Not 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
Classic 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
Of 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.
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
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!