Restoring an old, retro or classic car can be a lot of fun. It can also be tedious and cause many headaches. It can be a difficult process looking for a classic car as there are often more faults and therefore more things to look out for. So here is some classic car buying advice that should hopefully make the process a little easier.
To save yourself the time and hardship of costly repairs you should look for leaks under your potential investment before you buy it. Every system on your vehicle which hinges on a liquid has the potential to leak. If a car has been left outside, uncovered for an extended period of time, then there is a good chance that nature has got into the vehicle. Those leaks can translate in to a lot of money. As can bodywork issues – rust, poor repairs or crash damage – and noises from the drivetrain, stub-axles and/or suspension. It’s wise to keep a track of mechanical work necessary to know what should be deducted from the resale value.
The more money that a classic car costs, the better its condition should be. The slightest difference to how a repair has been done can lead to a huge difference in a car’s value. Brand loyalty is not earned as easily as it used to be. If you’re a big fan of a manufacturer’s newest models then you should be able to expect quality in their classics. If it wasn’t a good year in the car’s history then it might wise to walk away.
Finding a trusted seller to buy the classic car from can be a bit of a tricky task. It is often better to buy from dealerships who offer used cars such as buying second hand cars from Bristol Street Motors. This way you are more likely to get a more reliable service and also you have more cover in case anything goes wrong. Of course there is nothing wrong buying privately; you can often find some great bargains. Just make sure you use lots of common sense and if the deals seem too good to be true it usually is!
To get a sense of parts availability you can check the ease of sourcing parts at specialist salvage yards, specialist companies and websites, on-line auction sites, classic clubs and autofactors. Talk to a specialist classic club and you will find a good specialist/mechanic who can advise you on what parts you need and roughly how much they should cost.
Obviously the main part of buying a classic car is when you actually view the car itself. Every classic car is different and therefore has its individual common faults and things to look out for. It is sometimes easy to get caught up in the moment when you view a car, but it is so important to do your research first. Make sure you know all the common faults and tell tale signs before you even step foot on the forecourt. This way you will have a more accurate opinion on whether the car is a good purchase or not. Also if you know someone that has experience in classic cars, or a mechanic, it is always wise to bring them along with you.
Buying a classic car is not always a cheap purchase. You have to keep in mind that they are more likely to have faults due to their age and use, therefore they can be more maintenance intensive. Also keep in mind you will have to take it to the garage for an MoT and also routine maintenance such as a car service at Bristol Street if you are not a DIY mechanic. This can all add up over a year and the duration that you own the car – but on the plus side, the value of a good classic won’t suffer from depreciation and in many cases, they are cheaper to insure and tax (especially pre-1973 cars which are free to tax).
Let’s face it owning a classic car can have a huge impact on your life. Putting a smile on your face and passers-by is a price that is worth paying.