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Buying a Classic Car

Aug 23, 2007
Buying and restoring classic cars is a popular hobby for many car enthusiasts but is rarely a straightforward task. Although it is very rewarding, it can be expensive especially if you don't know what to look for. From searching the classifieds to finding cheap classic car insurance read below to find out the right way to do this.

One thing is for sure which is that there is no shortage of classic cars for sale. You can find adverts in local newsagents, specialist magazines, the internet and online auction sites. You should be able to find everything you need from these sources from cars and car parts to cheap classic car insurance.

Firstly, you will need to think about what storage facilities you have. An old car is not going to take kindly to being kept outside or even under a covered area. Even worse would be to have it sat on grass or with a plastic sheet on it. As damp rises it has nowhere else to go other than to settle on your corroding underside if you have something covering your car. If you have to keep your car parked outside then also consider where you can park it as your neighbours might not be too happy with extra cars clogging up the street.

The next advisable step is to decide what condition of car you wish to buy. If you're more than capable of welding, then your options are greatly increased as you can do a lot of restoration work yourself. However, if you haven't got a clue what you are doing then it's best to go for a car that needs little or no work unless you know someone who can do it for you. When buying an old, classic car be aware that body parts can be tricky to find.

One of the most important aspects of buying a classic car is to make sure that you trust the person you are buying from. This is especially important if you are going through a private seller as it is extremely unlikely you will ever see them again if you break down on your way home. The best time to arrange a viewing is during the day so you can see the car properly. It will be easier to spot any scratches and dents in natural light than it would be in a dark garage. If possible take someone with you who knows a lot about classic cars as they will know what to ask and what to look out for from rust to whether you will be able to find cheap classic car insurance for the vehicle.

A few quick and subtle tips you can try are walking around the car to see how it sits, is there any sagging and do the panel gaps line up nicely? Check the body all over for rot, popular places for this are the headlamps and arches. Many people make the mistake of relying on the MOT certificate which is a good indication don't rely on this alone.

Try to see the engine start up from cold - if it is already warm the vendor may be trying to hide cold - starting problems by getting it started before your arrive. When the car is started listen for any knocks when the engine starts up or clouds of smoke from the exhaust. It sounds obvious but don't forget to take the car for a test drive to see how it runs.

However, do take into consideration that the car you are looking at may be over 30 years old so the chances of it still being in its original state are very slim. Service items such as brake shoes, batteries, tyres and clutches are likely to have been replaced over replacement over the years.

Finding cheap classic car insurance can be a bit tricky and will go through the roof for modified cars so try to avoid this. If your car is modified you are likely to have trouble selling it on later anyway.
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