Things to be cautious about when buying a classic car

As any classic car enthusiast would say, investing in one is something that is essentially an opportunity that can’t be turned down. When you purchase a classic car, you’re investing in something that’s a piece of motoring history. However, as much as it can be an exciting venture for anyone with a love for classic cars, it’s one that should be taken very seriously. As much as it can be a good investment, there are options out there that might not be as financially savvy. Classic cars are something that tends to usually increase in value, which is not the case when it comes to newer vehicles that simply depreciate over time. So they can be seen as a good potential investment. However being wary with your money is essential, so here are some things to be cautious about when buying a classic car.

Don’t mistake an old one for a classic car

There are lots of maintenance and attention that’s needed when it comes to a classic car. That’s part and parcel of owning a classic. However, if you’re a first-time buyer, then you might not want the aggro of having to deal with all the maintenance that comes with am old car. As a first-time buyer, it’s essential to be wary of mistaking an old car for a classic one. There are lots of different classic cars out there, but you want to be sure that when you’re shopping for one, it’s actually the real deal and not just some old car that’s been falsely sold by someone who hopes they’ll find someone who hasn’t got the knowledge.

Things to be cautious about when buying a classic car
Some modern era cars can be considered classics due to their styling and performance

Make sure that you’re doing plenty of research. It can be easy to make a mistake if you’ve not got much experience with buying these types of cars or any car at all. Bring a friend along for a second opinion too as they might spot something you missed. And remember, not every old car is a classic but sometimes that definition is open to debate. One persons classic is another’s average A-B car, it can come down to personal taste at the end of the day. If you think its a classic then that,s all good.

Don’t pick something that’s not right for you

The same really goes for any type of car you end up purchasing. Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. With a classic car, you need to be able to define your style and the features that you want it to come with. Ask yourself if you are going to use it as a daily driver or just at the weekend. There are going to be some that you might have your heart set on, only to find out that it’s not the right fit for you when it comes to driving it.

Things to be cautious about when buying a classic car
The driving styles of certain classics can be challenging for some drivers so make sure its a comfortable place to be

If a car feels right you’ll know within the first few minutes of driving it. If it doesn’t, don’t just buy it because it is available. The last thing you want to do is buy the wrong car because you run the risk of losing interest in it. Which is not good as classics need lots of love and attention. Neglect them and it can get very costly very quickly.

Know your insurance options

Insuring a car of any type is an added cost that you need to factor in when it comes to buying a car. With classic cars, you’re going to find that they can be more expensive than insuring a new car, and the premiums will likely vary from make and model. At the same time some classics are very cheap to ensure, especially on limited mileage policies.

Things to be cautious about when buying a classic car
Classics can often be a lot cheaper to insure than modern cars

There are lots of insurance specialists out there that are committed to finding you the best deal, and if you really want to get a classic car, then it’s worth getting the feelers out to every single insurance company out there in order to find the right policy for you. It might take a lot of research and digging, but you could come out of it with a good insurance provider that’s affordable.

Use inspection services to avoid costly fixes

When you’re shopping around for a classic car, you’re going to want to be really careful when it comes to inspecting the car before signing on the dotted line. Exchanging your cash and not checking the vehicle fully could result in you finding lots of problems and fixes that need to be done, all at your own expense.

Things to be cautious about when buying a classic car
Getting a classic inspected before agreeing to buy it is a good idea as it can help drive down the price if issues are spotted that weren’t described by the seller

If you want to make sure that your potential purchase is a good one, then using a professional company can be the best way to ensure the car is exactly as described. Never buy a bad car again, CarExamer has you covered. This is one of the many services out there that can inspect a car that you’re looking at purchasing. No one wants to be taken for a ride (pun intended), and you certainly want to avoid getting burned by a seller who is trying to sell a classic car that has a lot of problems underneath the surface.

Can you afford it?

As it’s already been mentioned, buying a classic car isn’t cheap. It’s something that you’re going to want to really think about financially. Doing a run of a few calculations can help you decide on whether this is the best investment for you to make right now or whether it’ something you do further down the line. Are you able to afford the cost of the car with the insurance and running costs? Do you have some ability to do fixes yourself and save money, or are you relying on someone else to do all the repairs and maintenance? These are all questions you need to answer and clarify before parting ways with your money and paying for something that you can’t afford to have.

Things to be cautious about when buying a classic car
Buying a classic that has already been restored is always best as the financial outlay can be a lot less in the long run

The storage of your classic car is also going to need to be factored in because you might not want to risk leaving it out in a visible outside your home. Plus you don’t want to leave it out in bad weather, especially in winter. A secure garage is essential and if you don’t have one, you’ll need to rent one out, which can be expensive. These are all extra costs to think about, so make sure you’ve done your sums before making a decision.

Make sure you speak to other classic car experts

Things to be cautious about when buying a classic car
If there’s one particular marque or model you fancy, then join the car club and get to know other owners.

It’s worth asking classic car experts doe advise because they’re going to know more about whether what you’re looking at is worth purchasing or not. You want to speak to an enthusiast who has a good knowledge of cars in general, but also as an investment. If you want to try and make money off the car, then you’ll need advice on what makes and models to look out for to make a good profit further down the line. Joining a classic car club is also a good idea, as other owners will always be happy to offer tips and guidance.

Be vigilant when it comes to rust

Lets face it, all cars rust eventually and classics will always suffer from it at some point in their life. Some are more prone to it than others. When inspecting a classic, make sure you are looking for rust everywhere, and be sure to get down on your hands and knees to check for poor repairs underneath. If the seller is legit, they should allow you to look at all parts of the car. If they don’t let you, then it might be worth taking that as being suspicious. Be vigilant when it comes to rust as a small amount on the surface can hide a lot more underneath. Basically always use the iceberg comparison when looking at rust on a car.

Things to be cautious about when buying a classic car
Not all rust is easy to spot right away as it can be hiding under shiny paint

Buying a classic car is a great way of having something that is a part of motoring history, something you can enjoy that can also be an appreciating asset. If this is your first time buying a classic car, then do your research. Make sure you’ve factored in all the costs and inspect the car from head to toe, making sure everything is as advertised. And once you’ve made your purchase, make sure you get out there and enjoy it!

This is a Take to the Road Collaborated Post

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: So you've inherited a classic car - what next?

  2. Andrew Stevens 14th September 2020 at 8:10 am

    Haha – I can assure you that my 1750GTV Alfa is wonderful to drive and not challenging at all! But seriously, enjoy the articles and the photos. Keep up the good work!

  3. Niall Julian 14th September 2020 at 9:21 am

    Thanks Andrew much appreciated! Ha ha it was similar for me with my old S3 Spider. Miss that car and the twin cam engine but not the compromised driving position.

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