5 Essential Things to Know When Considering Buying a Classic Car | YourMechanic Advice

5 Essential Things to Know When Considering Buying a Classic Car

Classic cars, which are those that are at least 10 years old and have historical interest based on production numbers or workmanship, certainly play a siren song for many who want to relive memories from their youth. However, before you jump into a classic car purchase, there are five essential things you need to know to make sure you are making the right decision.

Consider why you are buying

The main consideration when purchasing a classic car is why you’re buying it. Are you using it as an investment that you plan to sell? Do you want to restore it so you can drive it around and show it off? For many, buying a classic car is more of a hobby that they can enjoy during their free time. Keep in mind that if you plan to drive the car while fixing it up, those added miles on the road will ultimately decrease its potential resale value as well.

Know the potential

Given that there are some amazing steals out there for classic cars, you might think purchasing and re-selling one could provide a quick buck. However, this isn’t always the case. Carefully consider why the vehicle is so inexpensive, as well as diagnose what problems it might have. By the time you make repairs, you may discover that you put a lot more money in than you will ever recoup when you sell.

Avoid the rust bucket

We’ve all seen those shows where they transform a completely rusted out vehicle into a gorgeous head-turner. However, what those shows don’t tell you is that the car is no longer “factory original” – especially if you have to replace entire panels. A bubble here or there is an easy fix, but if you can see through something that should be solid, move on to another option.

Find an expert

If you have years of mechanic experience under your belt, you’ll likely be able to pinpoint any issues right away, and have the knowledge to fix them. If you don’t have this expertise, you need to find someone who can do a pre-purchase inspection before you buy. Otherwise, you could end up shelling out even more money when you discover the engine or another major component is junk.

Match the numbers

If you are in this for the money, take the time to match the VIN number to the transmission, engine and rear axle. If these all correspond to what was put on at the factory, you’ll be able to get considerably more out of the vehicle when you sell it.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1852 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz SLK280 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Laguna Hills, California
I hired Chris to inspect a car I wanted to purchase. He arrived on time and gave me a very detailed report, took the time to call me after to review details, and share his impression of the car. He was great and very knowledgeable, I would highly recommend him!
Lexus IS250 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Smooth experience, was able to communicate succinctly and arrived early to the appointment. Thoroughly completed the 50-point check and gave me his professional opinion. His report on the vehicle reflected knowledge on the vehicle, along with giving me his own estimate on the pricing. Definitely helped me with my purchase.

Jason

14 years of experience
222 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Honda CR-V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Flushing, New York
Jason was great, prompt, and extremely helpful! He explained every aspect of his concerns with the car and answered all our questions in detail. Since I don't know much about cars, it was amazing to have someone who explained how things work in a simple but well rounded way. We are so appreciative of his help!
Dodge Charger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Carteret, New Jersey
Jason came on time, explained the procedure and immediately started the pre-purchase inspection on my 2012 Dodge Charger. Very thorough, very knowledgeable! I’ll be using YourMechanic for the suggested maintenance and repairs.

Anderson

26 years of experience
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Anderson
26 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
Anderson was great! I was unsure about my purchase because of the year and the condition. Anderson's inspection really put everything into perspective. Thank you!
Land Rover LR4 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Little Neck, New York
Anderson is amazing! A previous mechanic was no-call/no-show through this site when I was at the dealership, so I was skeptical of the service. However, but I'm glad I gave it another go and Anderson came through the next day! HUGE thanks to him for arriving early, being thorough, and most importantly, communicating with me as I was not able to be in-person for the inspection. Thank you, Anderson!

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Chuy
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