1. Dealer vs. Private Seller
Which will you choose? There are two options to look at when searching the market for the best deals; car dealership or private seller. Despite dealers traditionally being more expensive to deal with, they can be safer and provide better legal recourse if things turn out to not be completely above board. Not to mention they will more than likely offer a wider selection to choose from. While private sellers are generally cheaper, some of the items previously mentioned aren’t afforded to buyers when doing business with a private seller.
2. Identifying The Model
Depending on the exact model, you could end up leaving the lot with your dream car or something that simply resembles it but offers different features and performance. For example, look at the BMW 540i vs M5. Each shares similar specs, but boast different engines and estimated top speeds. Narrow down the options and get the specifics straight. Then ask yourself if it’s worth paying more for a similar model that might have more horsepower or an upgraded interior.
3. Verifying The Mileage
For those who don’t mind splurging on a classic for collection purposes, this isn’t a worry. But not everyone is living the Rockefeller life. Since the vehicle serves as an investment, choosing something with low mileage will not only extend its shelf life but help to increase the appraised value as well. Do yourself a favor and make sure to check the odometer, and use the vehicle’s Car-Fax to verify it.
4. Full Cost Of Owning A Classic Car
Buying a classic car is an investment. So you should never be put in a position to break the bank to own one, no matter how deep your infatuation may be. After all, there are other life priorities to take care of once you’ve signed off the transaction. Put together a budget that will not only take care of the car’s sale price, but other additional expenses such as garage maintenance, spare parts, restoration, and other necessary services and maybe even an extra parking space, depending on your living arrangements.
This is an unavoidable issue for every vehicle owner. Rust on a classic car will end up costing you more in replacements than what you originally paid for the car! Carry out a thorough inspection and if you stumble on any corrosion, seek out other options.
6. Trade or Resell Value
Owning a classic car can come with the same risks as owning a house, it can gain or lose value immensely. Granted it’s dependent on the maintenance work you put into the vehicle, plus the exact model you buy. Vintage cars with current modifications will fetch a high price, along with limited-run vehicles simply based on their rarity. The car market is very similar to the stock market as it can fluctuate based on trends.
7. Gathering Expert Research
Most popular car blogs/sites will provide a history and some performance specs on your dream car. Wikipedia can also serve as a reference tool to deliver insightful info regarding past recalls on certain models. However, the real outlets to treasure are classic car forums, which tend to feature reports from previous owners and test drivers on how certain models hold up. Sites like Zuto are helpful as well, blessing readers with a free vehicle history check on the car.