Practically everyone is a collector of some kind. Some people collect stamps, while others collect postcards. We’re sure some of us remember how the world was briefly caught up in the Beanie Babies craze. Either way, what you collect shows your personality and the type of person you are. We only collect things that interest us. But not all collections are merely for entertainment. Some can also be considered as an investment. People collect valuable possessions that will increase in value, such as jewelry or real estate.
One of the most iconic pastimes is car collecting. Whether you’re an avid fan of muscle cars, roadsters, or vans, there is no status symbol like a restored vintage vehicle. Cars represent a snapshot of our history, and millions of people take pride in bringing back the lost glory of the good old days. And in some cases, vintage cars are also seen as a viable investment option.
Just as there’s a bustling market for art, the classic car market is one of the most active and robust today. But not all cars qualify as a collectible. It has to be rare, unique, or historically important. Sports cars and luxury cars dominate the market, but early models are also a popular target. If you want to invest in a classic car, here are a few things you need to consider.
Do your research
The first thing you need to do before buying a classic car is to do some research. It pays to arm yourself with the knowledge of the specific vehicle you want, including its market value, provenance, and particular quirks. Information about classic cars can be difficult to come by, so make sure to consult as many sources as you can. You can also interview classic car collectors and historians.
There are many factors that affect a classic car’s value. For starters, the rarer the model, the more valuable it is. The condition of the vehicle also has a great influence on the price: a mint-condition model is more expensive than one in good or fair condition. If you don’t know how to appraise a vehicle’s condition, you may want to bring an expert with you. That way, you’ll have everything you need once you start the negotiation process.
Secure safe car transport
A smart car collector will hire a car transport service to safely move their vehicle from point A to point B. Sure, you might save a few bucks if you drive the vehicle yourself. But classic cars aren’t meant to be treated like regular cars, and driving one on the freeway is a sure way to destroy its value. You’re exposing a valuable item to possible damage from weather, dirt, and traffic. The only safe way to move a valuable car is to hire a car transport service.
Unless you’re buying an extremely rare vehicle with only a few dozen units left in existence, you might want to shop around before making a decision. If you’re looking to buy a model that’s relatively common such as a Volkswagen Beetle, checking as many units as you can put you in a better position once you’re ready to negotiate. You may have to visit out-of-state dealers to fully explore your options.
Once you’ve chosen a model, the next thing you need to do is to consult an expert who can accurately appraise the unit. As I previously mentioned, many factors affect the final market value, and you need specialized knowledge to properly investigate the vehicle you’re looking to purchase.
We live in the information age, and buying a car is easier than ever. You can simply go online to get the information you need. For starters, you can look at online listings of vintage and classic cars. This allows you to avoid dealing with middlemen and to communicate directly with the owner.
You can also use the internet to connect with aficionados and experts. While car collecting is a popular pastime, it’s not exactly a topic you can discuss with your friends and family. That way, you get to talk about the things you love and enjoy with people who share the same interests.
The bottom line
Becoming a classic car collector requires a lot of time, money, and patience. Without planning and preparation, you could end up spending a lot of money on an expensive dud. It pays to arm yourself with a basic knowledge of the classics and to listen to the experts regarding the appraisal.