The Decline of the “Barn Find”

Classic Car Values from Auto Appraisal GroupAntique car collectors know the story well: you answer an ad, or maybe you go for a walk, and you stumble upon a barn or a garage with a rare vehicle tucked inside. There was a time when “barn finds” were common enough that every vintage vehicle collector dreamed of finding one. Collectors looking for projects would drive past a barn or an old garage and wonder: “Could my next masterpiece be hiding inside?”

Over time, “barn finds” have become more and more elusive. As consumers and automotive manufacturers turn their interests elsewhere, it is less likely that a rare vehicle will be found by chance.

Classic Car Appraisal from Auto Appraisal GroupThe disappearance of the “barn find” has led car collectors into very different venues to find rare and vintage vehicles. While collectors could assume that a rare vehicle they stumbled upon in an abandoned garage was authentic, they now must navigate car shows and auctions with restored or semi-restored vehicles on display. This new environment presents its own set of challenges to antique car collectors.

Modern vintage vehicle collectors need to be ready to determine if an antique car is worth the price being demanded. Vehicles at shows and auctions may look well preserved, but upon closer inspection, the shiny exterior could hide numerous flaws. It can be difficult to know if non-original parts have been used in the restoration, if the paint color is authentic, or if restoration work has been done properly.

Buyers today must inspect a rare vehicle carefully to determine if the price being asked is fair and represents the car’s condition. The safest way to ensure that you are purchasing an antique vehicle for the right price is to use a certified inspection agent to assess the vehicle’s value for you. Our certified Pre-Purchase Inspection agents can help you determine if you are investing in a collector’s item or a dream that may never be fulfilled.

Call Auto Appraisal Group to plan your next prepurchase inspection!

How to Establish Vintage Vehicle Values

How to Establish Vintage Vehicle ValuesThere is an old saying that real estate value is established by location, location, location.  We have a similar saying that collector car value is established by condition, condition, condition. While there are exceptions, both statements are accurate much of the time.  The IRS defines the fair market value as the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under the compulsion to buy or the compulsion to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.

Auctions have become a common way to buy and sell antique vehicles, and researching the internet for similar vehicles that are for sale or have sold is an acceptable way to gather comparable vehicles. However, using either of these methods requires that you make adjustments for buyer’s and seller’s commissions as well as an adjustment for the actual sales price versus the initial asking price.  An experienced appraiser’s methodology is the key to making the proper adjustment. There are also a variety of cases in which the value of an antique vehicle needs to be established for reasons other than sales: insurance coverage purposes, museum donations, and estate value are just a few of these.

How to Establish Vintage Vehicle ValuesClassic cars are some of the most expensive vehicles on the market. These prices are often due to the fact that the vehicle is no longer in production. Therefore the supply of popular models in good condition is less than the demand for these vehicles. This is often the source for a lot of the confusion about the value of a classic car. There is no “true” comparison that can be used as a standard of value. In many cases, the value is affected by not only how many other vehicles of the same model exist and their condition but by how the vehicle has been maintained, restored, or customized.  50 year old vehicles have often seen multiple owners with different budgets and tastes. So how is the value of a collector car established?

Vintage vehicle values are usually derived by a few common means:

Price Guides
Price Guides are a popular source of baseline classic car values. Guides are more or less an average of a classic vehicle’s value. As we’ve seen in the last 60 days, the vintage vehicle market can be volatile, so any guide should be a starting point, and cannot be considered a concrete standard.

Condition
One of the most influential factors in assessing a classic car’s value is condition. Condition plays an important role in the overall demand for the vehicle. If the vehicle is in perfect condition and has been fully restored, it can command the highest possible price in almost any market. Condition includes a wide variety of details including drivetrain and mechanical condition, body paint and panels, interior wear, overall wear and tear, and whether it is well-maintained.

Rarity
If there are fewer of your vehicle’s model available, your vintage vehicle may be worth more to collectors. A good example is of muscle cars with high performance packages that were often produced in limited numbers in order to qualify for racing. However, sometimes rarity may be the result of very limited production because the model was not popular among consumers when new and may still not be popular today and therefore, its rarity is not as much of a factor.

