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Tips for Buying Your First Classic Car

Mukulika Mukherjee
Fancy yourself driving a classic car? Well, here are some important tips to help you lay your hands on a vintage car that is just the right one for you. Have a look!

Has it ever occurred to you that

It's a good decision to invest in a classic car, because its value increases with time, unlike that of contemporary cars, which decrease with time.
If you're interested in buying a car, you should be equipped with all the necessary know-how before you pay a visit to a showroom or a dealer, and this becomes all the more important if it's a vintage car that you've set your eyes on.
It's common knowledge that, while many people can help you with information on the latest cars in the market, very few are truly aware of classic cars, and how to buy them.
To make the task at hand easier for you, we have made a compilation of useful tips on buying vintage vehicles, which can help you seal a great deal in a jiffy (you're advised to take your own time though!).

5 Golden Tips to Buy a Classic Car

Here are five very important tips, followed by some others, which would help you in your quest of acquiring a classic car.
Tip : Know What You're Looking For
Before you set out to look for a vintage car, take time to decide on its looks, design, color, and if there are any specific feature that you're after.
Another important consideration here is your budget. Once you're done with this, research a little to find models that fit the bill. Have a make or a model in mind, and don't just look for a classic car for the sake of it. If you're new to vintage cars, don't hesitate to consult a friend who can help.
Tip : Don't Forget to Take a Test Drive
Now that you're ready with a list of models that you love, start looking for them. Once you get to know about prospective deals, the first thing you should do is test drive the cars from cold start.
During the test drive, check the steering, the gears, and the clutch. Also make sure that the engine is running smoothly, and there's no black emission from the exhaust. Test drive for quite some time, so that you get a chance to note any noise emitted by the engine.
After the test drive, examine the interiors of the car and the undercarriage thoroughly, paying close attention to details. Look for signs of rust, damage, or wear and tear.
Tip : Hire an Appraiser
Once you have shortlisted a few cars after a satisfying test drive, you need to have a clear idea regarding their value.
Since vintage cars are pre-owned, there are no price tags, and their value is influenced by various factors, such as the year of manufacture, the model of the car, its present condition, how rare it is, and so on.
To evaluate the value of an antique car, you should seek the service of a certified appraiser, who is a professional, and would provide a fair estimate of the value of your favorite vintage car. Also, a certificate by an appraiser will make it easier for you to apply for car insurance.
Tip : Check if the Vehicle is Roadworthy
Now this is important. You should be able to judge whether the car needs restoration work or is ready to hit the road.
Going for a run-down car and doing the restoration work yourself can have two advantages - you get the car at a lower price, and you have the option to get it customized to suit your fancy.
You might even be able to sell a restored car at a fairly high price. However, before you finalize the deal, make sure you consider how much restoration work is necessary, and what the approximate cost would be.

Tip : Never Make a Purchase on an Impulse

This holds true for practically every purchase, and is all the more important before you seal the deal on your first classic car. Ask as many questions as necessary to acquire every bit of information about the car, including its history and previous ownership.
Ask yourself if you're ready for the high cost of maintenance that comes with acquiring a classic car. Do you have enough space to keep it safe from the elements? Also, some spare parts might not be easily available, all the more so if the car in question is a rare classic.
In that case, would you be able to source them? Never go for a fancy vintage car solely because you love the way it looks, or because you've seen your favorite movie star driving it. Remember that vintage cars can never replace your regular vehicle, when it comes to utility.
Here are some other tips that you should definitely consider:
  • Check if the car can pass the state safety and emissions requirements.
  • Don't go for a car with a very poor mileage.
  • Never hesitate to ask an expert for a second opinion.
  • The value of vintage cars goes up with time. So make sure you have the time and means for the proper maintenance of your vehicle.
  • Go for a collector car insurance for your vehicle, and choose it wisely. Make sure you have sufficient coverage to get the car completely replaced.
  • Ensure that the engine is free from accumulated grime, and that the fluid containers are not leaky.
  • Never order a car online.
All said and done, choosing a classic car for yourself should be nothing short of a fun experience! So, go ahead and get your dream vintage car, and flaunt it with pride.