Buyer’s Guide


The aim of the project is to encourage the enthusiasts of tomorrow to buy a car of their own. Here are a few tips, with acknowledgment to Practical Classics Magazine.

  1. Use classic car magazines and websites to help to decide on what car(s) to put on your shortlist. Apart from price, Price Guides in magazines will indicate parts availability too to help in decision making. Hire a classic for a day from one of the various companies offering this facility. This will help to guide your decision on which make / model is best for you.
  2. Join an appropriate car club and talk (maybe by forum etc) to owners. Make contact with local owners and look at their cars. Club members will usually be able to point out the foibles / weaknesses and price range etc. of the make and model concerned.
  3. Ensure you have suitable premises for garaging / storage. Recognise your own limitations in maintaining or restoring a car.
  4. Buy the best you can afford but stick to your budget. Avoid a full restoration project if this is your first classic. Restoration costs can often exceed the value of the car. Most cars will need some work so ensure you factor in the cost of parts required when buying.
  5. Buying a car from a known club member is usually the best option. Clubs, acting as honest broker, may be able to offer background history on the car for sale. Reputable dealers offer warranties but are naturally more expensive. Buying at auction is generally for the more experienced buyer.
  6. When viewing a car take a knowledgeable friend along. An extra pair of eyes will be useful and your friend will help you to contain your enthusiasm. Resist the temptation to buy the first car you view unless you are completely sure. You may prefer to use the services of an independent valuer.
  7. Responding to adverts.  Be wary of cars that seem cheaper than usual for that model. Be wary too of mobile phone only contacts. Ask specific questions about the condition and history of the car.
    NEVER part with any money eg. deposit, before seeing the car and testing as below.
  8.  Do a proper road test over several miles over different types of road. Check that everything works as it should. Check all the weak points you have learned about with regard to the particular model. Again you may prefer to use the services of an independent valuer.
  9. View the car at the vendors address. Is the vendor entitled to sell the car? Check carefully the registration documents against the car – for matching numbers. Check any history and MoT as appropriate. DO NOT BUY A CAR WITHOUT PROPER DOCUMENTATION (eg. V5C ).
  10. All the above will help you to choose a classic car that is right for you and your family.