Originality

Originality and correctness can be important factors when establishing a collector car’s value.  A car is only original one time.  If the engine has been replaced it is no longer original. It may have the correct engine for that year’s model but it is not the original motor. This is most important in Corvettes, muscle cars and other special optioned models.  Restored to correct specifications is not original.  Custom modifications can add or reduce the value of a vehicle based on the type of modifications. Customization is a personal preference and may not increase the value with everyone.

How to Establish Vintage Vehicle ValuesRestoration
Restoration is a major part of determining a vintage vehicle’s value. A professional, high quality restoration can increase a classic car’s value, while a poorly executed or sloppy restoration can actually detract from the vehicle’s value. It doesn’t always take an experienced professional to assess the difference between a properly restored vehicle and one that has been done haphazardly.  But we can’t be too quick to judge; sometimes the owner’s love of and enjoyment in the use of the vehicle is more important to them than its appearance.

Project Potential
If a classic vehicle is in need of restoration, the value of the vehicle can be more difficult to assess. Many collectors are willing and even eager to invest in a “project car”, but the price they are willing to pay for a classic car in need of restoration can be difficult to determine. The most important factors usually include the expense and the amount of time they expect to devote to bring the car up to top condition. The amount of money invested in a restoration does not usually mean there will be an equal increase in its fair market value.  Some even refer to restoration as financial suicide. But, if you have the money to invest we encourage the preservation of the vehicle and the support of the businesses and employees who have the skills to return a project car to its former glory. Again, it is best to do your homework and involve a professional when making decisions about how much a “project” can cost to restore or command in a sale.

The easiest way to obtain a meaningful assessment of your classic car’s value is to have the vehicle professionally appraised by a certified appraiser. The advantages of an Auto Appraisal Group certified classic car appraisal include our experience and unique company structure. Our agents not only provide the expertise and attention to detail required to accurately document the value of a collectible vehicle, but our appraisals also include meticulous research, making your appraisal useful in any situation that calls for knowledge of your automobile’s value.

Schedule your classic car value appraisal with Auto Appraisal Group today, and be ready for anything!

What Determines a Total Loss?

Total Loss Value AppraisalIf your vehicle has been in an accident, your insurer may tell you that your vehicle is a “total loss”. What does this mean to you, and how does it affect your claim and your vehicle? In some cases, a total loss does not mean that the vehicle is scrap metal, and the car may be useful as a “salvage vehicle”, as a source for parts. Understanding how a total loss is determined and how it affects you can be very important.

It is not uncommon for many types of damage, although it may look minor to the owner, to be the reason for a “total loss” assessment by an insurer. Insurers have a few choices when addressing a claim. Depending upon coverage and policy language they can:

1) Pay for the vehicle, repairs, or a replacement vehicle.

2) Return a stolen vehicle at the insurer’s expense and pay for any damage.

3) Take all or any part of the damaged vehicle as salvage at a value that has been negotiated by the insurer and the policyholder or determined by an appraisal.

When an insurer declares a vehicle a total loss, the vehicle’s Actual Cash Value (ACV) is calculated with an adjustment for depreciation and the physical condition of the car. Insurers consider a vehicle to be a total loss when the cost to repair the vehicle is more than the vehicle’s ACV. Several factors help the insurance company to determine your vehicle’s value, including:

  • Condition
  • Age
  • Odometer reading
  • Diminution of value
  • Local market worth
  • Equipment and features

Insurers use two common methods when deciding whether or not to “total” a vehicle. State law can dictate which method they use. The two methods are:

Total Loss Threshold

Total Loss Threshold is a percentage that is calculated by dividing the cost of repairs by the ACV of the vehicle. When the threshold has reached a certain percentage, the car is considered “totaled”. More than half of states require an insurer to use Total Loss Threshold, with the percentage required to declare a vehicle totaled averaging between 60% and 100%. In a state requiring an insurer to use the threshold to determine totaled status, insurers must reach the threshold to establish that the vehicle has been totaled.

Total Loss Formula
Other states allow insurers to determine if a vehicle has been totaled by using the Total Loss Formula. The cost of repairing the vehicle is added to the vehicle’s salvage value, and if the result exceeds the ACV, the vehicle is declared a total loss.

Total Loss AppraisalOnce your insurer has established that your vehicle is a total loss, the state vehicle licensing authority is notified that the vehicle has been totaled. A totaled vehicle may not be driven in its current condition, but the vehicle will typically have some salvage value. In general, your insurer retains the vehicle as salvage and pays you the ACV for the car. Your insurer may then legally sell the vehicle to an auto salvage company.

