Some people assume that buying a classic car is no different to getting a regular vehicle. After all; you check its condition, take it out for a test drive, and make an offer to the seller. The thing about classic cars like the Jaguar below is that buying one is often a complicated process.

Many desirable models may not have the right paperwork to prove what they are. Some limited editions may not have a manufacturer’s certificate to prove it’s genuine. And other classic cars may not have any paperwork at all. As you can imagine, proving ownership can be a nightmare in those cases!

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Have you never bought a classic car before? If so, let me give you some pointers specific to buying vehicles of this type. Here is what you need to know:

Find out as much of the car’s history as possible

The seller will usually have a story to tell about how they got the car. For instance, they might have had it from new. Or it could have ended up in someone’s hands because the owner has died. Whatever the story, go with your gut feeling.

One sad fact about the classic car market is that fraud is rife. If it sounds like someone’s trying to sell you a dubious car, your instinct may be correct! If something doesn’t feel right, walk away. After all; you’re under no obligation to buy that car.

Research the prices

Classic cars are only worth what people are willing to pay for them. Still, you should learn what prices models sold for on previous occasions. That way, you’ve got a “ballpark” figure of what to offer the seller.

If you know they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, walk away from the deal. Chances are they’ll ask you to reconsider and offer a more reasonable price!


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Get the car towed home

Once you’ve sealed the deal, and you know it’s a good one, you have to pay for the car and bring it home. You might consider just driving the car home yourself, especially if the seller is local. But, I recommend towing it home.

Why? Let me explain. There’s no guarantee the quality of the car’s mechanical parts is in good condition. You also don’t know how reliable the car might be on long journeys.

You need to have the car transported home so you can do a thorough assessment. That way, you can carry out any repairs to make it 100% roadworthy so that you can start enjoying it!

Carry out a thorough bodywork inspection

Let’s assume you’ve bought the car and had it towed home. The mechanical side of things seems OK and you’ve got no cause for concern. But, have you inspected the bodywork yet?

If you haven’t, it’s time to do so. You need to check for areas that have had previous body repairs. A magnet can help you locate any areas that got patched up in the past. You also want to look out for rust, and determine areas that need welding and respraying.

I hope you’ve found today’s guide useful. Thanks for reading it!