Your Guide to Buying Classic Cars

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Your Guide to Buying Classic Cars

Buying a classic car allows you to own a piece of motoring history. Before settling on a model, learn how to research classic cars, establish their history and authenticity, and evaluate the vehicles on offer. Popular classic cars include older Mercedes, BMW, Citroen, Triumph, and Jaguar models.


Researching Classic Cars

Researching the classic cars available allows you to make an informed buying decision. You can find anything from classic sports cars such as MGBs to practical sedans such as Volkswagen Sciroccos. Learn about the history of the model, focusing on engine types and trim levels. Consider the availability of spare parts to ensure that you can keep your car on the road without a constant search for classic car spares. When it comes to research, online forums and the archives of motoring magazines are invaluable tools. In addition, visit classic car shows and speak to the owners of the car of your choice for first-hand advice. Contact insurance companies to obtain insurance quotes and consider these costs before buying. Compare the condition and price of the cars to establish a fair asking price, and always research the history of specific vehicles offered for sale.


Establishing the History and Authenticity of a Classic Car

Always check the logbook and vehicle identification number (VIN) of a classic car before you buy. The VIN and engine number should match the logbook. If the seller provides a service history, check whether the dates, mileage, and stamps look authentic and whether the information matches the vehicle. Check the car's MOT history on the DVLA website, paying attention to mileage for the last few years. Although low mileage is an impractical feature to look for when buying a classic, mileage can give you an indication of how well previous owners looked after the vehicle and whether the car needs significant repair. Always meet the seller at the address on the vehicle registration documents. In addition, perform an HPI check to ensure that there is no outstanding finance on the car.


Evaluating a Classic Car

Whether buying a classic Bentley or a classic Morris Minor, physically inspect the car's interior and exterior and take the car for a test drive. Check the body for rust, especially in sections where water tends to pool. Check the seats, dashboard, and interior for signs of wear. Although you can expect some wear, you should factor repair costs such as reupholstery into the cost of the vehicle. The car should start from cold without problems, and it should not rattle while idling. Ensure that the lights, indicators, windscreen wipers, and other features are working. When test driving the vehicle, make sure that all gears are working, the brakes engage without pulling to either side, and the car moves in a straight line.

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