In some cases, you can retain a “totaled” vehicle by paying the insurer the salvage value. The vehicle still cannot be driven unless it is repaired and registered as a rebuilt salvage vehicle – it must pass a thorough inspection by a state inspection authority – but you can retain the vehicle for parts if you obtain a non-repairable vehicle certificate.

Salvage value and ACV are usually determined by your insurer, but you can use a certified appraisal agent to assess these important facets of your totaled claim. The accuracy of your ACV can be a key determinant in whether or not your vehicle is considered totaled, and can make the difference between receiving a disappointing reimbursement for your salvage value or ACV and recouping as much as possible from your loss.

A certified auto appraisal agent from AAG can help you determine the value of your damaged vehicle and provide the proper documentation to communicate with your insurer. Our Total Loss Appraisal can ensure that you get everything you are owed after an accident. Call Auto Appraisal Group today to schedule your Total Loss Appraisal!

Is the Blue Book Value Accurate for Your Vehicle?

Antique Vehicle Values When someone is buying or selling a vehicle, they will often refer to the “Kelly Blue Book” to obtain an estimated value to use in negotiation, and to determine a fair price for the car. A price guide provides an estimated value of many vehicles. It does not provide the value of a specific vehicle. When referring to antique or classic automobiles, the KBB is not an accurate source.

Understanding the general value range of a vehicle is an important factor when buying or selling. The fair market value is the price a vehicle will sell for on the open market when a willing buyer and a willing seller are informed, acting in their own interests and not under pressure to act. This understanding ensures that both the seller and the buyer will be satisfied with the purchase price. In this respect, a price guide can establish the average value of a particular model with some variance allowed for mileage or options.

KBB Values for Antique VehiclesValues offered by a standard reference such as the KBB or NADA are only a starting point, however. At AAG, we lean heavily on the methodology that the value is primarily established by the condition.  Other factors that could affect value include – age, location of sale, color and equipment options. Whether a vehicle has been in an accident or experienced a natural disaster and the types of repairs required afterward also play a significant role in the overall value of an automobile. Parts and repair quality are crucial in the assessment of the vehicle’s value.

It can be difficult for untrained eyes to determine if original parts have been replaced, and if those replacements match the quality of the original parts. It is even more difficult for the layman to see the difference between quality repairs and non-standard repairs that may not be reliable. The longevity of the vehicle and the likelihood of associated maintenance is an important factor that is not accounted for in price guide estimates.

It can be hard for the layman to see that a car has been through a flood or been in an accident. A “Carfax” or “Autocheck” report can help, but only refers to repairs and accidents that have been reported by the previous owner. If no damage is visible or the owner performed repairs privately without insurance reimbursement, it may never be reported to one of the companies providing history reports.

Is the Blue Book Value Accurate for Your Vehicle?Sellers may also be unaware of what price they can expect if they rely solely on a price guide like KBB or NADA to produce a price for their vehicle. A well-maintained vehicle with all original parts and very low mileage may be able to command a higher price than the average listed in the Kelly Blue Book. Likewise certain colors, optional equipment, and regional preference can boost the value of a vehicle and allow the seller to command a higher price. Unless the seller is an experienced car trader or appraiser, there is the chance that a vehicle could be undersold.

To prevent these types of errors in vehicle value assessment, it is important to receive an unbiased appraisal. This is particularly true in instances when you cannot see the vehicle in person before purchasing, as may happen when buying a vehicle that is out-of-state. In such cases, you can protect your investment by obtaining a pre-purchase inspection from a certified auto appraisal company.

Is the Blue Book Value Accurate for Your Vehicle?Using a professional company to document the condition and determine the value of the vehicle you are buying or selling ensures the most accurate assessment of the vehicle, taking into account all the necessary factors to determine the appropriate selling price for the vehicle. An objective inspector and appraiser can also prevent conflicts of interest by acting as an unbiased party, producing an independently obtained vehicle assessment, rather than being influenced by a relationship to either the buyer or the seller.

If you are considering the purchase of a used vehicle, consider scheduling a pre-purchase inspection to help you learn important information before negotiating. Auto Appraisal Group provides highly trained, experienced and certified agents that can provide you with documentation of the vehicles condition. All pre-purchase inspections include a value consultation with a value expert from AAG’s home office. Our certified agents talk directly with clients about the vehicle’s condition and are available to answer questions as you review the detailed report. This documentation along with the value consultation equip you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Call Auto Appraisal Group today to schedule your Pre-Purchase Vehicle Inspection!

