Many people love the prestige and history that comes with owning a classic car. Whether you have always wanted one for trips away at the weekend or you have your heart set on a particular model, seeing an opportunity to scoop one up is exciting.
However, there will be a few pitfalls you have to navigate. Let’s take a look at some of them now.
One of the most important things you need to determine is whether the classic car dealer is legitimate and whether they are experienced. The latter is extremely important as an experienced classic car dealer is going to be a lot more knowledgeable about what a classic car needs compared to any other type of dealer.
An easy way to determine their experience is to take a look at some of the other cars they have on their concourse or on their website. If it is entirely modern cars with just the one classic you are interested in, that is a good indicator that this seller might not be very knowledgeable about classic cars. Places like the JLR Classic Works don’t have these sort of problems.
You should also check that the seller has some of the basic policies and protections in place. One such policy you should look for is motor trade insurance. This is an extremely important policy which insures vehicles while they are in the ‘care, custody and control’ of a motor trade business.
You can find out more about this policy at Quotezone who’ve written up a handy guide on what it is and what it covers. If a seller has this insurance, you can trust that they are a reliable and serious business.
You also need to make sure that you check out the condition of the car. Some people might prefer to take on something which needs a lot of renovation and will haggle the price accordingly. However, there are also those who would prefer to hop right in their classic car and drive it out of the showroom.
An easy sign that there might be more damage to the car than you initially thought is rust. You should perform a thorough inspection of the car to ensure that it is as rust-free as possible. Don’t forget to look in hidden places as best as you can. You should also take a look at the engine of the car as a bad engine could be near impossible to fix.
One of the best paths you can take is to make sure that you are well-versed in the brand long before you even begin to look at classic cars. Try to pinpoint the model of car which you want to find.
You should then do plenty of research to find out what the car’s weak points are and some of the common issues which occur because of them. The more knowledge you can have about the car before you try to shop for it, the more likely you are to be able to avoid walking away with a classic car you cannot use.
The provenance, or the history of the car, should always be available to you when you are buying a classic car. It should be as complete as possible; MOTs, bills, even old tax discs should all be included in the provenance.
You also want to make sure that there is a complete history of previous owners, including when they acquired and sold the car. This is going to be a lot of paperwork but it is incredibly important as it will help you determine how previous owners have treated it.
Whether you are buying through a dealer, an auction, or a private seller, you should be uneasy whenever the provenance of the car and its parts cannot be produced. There is nearly always something shady going on when this happens and you might want to consider walking away from the deal instead.
If there is only a partial provenance, this is better than nothing. Try to go over it as much as you can and fill in some of the gaps based on your assessment of the car. The provenance is one of the factors that help to make classic cars so valuable.
If you can’t find one for the car you are looking at, know that there is no evidence that you are getting a good car and it might be very difficult to resell.
The market is filled with classic cars which are all waiting for the right owner. If you can find the perfect car for you, you need to do your background work to make sure it is right for you. Do so, and the classic car of your dreams could be yours faster than you might think.
Take a look at what is for sale now; your perfect car might be there!