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Buying Classic Cars online – Do’s and Don’t

Buying Classic Cars online - Do’s and Don’t

To buy or not to buy? This is a common dilemma one faces when deciding to purchase a used classic car online. After all, it isn’t like you are shopping from an online grocery store, where you incur a small cost of a few dollars. Buying a classic car would involve spending a lot of your hard earned money, and when the process amounts to scanning through some online text and photos, it is definitely a risky business. However, people are buying classic cars online and isn’t a bad bet provided you make a wise choice. There are reputed online sites and though as a car enthusiast you may think nothing can ever go wrong, here are some top tips for an online classic car purchase. Keep them as your benchmark, and you can save yourself a risky buy. As the purchase of  a classic car is often an emotional decision you must first listen to your heart, then engage your brain (do I really need this expensive model or am I just lusting after something beyond my capacity to own?) and then check your bank balance!

Go for the chase, this way

Make a Checklist

A checklist always puts things into focus. So it’s important that once you decide to check out your selection, you make a list of things that needs to done before the purchase is completed. This would typically involve estimating the cost of transportation from the seller’s location to your own and then finding out who would incur the transport cost. Also check if you can test drive your chosen model before purchase or have a paid instructor do that for you, and find out other details like total miles covered, the cars’ previous owners, insurance, an escrow service if it isn’t provided by the website etc.

How much can you spend?

There are a lot of hidden costs to an initial purchase, and that must be kept in mind when determining if you should go along with your purchase of that car? One has to bear in mind future maintenance and miscellaneous costs that would include cosmetic repairs such as new accessories and painting touch-ups, costs to change titles, registration costs and special license plates costs, and a pre-purchase inspection by your mechanic.  So can you really afford this all?

Be your detective

If a model takes your fancy research on the year, make and model of the car. Then compare it with other similar cars to ensure that your purchasing is based on up-to-date and correct information. You could research the upsides and downsides of the model online, run the information of the car such as VIN through a website that contains history reports or even contact the owners club, who keep a mine of information on things like spare availability and prices. Also thoroughly check out the photos. If a shot from a particular angle is not available, ask the seller to provide one. A buyer should always ask for the repair and maintenance records of the vehicle and take that into account in the final budget.

Inspect and Test Drive

Lastly, do not ever finalise a purchase before inspecting the car thoroughly or test driving the car. Check for loose brakes and study its working condition. A vintage car may be bought on-line but the purchase in true classic form. You can find a through advertisements on classified ad websites or on websites which carry auto trading catalogs or classic car magazines and see if they have links to advertising pages. Additionally, you may browse an Internet auction site to view a wide variety of classic cars. Or check out shows which often feature sales, which may be listed online.

Happy Vintage driving!