Purchasing a classic car should never be viewed as an investment, since most classic cars do not gain resale value over time. They are more or less the equivalent of a dream car for a lot of people, and having one is about achieving a personal dream. Still, if you have purchased a classic car, you should take the following steps now to keep the car in decent shape. If you haven’t purchased the car just yet, but you are considering making a purchase, these tips can help too.
Have the Car Inspected by a Mechanic Prior to Purchasing It
Just as you would have any used vehicle inspected prior to purchase, you should have this classic car inspected too. A professional mechanic can tell you exactly what is wrong with the vehicle, and how much work and money is necessary to restore it. The mechanic’s estimate may be higher based on labor costs, but if you ask for just parts cost, you can figure out what it will cost you to restore it yourself.
If there’s too much wrong with the vehicle, you might want to reconsider purchasing that particular classic car. Wait for one that requires less time and money to restore. Then you can feel good about getting your dream car without worrying about how you can fix it up.
Ask Yourself Why You Want This Car So Badly
A classic car is not a need or necessity, especially if you have a more recent vehicle to drive. You need to ask yourself why it’s so important to buy this classic vehicle versus just buying another modern car. You should also be asking yourself if you can afford it, since most classic vehicles are sold by private sellers who expect payment in full and they don’t finance.
If you have already purchased a classic vehicle, you have a million tasks that need to be completed to keep the car looking nice. It’s a much bigger responsibility to preserve this vehicle than it is a vehicle you can easily replace tomorrow.
What You Need to Do Right After Buying a Classic Car
First things first; can you drive the vehicle home? Does it start and move? If not, you will need to hire a flatbed towing company to load your vehicle onto a flatbed trailer and haul it to your home. If you can drive it away, make sure a friend or family member is following in another vehicle close to you in case the classic car breaks down.
Once you have successfully brought the vehicle home, you need to register it with the Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Transportation. You have to decide if you are going to register it as a “regular vehicle” or as a classic/antique vehicle. The difference here is that registering it as an antique means you can only drive it eight or nine months out of the year. It has to be housed in storage during the winter months.
You will also need to insure it to the hilt, since these cars are no longer in production and damage to them can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Expect your insurance premiums to skyrocket, especially if the classic car is also a muscle car or luxury vehicle (e.g., a Shelby or a Cadillac).
Long Term Care of Your Classic Vehicle
This is not a vehicle you can leave outside in all kinds of weather. It will show signs of rust, wear and tear. Since that is not what you want to see on this vintage machine, you will have to house it in a garage or storage unit. At the very least it will need to be covered with a tarp at all times.
Wash and wax the vehicle immediately after driving it around. This will help prevent rust from developing. If there’s anything mechanically wrong with the vehicle, fix it right away so that it doesn’t cause an accident on the road. Keep tires inflated and all fluids filled.
If your vehicle is older than 1980, there’s a good chance that it requires lead in the gas tank. You can buy lead cannisters to put in the gas tank when you go to fill up. Make sure the lead is dumped in prior to pumping gas so that the gas and lead are thoroughly mixed.
Mistakes to Avoid When Looking at or Buying Classic Cars
Don’t buy the first one you see. Don’t pay what the seller is asking. There’s a good chance they are charging far too much for something that isn’t valuated at the selling price. Do your homework before you buy. Make sure you look underneath a vehicle at the pipes and whatnot, since the exterior of a vehicle can look mint, but the underside might be a rusted out mess.
My name is Taylor McKnight and I am a Digital PR Specialist representing Best Car Shippers. Best Car Shippers is a company that provides recommendations for the best automotive transportation companies