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A classic car is defined as a model manufactured in or before 1990. In comparison, antique cars are vehicles made before 1976, and vintage cars are those manufactured between 1919 to 1930. There are several key considerations to take into account when buying a classic car for the first time, including the reason for the purchase, where to buy, the need for an inspection, and the budget available.

Being Clear on the Reason

It’s important that those who are considering buying a classic car think carefully about their reasons for doing so in order to make the best decision. For example, some potential purchasers are looking for a restoration project, while others simply want a characterful car to drive day-to-day. It’s vital to note, however, that classic cars often don’t turn out to be a good investment option. Take a look at the embedded PDF to find out more about the reasons for this.

Where to Buy a Classic Car

There are three main options: buying at auction, buying from a dealer, or buying from a private party. Classic car enthusiasts like Pierre-Mary Bachelet know that an auction can be an exciting way to purchase a vehicle, and some of the most desirable cars have been sold at auction, rather than via a dealer or private party. Auctions also offer the opportunity to get a bargain, especially on cars with no (or a low) reserve that only attract a few bidders. If buying from a dealer, it’s important to remember that dealers are effectively middlemen – the commission that the dealer will be earning is likely to indirectly push up the purchase price. However, a buyer does have significant leverage to get the dealer to come down in price to close the sale. For those who have got the time to put into searching, buying a classic car from a private party can result in securing a great deal. Likely to be long-time owners, sellers tend to know the history of the vehicle intimately, and the condition of the car on the market often reflects their passion.

Pierre-Mary Bachelet - Examples of Classic Cars

Using the Services of an Inspector

When purchasing a classic car from a dealer or private seller, it’s a good idea to have an inspector look over the vehicle, if this is possible. An inspector will check that the car is exactly as detailed in the sales literature or according to the private owner’s claims.