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Tips On Buying A Classic Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Tips On Buying A Classic Car

Matthew Kirkman
July 3, 2013


Have you always dreamed of owning a classic car? Are you put off by thoughts of the cost or the potential hassle of fixing or maintaining a classic vehicle? Well, it's true that finding the perfect classic car can be challenging, but it can also be exciting and well worth the wait once you discover just how many gems there are out there - if you look hard enough.

Research, Research, Research Research - as with many things in life - is key. Once you've decided on the exact car you want, you'll need to find out everything you can about it, especially how much it's likely to cost and - more importantly - how readily available (and how expensive) the spare parts are. One way of finding out about your dream car is to ask people who already own them; they'll know all the ins and outs and will be able to give you advice based on the mistakes they've made with cars. For this, either visit classic car shows or log in to an online classic car owners forum.

Be Realistic When Viewing Cars If it's been your lifelong dream to own a classic car, your judgement can tend to get a bit clouded when actually viewing one of these cars in the flesh. You'll need to rein in your excitement and look at the small details of the car as well as the bigger picture, and if you've done your research, you'll know exactly what to look for and how much it should cost to fix it. Take someone else (preferably not another classic car enthusiast) with you when you go to view a car in order to keep your feet on the ground and your head out of the classic car cloud. Make sure you check the papers for the vehicle, including the service history, but don't be alarmed if the owner brings out a thick wad of documents - most classic cars will have a huge history file.

Be Prepared To Fix It Up Even if you're not looking for a classic car as a 'fix up' project, you'll no doubt have to spend a lot of time and money on maintaining your vehicle. Your research will have helped prepare you for this, of course, but you also need to make sure you have a local garage who has the expertise needed to keep the car running. Without specialist help, your classic car dream could well turn into a nightmare.

Last but not least, as when buying any vehicle, make sure you test drive the car first, and ensure all legal documents are filled in.


When you've bought a new car, a private number plate can be a great way to conceal the age of your car, give your car a more exclusive look, or even just invest your money. If you're looking for private number plates, you can find plenty more information by visiting the Platehunter website.

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