How Much is My Car Worth?

Classic Car AppraisalThere are many reasons why you might want to determine the value of your car. Obviously if you are selling a vehicle, you will want to know the general market price that you can expect to ask. If you own a collector or classic car, you may need to know the value of your car as part of an overall assessment of your estate for tax purposes or in the event of an insurance dispute or divorce. If you are planning to buy a new car, you will want to know the trade-in value of your car before you begin discussing the purchase of the new vehicle.

A car’s value may be different depending on how you intend to use the information. When documenting a classic car, value is independent of factors like regional preference or consumer ratings, but may be affected by desirability and rarity. Likewise, trade-in value will differ from retail value because a dealer will trade for a vehicle that may need some work, but will likely sell a vehicle after that work has already been completed. Knowing what you intend to do with the figure will help you to understand what your car’s value means and how you can use that to your advantage.

An online Price Guide tool provides averages of different models but it does not provide the value of any one particular vehicle. To establish the value of a specific vehicle, factors unique to that automobile like condition, maintenance history and originality should be considered. Each car’s condition is different and a key factor when determining its specific value. Each car has its own unique qualities, both good and bad.

In order to properly assess any car’s value, you need to know a few things about the vehicle:

Year, make and model. If you have a 2018 Ford Explorer Sport, “Explorer” is the model, and “Sport” is the trim level. Your trim level can often be found in chrome letters on the back of the car. You can also find the trim level in your owner’s manual or on your vehicle’s title.

Classic Car Values at Auto Appraisal GroupColor and optional equipment. Some colors are more popular than others and may have a higher value than others. Optional equipment includes any features that aren’t standard for that model. Options like heated seats, sunroofs, or leather upholstery may be grouped in a package with a specific name, such as a sport or convenience package.

Vehicle condition. Different pricing guides may use different terms to describe the condition of the vehicle. For example, some online value estimators use Outstanding, Clean, Average, Rough and Damaged. Whatever words are used, you’ll want to read the description of the condition carefully — it is not uncommon for people to overestimate their car’s condition.

Mileage. Every mile on the odometer reduces a car’s value. The average mileage is considered to be 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year, but if your car has spent most of its time in the garage and has fewer miles than the average, the car is worth more.

Regional differences can also apply to sale or trade-in value for a vehicle. Weather and consumer preferences cause values to vary based on drivers in your area – a sports car may be worth more in Florida than it is in Wisconsin. Likewise, your pickup truck may command a higher price in Minnesota than it would in California.

Depreciation also plays a role in the overall value of every vehicle. Cars tend to lose 20% to 30% of their value by the end of the first year. From years two to six, depreciation varies from 15% to 18% per year; in five years, cars can lose 60% or more of their original sales price. Not all vehicles depreciate at the same rate – some makes or models maintain value better than others. Other market factors, such as the price of gas, can make your vehicle more or less attractive on the market, although they may not affect the actual value of your car over the long term.

Market Value Auto AppraisalObviously, how you use the information related to the value of your vehicle is an important factor when determining what your car is worth. While many of us are only interested in knowing how much we can expect to sell or trade the vehicle for, there are other reasons it can be important to know what your car’s value may be. In the event of an accident or natural disaster, you will want to know what to expect in terms of reimbursement, which makes an accurate assessment of your car’s value extremely important. Maintaining accurate records of your car’s condition and value can make it considerably easier to recoup lost assets and to obtain the proper amount of funds to repair a classic or collector car, if possible.

It can be a guessing game to determine what the value of your car may be no matter what you intend to do with the information. A surefire way to assess an accurate estimate for your make, model, and location is to allow a company like AAG to help you. You can obtain a Market Value Range simply and efficiently online by using our form to assess your vehicle. If you own a classic car or collector automobile, you may want to schedule a Certified Value Appraisal to document your vehicle and be certain that factors like condition, original parts, and rarity can be taken into account. If you have been in an accident or your car has been the victim of a natural disaster, a Diminished Value Appraisal can be helpful in determining what you are entitled to receive as compensation.

No matter why you need to know your car’s value, AAG can help you determine what your car is worth and help you use the information to make the best decision for you. Contact us today to schedule an appraisal and find out the many ways that we can help!

