That’s right. For some people, only a classic car from another decade will do. If you’re joining the ranks and looking to buy a vintage car, here are some tips.

You can shop for a vintage car anytime, but for the best selection and deals, fall is ideal. It is more of a buyer’s market then due to the lack of winter storage and inventory reductions. Finding vintage cars is easy. One search online will uncover dozens of possibilities. Newspaper ads, collectors’ meets, car shows, car auctions and vintage auto club events are other sources.

Vintage cars are used and pose more of a risk than new cars. Plus, they are older, so you need to be careful that you choose a good one. Before you make any offers, do your homework. Determine whether you are looking for a vintage car ready to drive off the lot or one to restore. Either way, you will find several models available, and to ensure you get a good deal, you must find out what the cars of interest are worth in their present condition. Several price guides are available. Use them.

You must also set up a time to have the cars of interest inspected. You can do this yourself, but to ensure there are no surprises, you might want to bring in a mechanic or appraiser specializing in vintage cars. Not only can they tell you about the condition of the car inside and out but about any restoration that has been done. Shoddy bodywork and paint are sure signs of a poor restoration.

If you plan to sell the car at some point, you might want to check into its collectibility status. Some classic cars are more popular than others and therefore will sell easier. Check with vintage auto clubs for the popularity of models. You might want to ask about where to go for parts, too.

Finally, research what the costs of owning a vintage car will be. Vintage cars are typically harder to repair and therefore costlier to maintain. Classic car insurance rates may also run higher. Get in touch with your mechanic and insurance agent and know what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line. You don’t want to buy a vintage car only to have to sell it a few months later because you can’t afford it.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: