There are many factors to consider, and it is an entirely different experience than buying a newer vehicle. However, with the right guidance, you will obtain your dream car in no time. Here are some useful tips to help on your journey.
Know the Vehicle Inside Out
When looking for the best classic car, it is important to understand as much as possible about your chosen vehicle. All classic cars are different and can vary considerably by generation, but if you know the ins and outs of the vehicle you seek, you’ll be at an advantage when it is time to buy.
Look online to find this information, watch videos, and get up to speed with what to discuss with the seller.
Familiarize Yourself with the Market
Before you buy anything, you should research the market—this is especially important for cars. Classic cars can be harder to value than new ones. You can use research tools by creating an account with Hagerty, connect with local local automotive shops who restore vehicles or conduct inspections, or research online outlets for an idea of how much the vehicle should cost.
Remember the value of a classic car will vary depending on its condition and where it is located.
Check the Insurance Cost
The amount it will cost to insure your new classic vehicle is something you should also examine. Certain makes and models can be costly to insure. You do not want to get your dream car home only to realize you cannot afford to insure it. Therefore, look at classic car insurance before you commit to any purchase.
Call In a Pro
When looking to buy any high-value item that does not fall under your area of expertise, relying on a pro is always a good idea. You would not buy a house without professional inspections, so why buy a car without them? Finding a mechanic who is a classic car specialist to examine the vehicle can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. You may need to pay a few hundred dollars for their time, but it is worth it if your knowledge is limited.
Join Online Communities
Online communities are an excellent way to get answers to your questions regarding your future dream car. There are many enthusiasts, car clubs, and experts on forums and social media groups that can offer some useful advice. Just search for a forum or group dedicated to vintage and classic cars or the specific make/model you are looking to buy.
Price Out Any Work Needed
Besides insurance, you should be aware of any additional costs associated with the vehicle. There may be repair costs to consider. Knowing these before you buy can save you from future disappointment. If you have a specialist look at the car for you, ask them about any work needed and how much it may cost.
Look at the Vehicle History
The vehicle’s history is a great value. Any vehicle made after 1984 will have a CARFAX report available. If the car is older, get receipts of all its maintenance, repairs, or rebuild, if possible. It is best to rely solely on these records, but to combine the vehicle’s history with a specialist check to ensure all is as advertised.
Know Your Limits
When buying your dream car, it is easy to get overly excited. Do not let your excitement get the better of you. As already mentioned, research and thorough vetting will prevent paying over the vehicle’s value. Yet, the flipside can be disastrous too. It can be tempting to jump on a bargain, but always remember the age-old saying, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Sadly, there are far too many scams out there. Gateway Classic Cars has multiple decades of success and over 70% of the vehicles sold are to those outside the state (or outside USA) where the car is located. We have transported vehicles all over the world. This level of success can only happen by being honest and transparent with all parties. The cars we consign are vetted twice; first by us and again by the buyer. Gateway strongly encourages third-party inspectors, and if you find a car where such inspections are not allowed, you should walk away.
Research Is Key
Always do your research before any large purchase, especially a classic vehicle. If you put in the effort and choose wisely, your dream car will bring you joy for many years. Lean on the specialists you have met throughout your journey, and always check the insurance cost and terms before buying.