How to Sell a Classic Car | YourMechanic Advice

How to Sell a Classic Car

Selling classic and collector cars is rarely about finding a buyer as much as it is finding the right price. Because classic and collector cars are highly sought after, you have to make sure you’re making a good deal when agreeing to sell. In this article, you will discover the differences between selling any car and selling a classic or collector car, and explore the best methods for finding a fair selling price.

classic cars sitting in an old garage

Part 1 of 3: Realize the actual value of your classic or collector car

It is important to realize what you have before you begin to think about selling a classic or collector car. Often people will acquire older vehicles through wills or estates, without knowing the exact value of what they now own.

Step 1: Do your research. If you own a vehicle you suspect may be a collector’s item, be sure to research that specific car.

While your car may be genuine, there is a chance it might be what’s called a clone. Clones look similar to original cars but the VIN numbers don’t match, or they are common cars modified to look like a rarer model.

Talking to a classic car club or researching a vehicle’s production history online are inexpensive ways of finding your vehicle’s true value.

Step 2: Ask an expert on classic and collector cars. Even if you are convinced that your car is original, consult with experts.

Classic car clubs, some of which even may be specific to the car you own, are great sources of knowledge on vehicle history and value. Members of theses car clubs may even be interested in buying the car themselves, or know of someone looking for your car.

hemmings motor news

Step 3: Check classic car advertisements to get an idea of a fair price. If you’re having trouble getting in contact with an expert or classic car club, Hemmings Motor News is a great resource for pricing classic and collector cars.

Hemmings will even let you place a classified ad on their website, giving you access to an invested fan base.

Step 4: Utilize free car value guides online. The internet can be a great resource for helping find a good value for your car.

The classic car insurance website, Hagerty, provides a free value guide to help you begin to find an appropriate selling price.

Part 2 of 3: Advertising your vehicle for sale

Advertising your vehicle to the right audience is the most important part to achieving a successful sale. Your audience is always affected by market saturation (how many cars like yours are for sale already), and how much time you have to sell the car. Let’s take a look at some ways to try to sell your car based upon these two factors.

Step 1: Advertising a car for a quick sale. If time plays an important role in your sale, you’ll want to make sure that your car is visible to a wide audience.

To sell a car quickly, you can utilize your local Craigslist and newspaper to alert potential customers. You should be aware, however, that because your audience is so varied you may not be offered the price you ask.

Step 2: Advertising to a target audience using a car club. If you are in less of a rush to sell, you can focus on finding a target audience, which will help increase the price for which you actually sell the vehicle.

As mentioned earlier, car clubs are good resources for finding buyers that specifically want the car you have to offer. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a group that specifically works with the make and model you have to sell. You can also find a registry of popular car clubs online.

Step 3: Advertising to a target audience online. If you’re having trouble finding a car club willing to help, or one that is close enough, you can always connect to potential buyers online.

By focusing on publications like Hemmings, you can tailor your car advertisement to an audience already interested in classic or collector cars.

car auction podium

Step 4: Enter your car into an auction. An ultra-rare vehicle may be of interest to a large classic-car auction company like Barrett-Jackson or Mecum.

These auctions provide you with an audience of highly-motivated buyers willing a ready to pay large sums of money for classic and collector vehicles.

Classic car auctions are not for all sellers or for all vehicles. Participating in an auction can often cost thousands of dollars in fees. You should be sure of the exact value of your car before considering entering it into an auction.

Classic car auctions do cost the most, but they provide the best guarantee that you will be offered a fair price for your car. Even if you are unwilling to work with a major, national auction service like Mecum or Barrett Jackson, local auctions may also provide a larger audience than Craigslist or other classified sites alone.

Part 3 of 3: Agree to a sale price and complete the sale

When it comes down to agreeing to a sale price, you have to decide if the offer is acceptable or not. By this point, you should know what price range is reasonable for the car you have. Time can obviously affect this, as a car that needs to be sold quickly often does not fetch the same price as one with which the seller is not in a rush.

