What to Look Out for When Buying a Classic Car

What to Look Out for When Buying a Classic Car

Have you always dreamed about the day you buy that beloved classic car you’ve adored since your younger days? Maybe you’ve been casually walking past your local dealer with a longing look on your face, but haven’t quite worked up the courage to go in and make a purchase. If the time has finally arrived to buy a classic car, there are some things you should consider first.

Purpose for the Car

Classic is really another term for ‘old’ or ‘vintage’, so don’t expect the car to be an investment. If you want to purchase a classic car, you should consider why you want it. If it’s simply to buy and keep in the garage, the chances are you won’t really make much or any money from it. Only buy a classic car if you’re planning to use it, otherwise you could be throwing money down the drain!

Where to buy it

Where to buy it

There are several options you might want to consider when buying a classic car. You may consider buying from a dealer, visiting an auction or going to a private seller. Auctions can be a good way to get a bargain, as well as access to classic cars you might not be able to get elsewhere. You can also access auctions from anywhere, even if you want to make your purchase from the comfort of your own home. The downsides about auctions are that you don’t get a chance to test drive the car and you also have fees to pay on top of the costs of the car. With dealers, you can inspect the car and give it a test drive and you can also usually negotiate with the price and sometimes, pick up a bargain. Dealers often don’t have in-depth knowledge of the history of the car, which is quite important when picking up an older vehicle. If you want to ensure you have knowledge of the car and you can get a proper chance to investigate the vehicle, a private seller might be the way to go. You can also grab yourself a bargain if you go down this route, as you don’t have any middleman to pay. It can be difficult to know the true condition of the car when buying from a private seller, and you often don’t have much protection, if things go wrong. It is also time-consuming to look through ads to try and find the classic car you’re looking for. The options are a lot more restricted with private sellers. The choice you make will be determined by your individual preference and of course, your budget.

All About the Rust

With ‘classic’ generally comes rust – and this is something you really need to look out for when deciding on a car to buy. Body works and chassis are more difficult to repair than other parts of the vehicle, so look out for rust and rot, as well as any repairs the vehicle may need. Modern classic car such as Porsche and BMW are usually rust free, due to the galvanised bodywork.If you see rust, don’t part with your cash, as classic cars are not cheap, and rust is never a good sign. It is a good idea to get hold of a buyer’s guide, as this will tell you exactly what to expect from different makes and models. Alternatively, ask experts about the model you are interested in. An expert opinion from an unbiased professional is always a good way to get a better understanding of whether you are getting true value for your money.

All about rusted cars and vehicles


The worst thing you can do is buy a classic car without any knowledge of previous MOT’s or service history, especially if you are buying from a private seller. Don’t take anyone on their word when it comes to the history of the vehicle, make sure you have documents to back up everything the seller is telling you; otherwise, you could find yourself with a vehicle needing a lot of repairs.

Safety Check

You might have lots of ideas of how to update your classic car to make it glamourous but focus first on the safety aspects of the classic car. Classic cars need more attention than new cars, so make sure you have taken care of all the relevant safety aspects of the vehicle before you get ready to take it for a spin.

Ask Questions

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a classic car, and before you know it, you’re walking away with your purchase – and a lot of unanswered questions! Don’t be afraid to ask questions from whomever you are buying the vehicle from, ask as many as you need to and don’t be worried about any questions sounding silly. If you don’t have any previous knowledge or experience with classic cars, it is worth asking someone to go with you, who perhaps has a bit more expertise. A classic car is a massive purchase and it is important you have all the facts, before you part with your hard-earned cash. Have a checklist ready to go through and make sure you cover everything you need to before you head off with your new classic car!

Share your thoughts