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

22 years of experience
2024 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Honda Pilot - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Laguna Niguel, California
got there on time. communicated great. did the pre-purchase inspection quickly informing us along the way. highly recommended.
Mercedes-Benz C320 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Laguna Niguel, California
Perfect expert inspection. Couldn't have asked for more. Chris did not let the dealer sweet talk or try to swindle his way out of mechanical issues. Loved it. Would recommend Chris 100%

Carlos

28 years of experience
404 reviews
Carlos
28 years of experience
Jaguar XJR - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Costa Mesa, California
Carlos was very professional good communication very detailed I couldn’t have asked for anything better
Jeep Wrangler - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - San Dimas, California
Carlos was great. On a pre-purchase car inspection he gave me a good summary of the pros and cons in easy-to-understand terms and was very helpful in giving me a balanced and intelligent overall view of the vehicle's condition.

Attila

19 years of experience
745 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Jaguar XE - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Springfield, New Jersey
unfortunately i could not view the car in person. But Attila made me trust and value his opinion not only thru his words but also his professionalism and service.
Toyota Avalon - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Midland Park, New Jersey
Atilla inspected the car and pointed out all the issues the car had, and why it was not worth purchasing.

Shawn

12 years of experience
163 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Dodge Ram 3500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Harleysville, Pennsylvania
Shawn was friendly, efficient and knowledgeable. He kept me informed as he went and did a satisfyingly thorough job. On top of that, he was fun to hang with! Would use him again, for sure.
Hyundai Elantra - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
I have put off buying a ‘new’ car because I’m not mechanical and couldn’t tell if I was throwing my money down the tubes. There was no more putting it off. Shawn was able to verify what I expected: the car in question has external issues but the engine, etc. was sound. The seller was impressed that he did not have to drive to a mechanic for a pre-sale inspection and appreciated the convenience. You have two new customers.

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