Tips for buying your first classic car

Buying your initial classic car is a big topic that could quickly load a book (currently there’s a concept …) yet the essentials are quite understandable.

So here’s some classic car restoration help when it comes to buying your first car.

Be reasonable

Your very first task is to determine the kind of classic car you want. Seems simple, eh? It’s not, at least not if you’re shateringly honest with on your own, which you’ll require to be.

As an example, I liked myself as a steely-jawed, all-British hero who had actually delve into his vintage sportscar (sans roof covering, naturally) to take on a grand excursion of our little island prior to striding more afield right into Europe, or even Asia probably.

The truth is somewhat different as well as I was forced to confess that classic cars are cramped, noisy, chilly, smelly as well as unstable. As well confined, noisy, cold, smelly and also unstable for me, that’s without a doubt, which is why I’ve settled on standards from the 1980s as well as 1990s that have effective heaters and also a roofing. (Nor do I object to having air-con at my disposal, or ABS, or power steering, or gas shot or all those various other little advances that brought people to the vehicle world.).

You could be constructed from sterner things (at the very least I wish you are, because otherwise we’re all doomed) as well as would suit an MGB completely. All I’m claiming is that a Mazda MX-5 is less costly, a lot more trustworthy and also far, much nicer to drive …

Set a spending plan.

Once you’ve set that spending plan you’ll require to knock off the expense of guaranteeing the automobile. The (most likely by currently pitiful) amount that’s left is what you can manage to spend on a timeless.

After you deducted 10% as a backup charge to figure out the prompt post-purchase niggles, that is.

Do not buy the first automobile you see.

I know you will but do attempt to stand up to, will not you? I promise, there are even more examples out there and if you jump in with both feet you’ll invest the next month searching the classifieds, beating yourself up as you locate bargain after deal, all of which are cheaper/nicer/lower gas mileage than the one you’ve just purchased.
Where to look.

The apparent area to look is ebay but other websites do exist. Pistonheads is an excellent one for contemporary classics, while Car and Classic provides for the older classic.

Don’t dismiss purchasing public auction, either. It’s not as high-risk as you may believe and there have been some real bargains going through the specialist classic car auctions lately.
What to search for.

Generally of thumb, you want 3 things: rust, provenance, and corrosion.

Older cars and trucks will generally have actually been brought back at some time in their life; the only inquiry is how well it has actually been done. The oily bits are normally more affordable and simpler to repair than the bodywork as well as framework, so focus on searching for rust, rot, and also poorly performed repair work.

The exception to this is when you are looking at even more modern-day classics, many of which will certainly be rust-free thanks to galvanized bodywork. In this case (and also I’m taking a look at you, BMW and also Porsche) an inadequately maintained engine could create the automobile off.

Google is a great beginning indicate locate a customers’ guide for the model you have an interest in, and also there are a lot of proprietors’ clubs around who will happily offer you recommendations and support.

Look for provenance.

The other point to search for is provenance. By that I mean the auto’s history as well as the evidence that sustains it.

If the seller claims that it has FSH (complete solution history) however does not have the solution book or billings to back it up, after that she or he could not be telling the truth.

What you preferably want to see is a folder stuffed filled with costs, invoices, old MOTs and ran out tax discs. This dramatically includes to the worth, so do not baulk at paying a little bit extra for a well-documented vehicle due to the fact that you’ll get it all when you involve offer, plus interest.


I recognize, we’re British, which suggests we don’t such as to haggle. Which’s alright. No, truly, it is. I mean, you’ll pay even more for it, however that’s not a problem to me. Or the seller …

Haggling is very easy; simply state wonderful points concerning the car and bid reduced with a smile. Maintain moving if you have to till you are within 10% of the asking cost. After that quit and also prepare to leave if required.

The net suggests that anybody offering a vehicle is displaying their hopes and ambitions to the world, as well as if their price is also away the mark then no one will certainly call them. Consequently, asking prices are now generally a lot closer to the automobile’s true value and couple of sellers will go down greater than 10%.

Caring for it.

I such as to service a vehicle when I initially get it, even if it’s simply been done. By doing this I start with a known standard as well as can function from there; there’s no point in obtaining a new soft-top if the brakes are shot.

So do the essential, safety-critical things initially. There will be plenty of time to do the glossy things when your desire classic is solid as well as reputable.

If I can give you one hard-won tip, it would certainly be to purchase a flow battery charger. Good ones cost around ₤ 50 as well as will certainly maintain your cars and truck’s battery in ideal problem all the time. I say this due to the fact that there is no delight whatsoever in having a spontaneous road trip cancelled since the flippin’ automobile will not begin.