How to Buy Used Classic Cars

If you are going to buy used classic cars, the most important thing you can have at your disposal is knowledge of them. Purchasing a classic car is much different than purchasing a typical car and even for the most experienced buyers it can be a tricky feat. The last thing you want is to spend big money on a lemon. Here is a look at helpful steps that can help you find a quality classic car that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Step #1 – Decide What You Want in a Classic Automobile

First, you must decide what you want in a classic car. Do you want to buy used classic cars to enter in competitions or do you want to drive your classic car on a regular basis for pleasure? For those who plan to use the car all the time, going with a vehicle in “show condition” is not the best choice. However, if you plan to compete, then spending a bit more on a classic car in better condition will be worth your money.

Step #2 – Research the Specific Car You Want

After you know what you want in a collectible car and what you are going to use it for, start researching the specific car that you want. Different cars have specific problem areas that you have to watch out for when buying. Take time to research the exact model and year you’re looking for so you know what to look for when considering particular cars.

Step #3 – Carefully Do a Visual Inspection

Once you are looking at a specific vehicle when preparing to buy used classic cars, carefully do a visual inspection. Take a look around the vehicle looking for body damage and rust. Ensure you look under the hood as well as the hoses, belts, and fluids. Keep an eye open for any leaks.

Step #4 – Take the Car on a Test Drive

After you have done the visual inspection, take the car on a test drive. Never buy used classic cars without testing them out yourself. Have the owner start up the vehicle and look at the tailpipe. If there is black or blue smoke, there could be a problem. Drive the vehicle yourself. Take note of the power, any sway that occurs in the front, and how the car shifts. You want the car in great driving condition – otherwise, you may end up sinking a lot of money into repairs once you purchase the car.

Step #5 – Ask for Documentation and Records on the Vehicle

It’s important that you ask for documentation and records on the vehicle as well. You want to see what repairs have been done on the vehicle through the years. If the owner tries to tell you they have no records, think twice before making the purchase.

Step #6 – Have a Pre-Purchase Inspection Done By a Trusted Mechanic

Even if the car looks great to you and it runs great when you test drive it, have a pre-purchase inspection done by a trusted mechanic before you buy used classic cars. A mechanic probably has more knowledge than you do and may be able to find problems that you could have overlooked. Ensure you go with a mechanic you trust and get a full report before making an offer on the vehicle.

Step #7 – Get a Vehicle History Report

Get a vehicle history report on the classic auto, even if the mechanic says things look great. This way you can ensure the car is not stolen and you can also find out how many people have owned the car in the past. These vehicle history reports can be done on the web and are reasonably priced and well worth the money.

Step #8 – Make a Reasonable Offer

Once you are sure the car is a good investment, then you are ready to make a reasonable offer. Make an offer according to the price guide with any problems the car has in mind. Remember, this is a vehicle you don’t have to buy, and if you don’t get a fair deal, you can simply walk away from the deal.

These steps are important if you are going to buy used classic cars. Always use these steps to ensure you get a great deal, and remember that knowledge is going to be your key to success when purchasing any classic vehicle.

At expert author Leon Edward’s website Buy Used Classic Cars [http://buy-used-classic-cars.com] get tips and advice on what, where and how to buy all kinds of classic vehicles for pure joy and investment. Also search database for finds from police and IRS auctions

How to Find the Best Auto Insurance For a Classic Car – Tips For Finding Cheap Antique Car Insurance

How can one find the best auto insurance for a classic car? Is it even possible to find cheap antique car insurance? Classics cars can be well worth the sometimes pricey cost of upkeep and storage – there is no need to have to pay more for insurance coverage than necessary. Read on to learn some of the things that you should know before you purchase a classic car auto insurance policy.

Who hasn’t turned their head while driving down the road to get a better look at a classic or collectible car? We’re enamored with the lines of the car as well as its pristine condition. But the detailed attention in maintaining a classic car’s flawless appearance and operation is not only to draw admiring looks, it is also necessary in order to keep up the market value of the car. For this reason, along with others, specialized classic auto insurance policies were developed to meet the needs of classic and collectible car owners.

Another reason (a very important reason), for insuring your vehicle as a classic or collectible is the greatly reduced cost of classic car insurance relative to standard auto insurance. Standard auto insurance can cost as much as 200%-300% more than classic auto insurance. So, what is the biggest factor that causes such a great disparity in price between classic auto insurance and standard car insurance? Generally, collector vehicles are driven on a limited basis (the garage is where they are usually found). As a result, the risk of accident and loss to collector vehicles is considerably lower than the risk involved in vehicles that are regularly driven.

DOES YOUR VEHICLE QUALIFY?

The following is a list of classifications for collectible cars.

Antique cars – 25 years or older
Custom cars – 1949 to present
Classic cars – 20-24 years old
Collectible cars – 15-19 years old
Exotic cars – less than 15
Street rods – Pre-1949

This is the standard listing for those cars that are considered eligible for classic car auto insurance, but certain cars may be accepted at the discretion of the insurer. Sometimes, classic car insurers will customize an insurance policy for a particular vehicle.

WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH COLLECTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE?

To keep collector auto insurance rates low, certain usage limitations are placed on the insured vehicle.

