How To: Avoid Rookie Mistakes when Buying a Classic Car

Classic cars have a universal appeal among collectors. Style and functionality blend together perfectly with many of these, which is why they’re still so popular. That doesn’t mean that buying a classic car is as simple as some people might think.

Picking up a standard alternative can come with its worries, but these can be taken up a notch with a classic car. If you’re new to buying or collecting the vehicles, then you mightn’t know what to look for and consider.

That could lead to you making a few mistakes during the process. With the amount of money on the line, you’ll naturally want to avoid these. Many mistakes when buying a classic car are relatively common, however.

If you’re on the verge of purchasing, that gives you a chance to avoid them. Avoiding them at all costs can be vital. It’ll not only make sure that you don’t waste any money, but also that you get the right classic car for you.

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Classic Car

Not Going with Your Passion

Quite a few classic cars have been more popular among buyers than other models. That can make them tempting to buy. There’s a reason people are buying them, after all. You shouldn’t go with one of these just because they’re popular, however.

Instead, you should go with what you’re passionate about. If that matches with some of the more popular classic cars, then great. If it doesn’t, then that shouldn’t be an issue. You’re buying the car for you, so you should make sure that it’s one that you specifically want.

Once you’ve bought the vehicle, you could end up needing to put a lot of money and time into maintenance. That’ll be hard to do if you’re not passionate about the car itself.

Failing To Do Your Homework

When you’re buying any car, you’ll need to spend time researching it. With a standard vehicle, that’ll typically involve looking at its fuel economy, comparing to other models, and much more. With classic cars, you’ll need to put in much more research time.

In many cases, you’ll be thinking of getting a car that’s quite a few decades old. Age alone could be a concern, so you’ll need to make sure that it holds up. If you’re considering a specific vehicle, you’ll need to research that model and year before actually buying it.

You’ll need to make sure that it’s worth the investment, whether it’s safe to drive, and multiple other things. Then there are the other aspects involved in buying the vehicle. If you’re buying from a dealer or private seller in another state, for example, you’ll need to know how to ship a car across the country.

There can be multiple other aspects involved in the purchase that you mightn’t be aware of. Researching ahead of time should avoid this.

Not Knowing Costs

When most people think of the costs of a car, they think of the upfront price. While that might be the largest cost that you have with it, it’s far from the only one. That’s especially true with classic cars.

These could need much more upkeep than you might expect. That’ll lead to quite a few costs that you’ll need to pay for. If you don’t know what these will be, then you’ll end up surprised by how high they can be.

Replacements for certain parts could be some of the more notable expenses that you’ll have with a classic car. If you’re sticking with original parts, then these will need regular repairs over time.

Before you buy a classic car, you’ll need to make sure that you can afford this upkeep. Properly doing your homework will be a large part in this. Some of this will depend on the specific car itself, as some may be more run-down than others.

Failing To Get An Inspection

What many people forget is that classic cars are technically used vehicles. You’ll need to treat them as such, regardless of how much they might have been restored. Part of that involves getting a pre-purchase inspection done by a professional mechanic.

Despite how obvious this might be, it’s something that quite a few people overlook. When you’re doing so, you’ll mainly be making sure that the vehicle is road-ready. There can be multiple aspects and factors involved in this, many of which you wouldn’t see with a test drive.

Even if you’re a professional mechanic, it’s worth getting in someone else to get a second opinion. You can never be too safe, after all. There are multiple firms you can hire to check this, too, if you want to go that route.

Most sellers shouldn’t have a problem with this, provided they’re positive that there aren’t any issues. If they continue to object, it could be worth passing on the vehicle.

Not Checking The VIN

How valuable a classic car is can depend on quite a few things. Perhaps the most notable are the parts themselves and whether or not everything’s original. You’ll want to make sure that everything is as authentic as possible. How do you do that?

By checking the vehicle’s identification number (VIN), which is typically between five and 17 characters long. That number is typically stamped in several places around the car. The most notable of these will be on the engine.

It could be manually stamped or engraved onto several other places on the vehicle, although they can range from car to car. You’ll need to check each of these individually to make sure that these match up. If they do, then everything is original.

There’ll be many times where they won’t, however. In these cases, you can be sure that there’s been some work done on the vehicle. That’s not too rare with classic cars, although it could reduce its overall value.

That’s something that you’ll need to keep in mind before buying.

Is Buying A Classic Car Worth It?

Buying and selling classic cars has been a popular pastime for many people for quite some time. If you haven’t been involved in this before, or haven’t owned one of the vehicles, you might wonder whether or not it’s worth it.

There’s a lot of money involved, after all. It could be much more beneficial than you’d think, as classic cars can offer a wealth of advantages. Though some are obvious, a few aren’t. The more notable of these are:

  • They can give you a much better driving experience.
  • They can be a lucrative long-term investment.
  • It can be fun to work on your vehicle.
  • There are clubs and associations focused on classic vehicles that you can join once you buy.

With those in mind, it can be hard not to want to buy a classic car.

Wrapping Up

There are quite a few reasons why you might want to buy a classic car. That doesn’t mean that you should get the first one you come across, however. You’ll need to make sure that everything is above board and that you’re getting exactly what you want.

A lot of money can be involved in the purchase, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re spending it wisely. Keeping all of the above will be a large part of this. It’s also worth keeping in mind that if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

By avoiding each of the above mistakes, you shouldn’t have much of a problem getting the classic car of your dreams.




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