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Buying Vintage Cars

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 15 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Buying Vintage Cars

Buying a vintage car has never been easier. The car trading opportunities that are currently available for the twenty first century ‘punter’ is quite simply unsurpassed -from online auctions forums, auto trading sites, magazine advertisements to the old tried and tested classifieds section of your local newspaper. In particular, there is an ever-expanding plethora of online opportunities available for your perusal, literally at your fingertips. You’ve just got to make sure you know how and where to look.

Buying on the Internet

Having made the decision that you definitely want to dive in and buy a vintage car, you’ll find that the web is probably the fastest and largest resource available to you, with thousands and possibly millions of online trading happening 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Internet hasn’t been dubbed 'Information Superhighway' for nothing – it boasts the largest potential buying and selling audience, and therefore it goes that there is more scope for the advertising of cars for sale. The likelihood that you’ll then be matched with the car of your dreams is much greater.

In your search you can of course search the popular and generic trading websites, such as AutoTrader and the more diverse Exchange & Mart, or simply scour the search engines for a traditional website dedicated to the sale of vintage cars. However, the auto trading sites allow you to browse for your car according to your preferred make, model, budget, location and whether you’d like to opt for a private or trade sale. This method of refined browsing is also available on another popular resource – the online auction website, eBay.

Vintage Car Club forums are also a great place to find information on specialist vintage cars for sale. The forums themselves are full of enthusiasts with a fantastic wealth of knowledge and experience of where you can find that sought after model of car you’ve hankered after for years. Likewise, the car clubs themselves may have a website section dedicated to car sales. As the Internet knows almost no geographical bounds, the world literally is your oyster as far as car-hunting goes.

In Print

Of course, there are the more traditional means of finding a car to buy – most notably car magazines. The car advertisements are usually found in dedicated sections near the back of the magazines, and will feature any number of luxury, sporting and more affordable ‘utility’ motors. However, surprisingly there isn’t a great deal of well-known vintage car magazines currently being published in the UK. But it is worth checking out the classifieds section of any classic car magazine, as they will feature vintage cars alongside classics, as the line between the two classes are often blurred.

Car auctions are another option, seemingly a more economical alternative, but be aware of any hidden costs added after the initial winning bid – the auction houses do after all have to make a profit!

Lastly, another great place to check out cars for sale is at a vintage car show event. The great bonus is that you are able to immediately see what is on offer, and are able to talk to the owner about the general condition, history, restoration work or general problems that the car has had. You may also find that you have a chance to compare the advertised car against any other models on show, and this will give you an idea of just how much or little you can knock down the asking price!

Always Be Aware!

When actually buying the car, the single most important yet blindingly obvious piece of advice is: never, EVER buy the car without seeing it first. If you can’t go in person, send someone whose opinion you trust in your place. As already mentioned, before buying you should always give the car a good check and if possible, take the motor for a spin to see if it performs as advertised.

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