Step 1: Respond to, and meet with, potential buyers. Whether you choose to sell a vehicle quickly, through Craigslist or other local classified outlet, or you choose to market your car to a target audience through specific publications, you will probably receive the most requests within the first few hours of posting your advertisement.

It is important to be available to respond to calls, emails, and requests to see the vehicle after you post the advertisement. Otherwise, you may lose a buyer to another seller who was quicker to respond.

Step 2: Agree on a sale price and complete a bill of sale. When you have a serious buyer, it is time to fill out a bill of sale.

This will include the car’s information, including the year, make, model, VIN, mileage, and sale price. It will also include the personal information of the buyer, as well as you, the seller.

Step 3: Accept payment and transfer the title of your car. Make sure to only accept certified forms of payment, such as cashier’s check, bank draft, money order, or upfront cash.

Once you have received satisfactory certified payment in full, visit your local DMV to have the title transferred to the buyer.

While selling a classic car may seem daunting because of the additional effort involved in finding a good buyer, you will likely find that many classic car enthusiasts are willing to share their knowledge and passion with you. Ultimately, the sale of a classic car depends upon your willingness to market the vehicle. Cars that are sold quickly often don’t fetch the same asking price as a vehicle that is sold to a more discerning audience. Doing your research and finding groups of enthusiast to help you will go a long way toward making sure you receive a fair price for your classic or collector car.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Oil Change Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

20,724

Rating Summary
19,439
832
172
85
196
19,439
832
172
85
196

John

18 years of experience
60 reviews
John
18 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Oil Change - Memphis, Tennessee
John was both personable and professional. He did a wonderful job on my brakes and I look forward to working with him again in the future!
Chevrolet Malibu - Oil Change - Memphis, Tennessee
Great service and customer service! John was professional, friendly, and very transparent. He was open with the services I did/did not need and thoroughly explained any questions I had. I trust his workmanship and look forward to requesting him for future appointments.

Joel

20 years of experience
887 reviews
Joel
20 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Oil Change - Jacksonville, Florida
he really took time and did all that was described for service, was on time and nice guy! will use again.
Ford Taurus X - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Dealing with Joel was. pleasant experience. I was notified at least twenty minutes prior that he was on his way for our appointment. He arrived on time. Was very cordial and immediately started working on my vehicle. When finished he explained what work he performed and wasn’t able to perform in an understandable way. If asked by others I will/would recommend that they have their vehicle(s) serviced by him or your organization.

James

30 years of experience
547 reviews
James
30 years of experience
Honda Civic - Oil Change - Lakewood, California
James was punctual, cordial, and thorough. He gave me extra pointers on how to maintain my vehicle's engine. Highly recommended.

Peter

24 years of experience
362 reviews
Peter
24 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Oil Change - Sylmar, California
Excellent, offered good advice as well as being especially efficient for the work. Would definitely love to work with him again.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title in Massachusetts
As As a vehicle owner you have a title that proves the vehicle is yours and you are the registered owner. Over time it's not unheard of for this title to get lost, damaged, or even stolen. This can be...
How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title in Maine
Your Your car title is what proves you are the legal owner of your vehicle. If you own your vehicle, it is essential you also have the car title. With that said things can happen and your title may become...
How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title in West Virginia
It It can be very frustrating to lose things, so what happens when that lost item is your car title? Maybe you don't remember losing it, maybe it was stolen. No matter how it managed to disappear, if you no...

Related questions

Should I sell my car or pay for the repairs?

I would first get a quote for all the repairs needed after a thorough complete inspection of all major systems. Get quotes on all the problems including replacing the transmission and rack and pinion. Once you have a price for...

I got hit in the back. How much has my car depreciated in value?

Hi there. Unfortunately, the determine depreciated value of a vehicle is something that's nearly impossible to do without inspecting the vehicle onsite. Something like this is best left to a professional claims adjuster or one who is certified in that...

Where do I find my vehicle identification number (VIN)?

Your vehicle identification number (VIN) is unique to your vehicle, and is used as a legal identifier of your car. The VIN is located on the drive side of the windshield, where the windshield meets the dash. It is easily...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com