How To Choose the Perfect Classic Car for You

November 21, 2022

How To Choose the Perfect Classic Car for You

Are you thinking of getting a vintage ride but aren’t sure where or how to look? We can help with our beginner’s guide to choosing the perfect classic car for you!

Before You Start Your Search

You’re probably itching to start looking at what’s available on the classic car market, but before you begin, there are some important things to consider first.

Consider Why You Want a Classic

First, before you think about what you’re looking for or your budget, consider why you want a classic car and its purpose. Do you simply want something you can drive on the weekends in nice weather, or are you considering purchasing one as an investment?

There’s a vast difference between buying a car for fun and buying one as a financial investment, so it’s vital to decide your goals immediately. Knowing why you want a classic will help you narrow down your options and make choosing from the many options available easier.

Set a Budget

Next, you’ll want to carefully consider your budget and set a strict limit for what you can afford in a classic car. The same if you were to buy a regular car—your budget will help narrow down your choices and help focus your research on realistic options for your new classic.

For many car lovers, it’s hard to say no when they lay on eyes on a beautiful but expensive classic—but you want to avoid purchasing for purely emotional reasons. It can be hard to hold yourself accountable to your budget, but the last thing you want is for your dream classic car to become a severe financial burden.

Attend a Car Show

A good way to gather research, meet fellow enthusiasts, and get a feel for the classic car market is to check out a local car show. There are many classic car shows held year-round in many parts of the country, but if it’s winter where you live, they might be harder to find. Regardless, if you search for a local classic car club, they often have indoor shows year-round.

Attending a classic car show in person can help provide valuable insight into what’s available in your area and give you a chance to meet other classic car owners. Many classic owners are eager to talk to other enthusiasts and those new to the market and are willing to offer valuable insight on what to look for. Some may even be able to point you toward a motivated seller, as many classic car owners know and socialize with one another.

Look at Insurance Options

Another important factor to consider before you get too involved in searching for and purchasing a classic car is insurance. You can acquire classic car insurance through a special insurance provider or a traditional insurer like the one you have for your everyday car.

When investing so much money in a classic vehicle, you don’t want to risk driving it around without insurance, so it’s better to have it taken care of as soon as possible. You can look for affordable rates online or call your existing auto insurance agent to ask about adding a classic car to your plan.

Make a List of What You Want

Finally, before you begin browsing and shopping, list what you’re looking for in a classic car. Is there a specific brand or automaker you had in mind, or are you open to different eras and types?

Do you want something that looks completely restored, or not in as good condition yet cheap so you can restore it to new glory? At Ideal Classic Cars, we have all kinds of custom classic cars for sale to choose from, and we’re confident we can find the perfect classic car for you!

How To Shop for a Classic Car

Now that you know what you want and have a clear budget, it’s time to start browsing. We have some tips to help you sift through all the classic cars to find your ideal ride.

Browse Online

Obviously, the internet has dramatically changed how many people buy and sell classic cars, making connecting with private buyers and sellers much easier. Many sites are explicitly for buying and selling vintage rides, so it’s wise to look and see what’s out there.

Buying directly from a private party offers some advantages, as they typically have a more emotional connection to the car and will take better care of it. Plus, you don’t have to deal with fees like at an auction.

Visit a Dealer

Another great place to start your search is at a classic car dealer. Dealerships allow you to see the vehicle in person, and you can always browse around without an agenda of what you’re looking for and see what grabs your attention.

Dealerships like Ideal Classic Cars in Venice, Florida, have a knowledgeable staff of experts and a rigorous inspection process to ensure the vehicle is in good shape.

Attend an Auction

The other popular way of purchasing vintage vehicles is by attending an auction. Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, a classic car auction is an exciting and fun event that offers the chance to meet many other collectors and classic car enthusiasts.

Auctions typically have high-end and expensive vehicles, but there’s always the chance you could stumble onto a vehicle with few bids and strike a deal. Most allow buyers to call in or enter online bids if they can’t make it to the auction in person.

Before You Purchase a Classic Car

Once you’ve found your classic dream car, it can be exciting and enticing to close the deal as soon as possible, but there are some things you should do first.

Check the VIN

A classic car’s VIN will give potential buyers vital information, such as its accident history, if it has one. You should also compare the VIN on the car with the VIN of the parts—if those VIN numbers are different, then the car has likely undergone a major restoration.

Take a Test Drive

It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people will buy a classic car without even driving it first because they love how it looks. But a test drive is a necessity, even if you don’t plan to drive it that often.

Take the car for a spin and see how it handles, sounds, and feels with your hands on the wheel.

Get an Inspection

Even if you consider yourself a knowledgeable gearhead, it’s always best to have a professional look at a classic before making the purchase finale. Not every mechanic can work on classic cars, so find one with some experience with the model you’re interested in, and who knows what they’re looking at.

We hope our guide has helped make finding your dream classic car easier! Remember, here at Ideal Classic Cars, we have a vast inventory of impressive vintage rides, so there’s no better place to start your search than with us.

How To Choose the Perfect Classic Car for You