There are many of us who want to start a classic car collection but aren’t quite sure where to start. It can be an expensive hobby, and those who get into collecting for the first time end up dropping much more money than they first expected which can deter people from continuing to add to their collection. These new collectors often get blindsided and bite off more than they can chew, but it can be avoided.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced collector that wants to add a few more great pieces to the garage, there are some rules to follow. Here are five tips on how to buy classic cars for cheap so you can spark your love for the hobby and add the cars that you’ve always wanted.
When buying a classic car, you can shop online, but then there’s a good chance that you won’t even get to see the car before making the transaction. This can be a huge risk, and you might end up spending thousands more than you wanted to or even get a junker that sets you back and kills your passion for classic cars. Instead, you should shop in person, and there are certain places to look.
There are certain states where classic cars are more numerous and therefore cheaper. California is the state where you can find a classic car parked in seemingly every garage, and some of the models are so numerous that they’re extremely cheap. If you’re driving down any California road and you don’t see at least one classic car, it might be a rare rainy day. Other good states for classic cars include Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
The best way you can save money on anything is by buying something that has a large supply, it’s basic economics. There are certain classic cars that were mass-produced and have been taken care of well over the years. Obviously, the more common a car is, the cheaper it’s going to be to purchase, and the cheaper it’s going to be to get replacement parts if you’re looking for a restoration project.
The 1969 Dodge Charger is the most commonly sought-after classic car out there, especially since it was featured in major film and television productions including “The Dukes of Hazzard”. Other notable classic cars that are high in supply include the 1967 Ford Mustang, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, and the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. These are perfect starter cars for a classic collection.
As we mentioned before, common cars will have common parts. That alone will save you money, but if you want to save money on a classic car that isn’t as common, then you’ll want to make sure that the one you’re buying comes with all of its parts in working order. Sure, you can buy the body of a classic car for cheap, but the restoration could end up costing more than just buying a working model.
Some of the rarer cars don’t have parts that have been in production for decades, so it can be impossible to restore them. When asking what new parts a classic car will need for a restoration, always check to see how much it would cost for parts and labor to get it to drive the way you want it to. Otherwise, you’re better off just buying a used Honda Accord.
Just like it is with collecting anything, you’ll want to speak with other people who have been dabbling in that type of collection. If you go into it completely blind, sellers will be able to spot you from a mile away. This could lead to you being taken advantage of and cost you hundreds or thousands of extra dollars.
The first time that you go out shopping for a classic car, make sure to bring someone with you that has a lot of experience. They’ll be able to identify which parts need to be replaced or not while also making sure to get you the right price. This leads us to our last point.
Cars, whether they’re new or classic, don’t come with a price that’s set in stone. This leads us back to our first point of finding a good location rather than purchasing online. This allows you to get face-to-face with the seller and you can negotiate a price from there.
Though you might not be able to get the car for half of the asking price, you can still save yourself hundreds if the seller is willing to come down. When you know what you’re shopping for and how much replacement parts will be, you have the upper-hand in negotiations.