If you are thinking of buying a classic car then there are some pitfalls that you need to be aware of. Unless you are a qualified mechanic, you may be tempted to part with your hard-earned savings on a vehicle that will cost you more than money, indeed, you could be talking about a great deal of heartache and stress. Which is certainly not the point of purchasing a historic vehicle in the first place. Buying a classic car should be an exciting experience and offer you an attractive and iconic design, with years of pleasant driving to come. So what should you be watching out for and where can you get help, before and after you buy one?
Find a Forum
The usual tips of buying any used car apply when you are buying a classic car but there are different ways of researching your potential model before you even get on the road and test drive one. Once you have chosen the make and model that you wish to buy, have a search online for classic car forums, specific to that model. Here you will find everything you’ll need from trouble shooting typical problems associated to that model, to the best garages to go to for repairs, to where to source spare parts. These type of sites can be invaluable to the newbie classic car buyer as they will typically have some real motoring enthusiast on the site who is knowledgeable about the make of car you are interested in. And the great thing about these kind of forums is the people on them love to help.
What to Look For
Once you have chosen your model and are actually viewing it, look at any restorative work that has been carried out on the car. Is the work of a high standard and if there are any modifications, are they correctly installed and look appropriate to the model? Have a good look around the car for rust damage, in particular the places where it is difficult to see such as under the wheel arches. Look for any signs of paint bubbling, this is a sign of rust beginning to come through the paintwork and will need attention in the future. Ask if the car has any leaks and check inside under the carpets for damp patches. Has the car been converted to unleaded petrol? If not, conversion is expensive and something that you will have to undertake. Start the car from cold (you may have to arrange this with the seller beforehand) and check the exhaust for persistent blue smoke.This can indicate internal oil leaks, and if you see excessive white smoke this is an indication of a potential head gasket failure, both are very costly repairs. If you decide to buy the car, ask the seller if they have any replacement parts as it could be easier than sourcing them yourself.
The Good Points of Owning a Classic Car
You’ll be owning a unique piece of history
The driving experience is second to none
You can join exclusive owners’ clubs and attend events
You’ll qualify for low-cost classic car insurance and cars that were manufactured before 1973 do not have to pay road tax
Some classic cars are a good investment and will actually increase in value
The Bad Points of Owning a Classic Car
You will not get a warranty
If the manufacturer no longer exists, it will be nigh on impossible to get spare parts, as it is, it will be difficult anyway.
Any servicing, maintenance or restoration costs can be considerable
You will get little protection offered if you are involved in an accident
You will probably be limited to using the car in the summer, as many classic cars do not run well in cold, freezing conditions.
You will have to have a garage to store and maintain your classic car properly
Most classics need constant attention and maintenance