What is Diminished Value?

What is Diminished Value?So you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, and your vehicle was damaged. The other party’s insurance company agreed to pay the claim and repaired the car back to road worthy condition. In many ways, you don’t see any difference between the vehicle before the accident and the vehicle after the repair, but it’s still not the same. And in the eyes of appraisers, car dealerships, potential buyers and the IRS, it is most certainly not the same.

You may have seen advertisements discussing full background reports about vehicles for sale at dealerships. This is perhaps the best way to understand what inherent diminished value means to you. If you were shopping for a vehicle and found two cars of the exact same make and model at your dealership, with similar mileage and features, you would want to know if one of the cars had been in an accident and required substantial repairs. While the dealer assures you that the car is just as good as the vehicle that did not need repairs, you would likely prefer the car that had not been in an accident.

This is a common reaction. Most buyers report that they would not buy a car that had been in an accident, or would at least only consider purchasing the vehicle at a heavily discounted price. Some worry that repairs may not have been done properly, or that aftermarket parts were used in the repair. Others worry that some damage may have gone unnoticed, or that the car will need unexpected repairs in the future. Their worries may even extend to insurance companies – if this car is totaled, your insurance company will pay less because of the accident history.

Calculate Diminished ValueA certified appraisal can help clear up some of the mystery and confusion involved in these concerns. AAG compares recent sale prices of damaged and repaired vehicles to those that have not sustained damage or been in an accident. These comparables make it possible to determine a percentage of loss for an inherent diminished value claim and to assess the loss of value due. An appraiser can also accurately determine if repairs were done poorly or were not performed to industry standards which might lead to additional repairs. Certified appraisals consider frame damage or the use of non-OEM parts in repairs which could contribute to an even greater loss of value.

You may wonder how you will use this information, and what it means to you. The obvious effects of diminished value is the influence on price, whether you are buying or selling a vehicle. You may also need this information in court if you are not at fault and unable to reach an amicable settlement. Compensation for damages to personal property should include the difference between the vehicle’s original value and the post-repair value in addition to the cost of repairs. You may also be able to claim an amount of loss as a deduction using IRS tax form 4684. Acquiring an accurate assessment of diminished value can save you money and make sure you receive what you deserve in settlements and claim fulfillment.

To get the most accurate diminished value claim for your vehicle, contact the Auto Appraisal Group and get everything you’re entitled to receive.

Most Common Mistakes When Purchasing a Collector Car

Classic Car Purchase - Proof of OwnershipNo Proof of Ownership

When purchasing a vehicle the seller should produce documentation to prove ownership of the vehicle, that there are no liens on the vehicle, and that the ID number on the title documentation matches the ID number on the vehicle. Even the project car you buy from your neighbor to work on in your garage should be properly documented. You will also need proper documentation for tax purposes, to manage your estate properly, and in the event of a theft, accident, or divorce.

Especially in a cash sale, it is important to obtain the title, a bill of sale, and proper documentation about who the automobile belongs to and how it was purchased. A qualified appraiser can help you verify your documentation and make sure that all the information is accurate. Sellers are always asked to provide documentation during AAG’s pre-purchase inspections to help you feel confident about the information you are provided.

Classic Car PurchaseBelieving Everything the Seller Says

Once again, documentation is critical to prove that a seller is honest, or that they know anything about the collector car. A seller may not know whether the parts are original or when they were replaced. Without a careful pre-purchase inspection by a certified appraiser, it can be difficult to see rust or to be sure that rust has been treated and repaired properly. Was Bondo or another body filler used? Was the engine rebuilt? These are details the seller may not know and may only be visible to a qualified inspector, making your pre-purchase inspection a critical part of assessing the collector car.

Purchasing a Classic Car at AuctionPurchasing at Auction with no Test Drive

Just as it is unwise to assume that you will be able to choose a model without knowing what to look for in a test drive, it is a bad idea to buy any collector car without driving it first. It can be tempting to buy a collector car for a better-than-average price at an auction, but without driving the vehicle first, you can’t really be sure if the price you are paying is appropriate. A pre-purchase inspection by a certified inspector who is allowed a test ride in the vehicle will help you to make a more accurate assessment about the fairness of the price.

