Buying a classic car is almost a privilege because you get to possess a true witness of the motoring history. However, even though this is an attractive idea, this is not a decision you can make lightly. You need to do thorough research before you buy a classic car because such an investment can pay for itself in the long term, but if you don’t, you can only waste your money.
Unlike new cars, classic cars lose a great deal of their value as soon as they leave the lot, and their maintenance can be quite costly since the parts are usually hard to get. So, in order to help you make the right decision, here are some of the most important rules for buying a classic car.
Classic Car vs. Old Car
Before you even start your research for a classic car to purchase or set your heart on one, you need to know the difference between “a classic” and “an old car.” There are some so-called classics, but they are just simply old cars. This is especially the case if they are not some rare models. This is important to remember because classic cars need a lot of attention and you might spend more time and money maintaining it than driving it. That is why you need to know if the car you want to buy is actually a classic and make sure that its value isn’t’ going to simply plummet.
Choosing the Right One
You might have your favorite model, but it is a good decision to define your style and broaden your options and research as much as you can. If you’re a first-time buyer, you will notice that classic cars require a lot of maintenance and attention, and they can be quite expensive to repair and keep in a mint condition. That is why you need to do a lot of research on maintenance, models, where you can get the parts and so on. You can search online and consult pages such as Drivr Zone for example, or talk to your friends or some fellow collectors.
However, your safest choice as a vintage car hobbyist is to go for something that is not extremely rare. Simply because you will be able to get the parts easier and for an affordable price. For example, one of the safest choices are 80’s cars.
Classic Car Insurance
Insuring a classic car can be far more expensive than insuring a new ordinary car. However, the premiums can vary between different models and brands. What you have to do is find a company that specializes in old vehicles and talk to them about the packages. The safest package for you to choose is probably a comprehensive insurance package in order to protect you from damage and theft. Luckily, even though they can widely vary, premiums are often lower than you might have expected them to be. What is more, not many people use a classic car for everyday use, so your insurance company is more likely to offer you some reduced premiums.
Since you will be making a great investment, you want to make sure that your classic car is functioning properly. Thus, you need to conduct a thorough inspection. If you’re professional enough and have a lot of knowledge on the topic, you can do it yourself, but if not, know your mechanic limits and hire a professional if needed.
Clear title: the first thing to check is if the car is registered to the seller or is it registered at all. If you need to research previous owners and apply for a new title, the fees and penalties might add up.
VIN: next one on the list is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN on the title and the one of the car have to match. If they don’t, there is a possibility that the car has been in a serious accident, that it might have been stolen or that the title is counterfeit.
Check the interior: the original interiors are the best, and that’s a good sign. Check the seats, badges, radio, dashboard, upholstery, and emblems and look for any damages or if they have been replaced. If you need to replace anything from the interior, you should know that such things can be costly.
Check the exterior: when inspecting a car, try and do it in natural daylight. Check the condition of the paint, look for dents or any mismatches on the panels. Some more thorough and further inspections may reveal if there has been any major welding, which could point to some major structural repairs.
Rust: rust is very dangerous, and you should check if everything is okay on floorboards or body panels. If they are rusted or show any sign of repair or replacement, you should be cautious. If those haven’t been replaced or repaired correctly, there is a good chance that the parts will rust again.
Lastly, don’t forget to take the car out for a test drive and make sure that everything is running smoothly and that is completely safe.
These are some of the most important rules you should follow when buying a classic. Especially if you’re a first-time buyer. So, equip yourself with patience, plenty of knowledge and make sure you get the classic of your dreams that will not lose its value.