Buying Your First Classic Car: Everything You Need To Know

A classic car is so much more than a vehicle; it is a member of the family, a friend and a companion as well. Whereas most people buy cars and change them every few years, classic cars are wholly different and they are intended to be nurtured and cherished for years to come.


Buy wisely and you’ll have a companion for life but, buy poorly and you may be lumbered with something that will cost you the earth without giving you anything back. This guide aims to help you gear up for your first classic car purchase, showing you exactly what to avoid and what to embrace. Here’s everything you need to know:

Investing Wisely: Choosing a Car that Will Hold its Value

One of the main advantages of buying a classic car is the fact that, if you invest wisely, it will hold its value. If you fail to invest wisely, however, this ideal is all but a pipe dream, and maintenance costs alone will see you lose all of your return on the original investment. Of course, there are always those that ‘strike it lucky’, purchasing a car that’s value skyrockets. This is the exception rather than the norm, but it is possible nevertheless. Ideally, when searching for a car, you should look for one where you feel it will hold your investment as a minimum. If the value increases, well that’s just a bonus.

Focus on Practicality, Not Just Monetary Value

Although a classic car may be an investment it is also- above all else- a practical purchase. Much like purchasing vinyl records and keeping them in their sleeves, buying a classic car and not driving it seems as though it is a bit of a waste. You may feel as though your cars value and parts may deteriorate as you drive it but, if anything, the opposite is true, and your car is more likely to deteriorate stood still; especially as the parts start to rust. Although you’ll undoubtedly have to repair your car after driving it continuously, this is one of the chief joys of driving a classic. It may be a love-hate relationship as you make ongoing repairs, but it is worth it when you’re out on the open road.

Practicality Vs. Desirability: What Do You Really Want?

When you’re looking to buy a classic, following your heart is rarely the best choice. You need to think about what suits your driving needs the most. Due to the age of classic cars, they need copious amounts of servicing and maintenance and, as a result, the higher your annual mileage, the less likely it is that you’ll want an older, 1960s classic. Of course, if your annual mileage is low then the world is your oyster, but you’ll also have to consider practicality: who rides in it and when. This will largely inform your decision on what to buy and, if you don’t consider these factors, your dream of owning a classic may turn into a nightmare.

Maintenance, Upkeep and Extras

Also, it is vital to remember that the cost of your new vehicle will not be the only cost associated with it and, due to this; you have to consider your own knowledge, experience and financial situation to ensure that you can afford the vehicle in question. As we’ve already discussed, due to the age of the vehicle, things are likely to go wrong with your classic and, because of this, it is probably wise to enrol yourself on a basic car mechanics course so that you can complete most of the basic repair work yourself rather than paying an engineer for expensive labour costs.

Photo of classic cars

As well as this, have you considered where you will store your new vehicle? Most insurance companies now expect classics to be stored in garages and access to one is nigh on essential both for insurance purposes and as a place to carry out essential repair works. Council lockups are incredibly cheap to rent, so you could look for somewhere like this if you do not have access to your own lockup.

Finally, don’t rush. It can be incredibly tempting to dive straight into the used car market, especially if something catches your eye. However, if you let your heart rule your head then you’re much less likely to end up with something you’ll love for the rest of your life. To help find the perfect car, narrow your options and join a driving enthusiasts’ club. Their knowledge is invaluable in helping you through the first few months as a classic car owner and, they can help you narrow down your classic car search, showing you what is the best car for you.

To conclude, buying a classic car can be a little bit of a love-hate relationship, but it is one that will provide you with great joy, if you choose the correct car. But, if you follow our advice, you really can’t go far wrong. So, search our site and find your new dream companion.



+ More