How to Buy a Classic Pontiac

Discontinued in 2009, the Pontiac brand was known for manufacturing a selection of popular cars, including the Pontiac Bonneville, Tempest, and Grand Prix among others. Pontiac cars were known for their superior engineering, strong performance and affordability, and today they are sought after by car enthusiasts around the world. You too can find and purchase the classic Pontiac you are looking for by keeping some easy to follow steps in mind.

Part 1 of 3: Research classic Pontiacs

Before buying a classic Pontiac car, research the available models to see which one most appeals to you. This includes rating the different classic Pontiacs available according to such factors as their worth, how well they run, and how far you have to transport them once purchased.

Step 1: Make a checklist.

When shopping for a classic car, keep the most important factors related to the purchase in mind, including:

  • Distance: You need to take into consideration how far the Pontiac is from your location. Costs can include paying someone to drive the vehicle to you, traveling to drive the vehicle yourself, or having it shipped.
  • Test driving: If it is close enough, you can test drive the vehicle yourself. Otherwise, you will have to pay a professional inspector to do this for you.
  • Value: You need to determine the value of the classic Pontiac you want, or at least the price range it falls within.
  • Insurance: You also need to determine what it costs to keep your classic car insured. Consider whether you will be driving it year-round or just in months with good weather, as this will affect your insurance cost.
  • License plate: If you plan on driving your classic Pontiac, you need to determine if you want to display special license plates specifically made for classic cars.
  • Storage: Another option is storing your classic car. You need to consider the ongoing costs of this.

Step 2: Check the fair market value.

Find out the value of the classic Pontiac you want to buy. Visit a site such as Hagerty to find the fair market value of the Pontiac according to model, year, and trim level. The Hagerty site provides an array of values based on condition.

Step 3: Determine the total cost.

Using the fair market value and the list in Step 1 above, determine the total cost of buying, transporting, and registering or storing your classic Pontiac.

Compare this overall cost to the budget you have allocated for the purchase of the car. If it falls within what you can afford, the next step is to search for the classic Pontiac you wish to purchase.

  • Tip: If you get to test drive the vehicle, have a trusted mechanic meet you to look over the car. This should let you know if there are any problems with the vehicle and possibly give you useful information for negotiating the price.

Part 2 of 3: Search for a classic Pontiac

After determining that you can afford a classic Pontiac, it is time to find the car you seek. You can do this by visiting various websites where classic cars are listed for sale, through your local wanted ads, and in car magazines specifically geared toward classic cars.

Step 1: Check online.

When shopping online for classic Pontiacs, you have a wide selection of sites to choose from. Websites such as Classiccars.com, eBay Motors, and OldCarOnline offer a wide selection of classic Pontiacs available to purchase.

Step 2: Check your local want ads.

In addition to online sources, you can also check the want ads in your local paper. One benefit of using the local want ads is that the seller most likely lives in your area. This makes it easier to pick the car up if you decide to buy it.

Step 3: Browse classic car magazines. Check out the latest classic car magazines for information and for sale ads.

Some print publications include Auto Trader Classics, Hemmings, and AutaBuy. Some of these publications also offer digital copies of their magazine.

Part 3 of 3: Contact the seller

The next step in the process is to contact the seller of the classic Pontiac you have an interest in buying. You can do this by phone if the seller provides a contact number, via email, or through the car buying website.

Step 1: Negotiate a price.

Once you find a car you want, negotiate with the seller for the price of the car.

If you were able to have a mechanic look at the vehicle, use any issues they found in your negotiations to try to get the price of the vehicle reduced.

Be prepared to walk away if the seller refuses to give you a price you are satisfied with. You can always find a another classic Pontiac to buy that fits within your budget.

Step 2: Make payment arrangements.

Depending on the seller, this can range from using PayPal, to a credit card, or even cash if the seller is local to you. Just make sure you have the title and all of the necessary paperwork available before giving them any payment. And get a receipt to show that you paid them the amount owed.

Step 3: Finalize the sale.

Fill out all of the necessary paperwork and arrange pickup of the classic Pontiac.

Also, keep in mind any taxes, registration, and other fees you might have to pay. This includes purchasing any specialty plates, which differs by state. Check out DMV.org to find out more about classic car specialty plate costs and the requirements for each state.

Buying a classic car such as a Pontiac is the dream of many car enthusiasts. You can find the Pontiac you seek at a price you can afford by searching online, in local want ads, or in classic car magazines. Remember to have one of the expert mechanics at YourMechanic perform a pre-purchase car inspection before buying any classic car.


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Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
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Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
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Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

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