Do you have an empty garage just waiting to be filled with a classic car? Would you pick your first car or the car you’ve been dreaming of owning since your first car? For some, buying a classic car and restoring it becomes the perfect weekend hobby. If you don’t have an attachment to the car, then you could “flip” it to another classic car collector. As with any other kind of major purchase, a classic car shouldn’t be bought on impulse. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider for buying a classic car.
What Are Your Reasons?
As mentioned above, buying a classic car as a weekend tinkering hobby is a good idea. There is no pressure to get the project done in any set time. It can also be a nice bonding experience with your kids. However, you shouldn’t think of buying this car to fill a “void” in your life. It is a classic “midlife crisis” moment. Buy it for fun not to “fix” something inside.
It Might Not Be A Money Making Investment
The best-case scenario is that the money you put into buying a classic car would be equal to the amount you would get back if you sell it someday. There are exceptions and depending on the quality of work, you might actually be able to double your investment. It might be a good idea to do some research and see what comparable cars are selling for.
Buying at Auction
One of the best places to buy a classic car is at auction. This means you’ll have to actively seek these out. It might even require a road trip to be in attendance to make a bid. Some auctions will allow you to bid over the phone or online but that could put you at a disadvantage if you aren’t allowed to see the car in person. The other thing to consider with an auction is that the final price will have commissions added.
Buying From a Dealer
Often you might find dealers who are selling class cars on consignment. They’re acting as the intermediary for the actual owner. Their commission will be based on the sale proceeds so you can bet they’ll try to get as high a price as possible. Still, this is a chance for you to actually see what kind of condition the car is in and maybe take it for a test drive.
Buying From a Private Party
Private sellers might be the best way to get a classic car in terms of pricing but it will require a lot more research. You’ll need to devote a lot of time monitoring “for sale” ads online. It will be easy to set up alerts but there is no guarantee you’ll find what you’re looking for any time soon. When you do spot a sale, you can make a deal directly with the seller and there is always room for negotiation.
Most of the sales for classic cars will be “as is.” There won’t be any warranty. You could literally pay for the car, drive it for two blocks and have the engine fall out but there wouldn’t be anything you could do about it. That is your car now. That’s why it is a good idea to get the car checked by a mechanic you trust before the sale. If the buyer won’t allow that, then you have to wonder what they might be hiding.
What dream ride is on your classic car wish list?