How and where to buy a classic vintage car — Hometown Station | KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220 — Santa Clarita Radio

Unlike buying a new car where you have protection such as warranties and knowing that it will have no defects, buying a classic car requires additional research and preparation. A classic car will be several decades old and will have passed through many owners, covered many miles and undergone various modifications and fixes over the years.

Although you’re probably willing to do some restoration work on your classic car, you still want a car that’s been serviced and won’t take more work than necessary to be roadworthy. We’ve outlined some steps you can take to make sure you’re buying your car from the best place, getting the lowest possible price, and taking every possible precaution to get the best car possible.

Take a test drive

When you see a car you’re considering buying, one of the best things you can do is take it for a test drive. The owner may be driving the car while you’re in the passenger seat, but ideally you want to get behind the wheel yourself. Only by driving the car yourself will you get an idea of ​​how the car handles, breaks and whether you are enjoying the experience.

To drive the car yourself, you will need to take out insurance, which means the current owner must either add you as a named driver on their insurance or take out a daily insurance policy yourself. The latter is probably the easier of the two options, and insurers like Aviva offer classic car-specific insurance to ensure you’re fully covered for the day.

As you drive the car, test how the car accelerates and brakes, making sure to upshift and downshift checking for any issues. If possible, drive the car on a few different roads and bring it up to cruising speed on the main road to test its handling.

Where to buy your classic car

There are several options to choose from when choosing where to buy your classic car. The first is to go to a classic car owners club, where people come together specifically to socialize around their love for a specific make or model of car.

People at these clubs will know the community and can tell you if anyone is looking to sell. You’ll likely get a fair price by going this route to buy directly from the seller.

If you’re trying to minimize the price you pay for your car, an auction is probably your best bet. Classic car auctions take place every few months, so check your area, then see when the next one is. Cars are sold at auction and usually sell for less than if they were sold privately or through a dealership, but make sure you know the market price of the cars you are interested in so not to pay too much. .

The downside of buying at auction is that you probably won’t be able to test drive the car before you buy it, and if there are any issues with the car, you’ll be stuck with it.

Car dealerships are another common option, and ideally you want to find one that specializes in selling classic cars. Prices may be slightly higher than buying privately, but you’ll get extra protection, such as warranties, and you can take the car straight to the dealership for repair if you run into any issues.

Some specialty dealers are also working to upgrade classic cars with new engines, electrical equipment and safety features. A good example of this is Revology, which recently announced pricing for the new 1967 Shelby GT500 – gt500/.

How to make an offer

The first thing to do before making an offer on a car you are interested in is to establish a clear budget, taking into account the price of the car and the costs of insurance, storage and maintenance. With your budget in hand, you know exactly what your highest bid may be, which will help you back out in negotiations if necessary.

When making your first offer, always go below what you’re willing to pay and below the amount the landlord is asking if you know, because you might get lucky if the landlord wants to sell quickly. After the first offer, you can expect a counter-offer, when you can start negotiating a price that suits both of you.

The more information you need to process, the better deal you can expect, and if the car needs repairs or additional work, you can use these points to your advantage.

Importing a classic car

Another option we haven’t discussed yet is to buy a car overseas and import it, rather than buying domestically. Depending on where you are based, you may find the car you want much cheaper in another country, or the car may be almost impossible to find in your country.

A prime example of this is people living in the United States buying European cars, and vice versa. If you are considering importing a car, it is recommended to check if specialist companies can help you with the process as this can sometimes be difficult. For those living in Europe who want to import an American car, one option is to use ShipMyCar, which specializes in shipping cars overseas.

If you choose to import your classic car, we recommend that you take out insurance during transport. You will need a marine insurance policy to cover your vehicle should anything happen during delivery.

When is the best time to buy?

Many people buy a classic car as an impulsive decision in late spring or summer when the weather is nice. So, demand is at its peak at this time of year, prices will be inflated, and there will be more competition when you bid. To avoid this, the best time to buy is in the fall, as fewer people are buying and some people will find the classic car life was not for them, so sell their summer purchase.

Do you have any current advice? Call us at (661) 298-1220 or email Don’t miss a thing. Get the latest KHTS Santa Clarita News alerts straight to your inbox. Report a typo or error, email

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