Having a true classic in the garage is a dream countless car nuts aspire to. If you’re having fantasies about getting up to polish it, and then taking it for a long, leisurely drive on a sunny Sunday afternoon, you’re certainly not alone! Although owning a classic can be a wonderful experience, like buying any car there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Here’s some tips for the former…

Do Your Research

I’m sure you’ve spent more than enough time learning about the classic car market from online auto traders and classic car magazines. However, if you want to get the best deal possible on the model you’ve got your heart set on, you should spend a while researching that specific vehicle. Find out about its features, and the main pros and cons. Read up on its maintenance schedule and the kind of regular care you’ll have to find time for. Look into how easy it is to find a parts dealer and what those parts typically cost. If you’re certain about the model, it may even be worth signing up to an owner’s club for even more info. Classic cars aren’t something you can buy on a whim, so don’t underestimate the amount of research you should do!

Buy Privately

Once you’ve done all the reading and investigation necessary, and you’re dead set on a given model, then the next step is to find a private seller. First of all, good classic car dealers are pretty much all private individuals anyway! Secondly, buying privately will give you a little more opportunity to assess the previous owner, and get more information on how the vehicle has been used and cared for in the past. Above all, you get to dodge the retail premium you’d have to budget for otherwise! Ideally, you’ll be able to find a seller with the model you want in your local area, and then be able to check it out easily. However, if the car you’re going for is a little rarer, you may have to really put your feelers out and find someone further away. Ask as many questions as you like online, and always check the vehicle in person before you commit. Furthermore, I recommend you use Shiply or a similar service to get your classic car home. Even the smallest little nick in the paint can be utter heartbreak!

Budget for Problems

While classic cars are absolutely gorgeous, and can run like a dream if they’re properly maintained, they all have one unfortunate common thread: they’re old! Even if everything seems fine in the stages of your purchasing decision, you’d have to be very lucky to have total plain sailing for the rest of your car’s useful life. You’ll discover things that you’ll want to improve, parts that need repairing or replacement, and so on. All this will be worth it if you truly love the car, it’s just important to prepare for it and set enough money aside.