Top Tips for Buying a Classic Car

Advice on the best way to go about buying a classic car.

Classic cars come in all shapes and sizes and, if you're looking to buy a classic car, then there is bound to be a model out there that will tick the right boxes for you. Whether it's something compact and sporty, big and luxurious or complicated and exotic, buying a classic car can be a satisfying experience. But how do you go about finding the right car for you? Here are some tips for potential classic car buyers that should point you in the right direction.

Click here to find classic cars for sale in Ireland on Carzone. 

Pick what you like

There are plenty of opinions on what constitutes a classic car. The internet is awash with top 10s, and rundowns of the greatest cars ever built, with some lists dividing them by decade, era, country or body style. But if you want to buy a classic car, it's really only down to you what you choose.

If you're considering a classic, then it could well be a sporty second car that you can use at weekends and on nice days, or you might want to dive into the realms of preserving a more obscure model for posterity. Some people buy a car that they desired when they were younger but can only afford in later life. Whatever you choose, pick a car that means something to you - you're more likely to gain enjoyment from owning it if you do.

Become a fountain of knowledge

Once you've settled on the classic car of your dreams, it's time to do research, and here the internet is your friend. Popular classics will have plenty of resources online such as owners' clubs and forums that will help you find out the pros and cons of ownership. But more obscure marques are just as likely to have a network of knowledgeable experts that are willing to share information to keep a classic running.

You can also use the internet to get an idea of how much you'll need to spend to get behind the wheel of the car of your dreams, and YouTube can be a useful resource for how-to videos on specific maintenance jobs. Books are still a useful resource, and again the internet is handy for finding printed copy that can give you more in-depth knowledge about the classic you're set on.

And if you have questions, don't be afraid to ask. Sign up to an owners' forum for your favoured classic, and you'll often find that fellow forum members will be happy to share their knowledge and expertise.

Classic Car Show

Budget for your purchase

Once you've got an idea of how much your chosen classic can sell for, set yourself a budget. If you're buying at auction – either online or in real life - it can be easy to get carried away with bidding if the car of your dreams is tantalisingly close. Try and keep a cool head when you're in this sort of situation and keep as close as you can to your limit.

This is important, because if you're buying a classic, it's probably best to factor in some maintenance costs straight off the bat. Unless you're buying from a reputable classic car dealer that prepares cars properly before sale, it will be worth spending some time working on a car before getting it on the road. Consider changing the oil, and at the very least check the condition of the tyres, brakes and transmission. If you can, it could be an idea to get a classic inspected by a marque specialist, who could even recommission your classic or undertake a full restoration if it's needed.

Don't buy to invest

Some people buy classic cars in the hope to turn them around for a profit, but there's no guarantee that you'll be able to do this. Factor in the costs of running and maintaining a classic car, and the idea of making money off a classic is a little far-fetched.

The only time this really happens if somebody buys a car new, then holds on to it. Once it has achieved classic status, only then would it be profitable. But unless you have a crystal ball, it's difficult to know what cars will become classics as time moves on.

Classic cars for sale in Ireland on Carzone