Classic Car PurchaseSending a Cash Deposit

Proper documentation protects the value of your collector car and your investment. In a similar fashion, paying your deposit in a way that is fully documented protects you from unscrupulous sellers. Cash deposits are hard to document and track, and in the event of a dispute, they are often lost and cannot be recovered. Always be sure to document any payments you make on a vehicle, and consider using a third party or an accounting service to handle deposits and payments to insure your safety.

Classic Car WarrantyAssuming There is a Warranty

Don’t assume that a collector car comes with a warranty. Even if you are purchasing a brand new vehicle, you need to check with the seller for warranty information and read all warranty documents carefully. Especially in the case of classic collector cars, there is no standard expectation that a vehicle will come with a warranty, and warranty terms may vary by seller.

Ignoring Conflicts of Interest

A pre-purchase inspection is crucial when buying a collector car, but not all appraisers are equal. Conflicts of interest occur when the appraiser is associated with the seller, mechanic, or restorer who is offering the vehicle for sale. Appraisals can vary significantly when performed by unqualified, non-certified agents, or by individuals associated with the sale of the vehicle. An independent, certified appraiser can provide an appraisal that is accurate and unbiased, helping you avoid biased or even fraudulent assessments.

Prepurchase InspectionThe best way to purchase a collector car is to hire an independent, certified company like AAG. We provide you with all the documentation necessary to make the right decision before you buy and to protect your investment after you buy. In addition, our appraisers have the knowledge, training, and experience to compare your choice to other cars of its make and model, helping you to make an informed decision. Call us today to schedule a pre-purchase inspection before buying a collector car.

Most Common Mistakes When Shopping for a Collector Car

Pre-purchase Inspections for Collector CarsNot Knowing What You Want

There are different types of collector cars just like there are different types of collectors. The collector who wants to spend time at car shows may be looking for a very different type of vehicle than the driver who merely wants to take friends and family out for a spin on a pretty Sunday afternoon. Knowing what you hope to get out of owning a collector car can help you determine where to shop and what kind of vehicle you want to buy. A pre-purchase inspection is more effective if you understand what type of collector experience you want to find.

Ask yourself what your dream of owning a collector car entails: Are you interested in showing at car shows? Will you be driving this car regularly to work? Are you hoping to buy an automobile that will increase in value and prove to be a wise investment? Or do you want to have something you can work on yourself and improve while enjoying the process of restoration and maintenance? Understanding your goals will narrow your focus and make it more likely that you will purchase the collector car you truly want, and can help you to discuss with an appraiser the specifics of your pre-purchase inspection.

Lack of Familiarity with a Qualified Mechanic

Collector Cars Pre-purchase InspectionClassic and collector cars come with their own needs, and a trusting, working relationship with a mechanic who is qualified to work on your collector car is a vital part of ownership. If the classic car you purchased is unrestored or an older restoration, the vehicle may need repairs or restoration as well. Even if you have purchased a restored car, the vehicle will need routine maintenance.

Maintenance, restoration and repair of a collector car require knowledge of authentic parts and methods to sustain the car’s originality. Not just any mechanic can be trusted – you need to know that your mechanic has experience with your auto’s special needs. If you have a reliable mechanic, you can discuss the findings from your pre-purchase inspection or certified appraisal and make a plan that will allow you to enjoy your new purchase sooner.

Unfamiliarity with the Driver Experience for a Specific Model

Prepurchase Auto Appraisal for Collector CarsOf course we all want to own a ’69 Ferrari GTO in racing red. Or you may think that a ’57 Chevy will provide the driving experience you’ve always wanted. But if you have never driven the vehicle you hope to purchase, you may not know enough for a test drive to give you an accurate idea of the condition of the vehicle. Without some knowledge and experience, it would be hard to determine if a collector car has stiff or poorly functioning controls, or if that is simply the nature of that particular model.

Collector Car Shopping and Prepurchase Inspection from Auto Appraisal Group, Inc.Furthermore, you might find that you don’t enjoy or simply can’t drive a vehicle with no power steering or power brakes. If you are short, you may not be able to see over the dashboard to drive safely, or if you are big and tall, you may not even fit into a tiny driver’s seat. Get to know the collector car you are hoping to purchase and make sure that the driving experience matches your expectations. Your pre-purchase inspection performed by an experienced appraiser can give you insight into a collector car’s condition and how well it represents the best possible driving experience for that vehicle.