Cannot be used for everyday use. This rules out using it to drive to work, run errands, or go out for that bite to eat. Under a classic car insurance policy, car usage should be limited to driving to and from car shows and the occasional parade.

Cannot be driven more than 2,500 miles per year. 2,500 is a fairly standard number among insurance companies that offer classic coverage, but there are some insurance companies that have mileage plans that allow up to 5,000 or 6,000 miles per year. This increased mileage limit was put in place to accommodate those drivers who like to take their cars to distant car shows. Of course the premiums are greater.

Must be kept in a locked garage. A locked enclosed trailer will also do, but a carport will not meet the grade even if you live in a gated community with a security guard. (The weather is also an enemy of the classic car). Some policies might stipulate that a car cannot be left unattended in a parking lot. This means leaving your car in a motel or hotel parking lot might present a problem.

WHAT CONSIDERATIONS SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND WHEN CHOOSING CLASSIC AUTO INSURANCE?

Does the company offer Agreed Value Coverage or Stated Value Coverage?

Agreed value lets the classic car owner and the insurance agent set a value for the auto that does not necessarily reflect the market value for that car. Usually, the insurance agent will have to do a thorough inspection of the car both inside and out and will require photos of the vehicle.

What are the usage and mileage restrictions?

Find the policy that best suits your plans for using the car. Why pay for a plan that covers mileage for 5,000 when you know that you won’t even come close to using the 2,000 miles available in a cheaper policy.

Can you choose your own repair shop?

The Mom and Pop shop down the road might do a good job on your regular car and offer the lowest repair bid in town, but do you really want them working on your classic “baby”?

What company underwrites the policy and what is the rating for that company?

You want to be sure that the underwriter has a good track record and is going to be able to fulfill all of their obligations even if for some reason there is a larger than normal influx of insurance claims.

Are there any discount programs available?

A good insurance company should always inform you of any discounts that are available to you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Does your insurance offer insurance for classic or modified cars that are under construction?

Some companies will monitor the progress that is being made on your vehicle while it is in the garage for repairs and modifications and allow you to adjust the value of the car as the project continues. Also, this type of insurance covers damages to your auto in case of a catastrophic occurrence such as a fire, or the hydraulic lift fails, or the tool cart falls on your car (with a little imagination the possibilities are endless.)

WHY CAN’T I JUST ADD MY COLLECTOR CAR TO THE FAMILY AUTO INSURANCE POLICY?

You can, but it could be a costly mistake. If repairs are needed you may be forced to accept the lowest repair bid, or if the car is badly damaged, the insurance company could opt to have it totaled. And although a discount is usually given for cars combined under one policy, that discount still may not provide the savings available if the car was insured under a classic auto insurance policy.

Finally, make sure your insurance company has a good understanding of classic cars. In the event that your car is totaled, you want to be able to work with a knowledgeable representative and receive the full value for your car.

What to Consider When Buying a Classic Car

Buying a classic car is, for many, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Whether buying a prize example of their first car 30 years on or reliving childhood holidays in a fine example of dad’s old saloon, classic car ownership is about enjoyment and relaxation. But the sheer enthusiasm with which many people enter into the purchase can sometimes blind them to the harsh realities of owning and running a classic car.

I have bought and sold many cars in my years running the UK’s largest classic car hire company. In that time I have learnt the hard way how to buy classic cars well. I bought my first classic car in 1993, a rare Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti in black. It was my dream car, having cycled past an identical example every day while at school. I did my research, buying copies of all available Buyers’ Guides and I knew exactly what to look for and what to avoid. Unfortunately, what none of these guides told me was the cardinal rule – buy with your head not your heart. I particularly wanted a black Alfasud and when I clapped eyes on the car this was the over-riding thought in my head. It blinded me to the reality of the car’s obvious flaws, including suspect electrics and typically Alfa-esque rust holes. Floating on a wave of dream fulfillment I convinced myself that these were idle matters and coughed up the asking price to a probably flabbergasted owner.

When you go to buy a classic car bear in mind two simple rules. Firstly, it is not the only example of its kind in the world. Regardless of how closely its specification matches your desires, there will be another one out there. Secondly, picture the asking price as money in your hand – this will help you to appreciate the value of the purchase. Very often cars are bought and then paid for later, which gives plenty of time for circumspection! I strongly recommend that anyone buying a classic car takes along a friend who can be relied upon to be objective – they can reign you back when your enthusiasm takes ov er.

When I bought the Alfasud I managed to bring it back to a respectable standard, but it cost me to do so. That taught me another rule of car buying – objectively assess the cost of repairing the car before you buy it. Know the market value of any car you plan to buy – what is it worth in average condition and what is it worth in excellent condition? Objectively assess the value of repairing the car’s faults by researching the cost of trim, bodywork, mechanical work and so on. Do not under-estimate the cost of apparently minor work – scuffs and scrapes on the paintwork can cost hundreds of pounds to put right. If a seller says something is an ‘easy fix’ you have to wonder why they haven’t done it themselves.

When you go to view a classic car do your research first. Check the buying guides. Visit web forums and ask questions that are not immediately answered by your research – generally forum contributors are very happy to help. Talk to the experts – marque experts who repair cars on a daily basis are often very happy to offer advice because you may become a customer.