Buying a classic car can feel like a plunge into the unknown – but this mysteriousness, this overwhelming urge for an affinity with a curvaceous piece of metal, is just part of what makes it so exhilarating.
For enthusiasts new to the world of vintage motors, this may seem rather unnerving. However, for those familiar with the fulfilment of owning a classic car, gazing out of the window and thinking, “I bet I look great driving that,” comes with the territory.
Of course, I’m only half joking.
Owning a classic car IS satisfying – but there are a few things you should know before you rush out clutching a fistful of fifty pound notes in your new leather driving gloves.
So, to welcome you to the club, we’ve outlined our top five tips for buying a classic car in the hope – nay, expectation – you will avoid the same pitfalls we fell into on our first time…
1. What’s YOUR reason?
Classic car enthusiasts purchase their vehicles for a variety of different reasons. Therefore, it’s worthwhile getting it clear in your own mind exactly what you want the car for. Are you buying a shell as a restoration project? Will you do the work yourself? Will someone else do it? Can you afford it? Is it an investment? Will it be driven on a daily basis or sporadically? These reasons may sound pedantic – and we realise you just want to get in the driver’s seat – but establishing WHY you want the car will quickly help you understand what it is you want to buy.
2. Know what you’re buying
This is crucial. It’s essential you do your research and ensure you know the car you want to buy inside out – and this is where the internet is invaluable. Every little piece of information imaginable is available online through forums and owners clubs. Typically, classic car enthusiasts are more than happy to talk to whoever will listen when it comes to their motor – so take advantage of their generosity and find out what you need to know about keeping the vehicle you buy in peak condition.
3. Don’t be hoodwinked by low mileage
Forget what you’ve been told, low mileage on a classic car doesn’t always indicate quality. In fact, because most vintage motors lie stagnant through the winter months, the hibernation can actually make them LESS reliable. A classic car that is used regularly (without highlighting significant problems) is likely to serve you better in the long term.
4. Keep a level head
The thought of buying a classic car can leave the best of us bouncing around like a kid at Christmas – but don’t let your enthusiasm blindside you into buying a car that belongs in the scrapyard. Keep a level head and ask yourself whether you can afford the initial purchase. Additionally, do you have the funds to keep it maintained? Take a friend with you; a second opinion can make all the difference.
5. Try before you buy
The difference between a modern motor and a classic car is palpable. As such, it may take a few miles in the vintage vehicles shoes before you’re acclimatised. As you’re no doubt aware, most modern cars are proficient at disguising driver errors – older vehicles won’t. Luckily, there is a solution: hiring a classic car. By hiring a classic car you can experience the thrill that has millions of enthusiasts around the world hooked – and, if you like what you see, it may be time to make a new addition to the family…
Guest post from Danny Dacres on behalf of Classic Cars For Sale – theonline marketplace for buyers, traders and sales of classic cars.