Believing the Car Won’t Need Any Maintenance

All autos need maintenance, and in the case of collector cars, this can be particularly true. Whether you drive the vehicle or not, an old car will need routine maintenance. You may buy the vehicle in 5-star condition from a trusted seller, but what works on the car today may not work next week. Cars develop a wear pattern and when that pattern changes, it can develop problems that need attention. Plan for routine maintenance and inspections, and be prepared should the car need repairs. It is also a good idea to schedule an appraisal after major repairs or restoration to insure you have current documentation should you ever need to file an insurance claim.

Assuming You Won’t Need a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Prepurchase Inspection by Auto Appraisal Group, Inc.There are several details that are easy to miss, even if you are an experienced car collector with a garage full of successfully purchased automobiles. A pre-purchase inspection performed by a qualified appraisal company helps you to avoid missing important details, and ensures that you will receive the proper documentation to confirm the car’s value and condition. A certified appraiser, like those at AAG, can establish the value of the vehicle so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to buy a particular collector car.

Make an appointment to have a pre-purchase inspection completed an independent appraisal service like AAG. We provide the documentation needed to make an informed decision before you buy a collector car. Our appraisers provide the knowledge, training, and experience to compare your choice with other collector cars of the same make and model, equipping you with the most information and the ability to shop with confidence. Call us today to schedule a pre-purchase inspection, and enjoy shopping for your next collector car!

Two Great Fall Events in Pennsylvania

Auto appraisers know that car auctions can be an indicator of market value trends. Motivated sellers by the hundreds will descend upon Carlisle Fairgrounds for the Annual Fall Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet & Corral event on October 2nd through the 6th. Of special interest will be Thursday night’s & Friday night’s auctions. This is one of the best buying opportunities of the year. Look for great values as sellers are motivated to sell before winter sets in.  Don’t miss out.  Savvy shoppers could buy at Carlisle and sell the next week at the AACA Eastern Fall Nationals in Hershey on October 9th through the 12th. Both will present great buying opportunities with motivated sellers.  Let us help you negotiate the best deal.  AAG’s pre-purchase inspections and appraisal report can help you save money.  Stop by our tent and check out our appraisal specials.

See you there!

Larry

What’s the Difference Between AAG’s Pre-purchase Inspection and a Certified Appraisal?

What’s the Difference Between AAG’s Pre-purchase Inspection and a Certified Appraisal?A pre-purchase inspection’s purpose is to document the condition and features of a vehicle for a potential buyer who does not want to travel to the vehicle or who may not have the knowledge necessary to accurately assess its condition.  AAG agents are our client’s eyes and ears as they gather information during their inspection. 75-150 photographs are taken to document the details and condition of each automobile, inside and out.  A paint meter is used to determine areas where body filler has been used or repairs have been made.  Over 125 individual items of the auto are given a condition rating.  Additional information includes identifying numbers, copies of documentation, descriptions of options, aftermarket items, wheelbase measurements, drivetrain particulars, comments regarding the condition of components, operational and performance verification of features, as well as a test ride in the automobile to assess its roadworthiness.

AAG agents have a strong background of experience and knowledge and are tested and certified by the company before they start working with AAG.  They are available to speak with clients before and after the inspection.  Since we are appraising the condition of the auto we provide a condition report instead of an appraisal report.  However, the appraised value of the automobile is included in the verbal consultation that is part of every pre-purchase inspection that AAG provides.

A certified appraisal is a document that is created to establish the value of a vehicle for a specific purpose and is completed according to recognized standards within the industry.  Personal property appraisers are not regulated to the extent that real estate appraisers are. However, professional certified appraisers adhere to similar standards as applied to automobiles.  Certified appraisals are often requested by lenders, insurance companies, probate courts, families who are distributing property from estates, the IRS, individuals involved in claim settlements and a variety of other clients.  While an inspection should always be a part of the appraisal process, the appraiser’s report is the required outcome.

If a buyer is purchasing an automobile and needs an appraisal to secure funding or insurance, then both a pre-purchase inspection and a certified appraisal are required.  The pre-purchase inspection allows the buyer to make an informed decision and negotiate the best deal.  The certified appraisal allows the buyer to provide proof to their lender that they are funding a vehicle worthy of the loan amount. It can also provide insurers with documentation so they can arrange for the proper coverage to protect the buyer’s investment as it is being transported to its new home.