Here's What You Need to Know About Buying a Classic Car

Classic cars are just stunningly beautiful. 😍 If you have the budget to buy a classic car, try not to be impulsive even if your heart is screaming to have the first one you love. Remember that you still have to be careful about every detail to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. If you’re a car lover who’s fond of classic cars and would like to buy one, here are some tips to get you thinking. 

It’s Important to be Realistic

Before you can even think about buying a classic car, the first step is to know the type of classic car you truly love. This task may sound simple and obvious but many car lovers actually struggle to choose their ultimate dream car. It’s really not just about choosing a car you like but being brutally honest with yourself about what you can afford. 

Do you want a classic sports car that you can drive all over the UK? Would you enjoy all the characteristics of a vintage car, including the noise, smell, and any unique mechanical quirks it may have? Or would you be more comfortable with classic cars of the 1980s instead? It’s crucial that you really know what you’re comfortable with, and not just bent on the idea of driving a vintage car. You have to be ready to love both the good and not-so-great parts of a classic vehicle. 

Know and Set Your Budget

So, once you’ve narrowed down your choices and probably have a shortlist of classic cars, it’s time to know what you can afford. How much money can you set aside for your dream car and how much are you willing to spend on the purchase? Remember that you should also include the cost of car insurance, taxes, and even the auctioneer’s fees and transporting the car to your preferred location. 

When you calculate the total expense of buying a vintage car, you might get disheartened at the thought that your budget for the actual purchase will be significantly reduced. But this is a vital step before you buy a classic car or any car for that matter. Keep in mind that it’s going to be a big purchase so you have to be financially ready to take the leap. 

Take Your Time

It’s so easy to fall in love with the first classic car that you see. But you need to have strong willpower to resist buying the first one that catches your eyes. If you’re too impulsive about the purchase, you may end up having regrets because you didn’t take your time to check out the car thoroughly

Bear in mind that you need to give yourself time to think things through. Is it the best car for you? Can you afford the purchase price plus all the other related expenses? What are your other options? Shop around and examine other beauties. You may find a better deal or model in a much better condition. It’s worthwhile to take your time so you don’t have any regrets because you acted too impulsively. 

Examine the Car Closely

Older cars deteriorate. That’s just the reality of almost everything. Of course, classic cars for sale have been restored and repaired so that they’ll run well and look stunning. But always keep in your mind that classic cars are old cars so that means you ought to expect that they have some issues somewhere. Look for rust, and check that any repairs on the car have been done well. Don’t forget the engine, of course. It has to be well-maintained and properly working. 

If you’re not that knowledgeable on the mechanical and technical aspects of classic cars, spend more time on research and find out which models are prone to certain issues. It’s so easy these days because you can just Google anything. Learn more about the type of car you like and read about its strong points and weak points. Also, check out reviews and blogs from car enthusiasts. You’ll find that there are many car clubs with a strong online presence. Connect with them on social media and ask for advice if you're not sure.

Check the Paperwork

Say you’ve already set your eyes on a particular car,  and it’s within your budget and it looks good and runs well. Should you snap it up straight away? There’s one more step to take before you do, and that is to check the paperwork. You’d want to look at the car’s history as well as any document relating to repairs and other work done to it. 

This is the part where you have to be careful. A seller may claim that the car has a full service history. If this is the case, ask for the service book or documents like invoices that can support their claims. If the seller cannot provide you with relevant proof, then it would be hard to believe them.

This is what you want to see when it comes to the paperwork of a classic car. A folder or file filled with all kinds of invoices, bills, old MOTS, and even expired tax discs. A classic car with this much documentation might be more expensive. However, it’s better to pay extra for a car with complete documents. Just think about its resale value when the time comes that you want to sell it. 


Now that you know some important points when it comes to buying a classic, you’ll be more confident whenever you’re shopping for one. You’ll know what to look for and how you’ll be more in control. Car lovers are willing to spend a good deal of money on their dream cars. But keep in mind that you need to be wise on your purchase so that you’ll get the most value for your money. Carmoola has made a checklist of our top 5 best value classic cars if you think you would love to own one.

And have you heard - some classic cars are now going green! If you love the classics but are concerned for the planet, check out our blog on how classic cars can be converted to electric! Also, if you want to read more about classic cars, check out this article on the Scariest Looking Cars this Halloween

Once you’ve made the purchase and you now have your classic car, you are now responsible for keeping it well-maintained. As a car enthusiast, you will surely want to take care of something so beautiful. But don’t forget to have fun with it too! 😃The point of having a classic car is so you can drive it around, show it off and have a grand time. Why not check out this article on the top 5 cars likely to increase in value in 2023.