The Top 5 Reasons Classic Car Buyers Walk Away

Tips for Selling a Classic CarIf you are preparing to sell your classic or antique car, you should prepare yourself and your car for the process! Whether you are selling the vehicle yourself or selling it at auction, there are some common mistakes that you will want to avoid that can prevent classic car buyers from walking away.

The advertising misrepresents the car. Be honest about your classic car when you advertise. It can be tempting to create an ad that makes your car look even better than it does in person, but this can be frustrating for an antique car buyer. Make sure the ad includes all information about the make and model of the vehicle, and don’t boast about its condition unless you are sure that your classic car is worthy of the praise. Having an appraisal performed before selling an antique car can help you to accurately describe the vehicle for buyers so that they are not disappointed when they see the car in person.

Selling your Classic CarThe car is overpriced. Do your research and make sure you know what price similar classic cars are demanding. This is another reason that having a fully documented appraisal can be extremely useful when selling your classic car. A certified appraisal agent can not only provide insight into what constitutes a reasonable price for both buyer and seller, but your fully documented classic car appraisal is a concrete way to justify the price you are asking.

The origin of the vehicle is unclear. Classic and antique vehicles are collected for a wide variety of reasons, and buyers of classic cars are most often very interested in the origin of the car. Be sure to have all documentation ready so that you can inform a buyer about where you obtained the vehicle, how it was maintained, any repairs that may have been done, and whether or not it has been restored. If you don’t have the title, make sure you have clear and accurate documentation to prove that the vehicle belongs to you and can be transferred legally. Registration or a sales receipt is usually sufficient.

The car displays mechanical issues. If your classic car is a hobby car, you may not drive it much and may not be aware of mechanical issues or may not have repaired them. Nothing is more disappointing to a potential buyer than the realization that the classic car they came to purchase isn’t in good working condition and requires costly repairs to be road-worthy. As mentioned previously, be sure to advertise the vehicle properly if it is not currently road-ready and requires repairs. If you choose to have the car repaired before the sale, be sure to keep records of what repairs were done, by whom, and what parts were used in the repairs.

Buying a Classic CarThe restoration of the vehicle was done improperly. Classic car restoration is an art, and classic car collectors will want to know if the car was restored when the work was done and by whom, and what parts, paint, or other materials were used as part of the restoration. Good records and documentation are a must for anyone selling a classic car – without them, it can be difficult if not impossible to prove that the car was restored properly. If you are not sure whether your antique car has been restored or if the restoration was done correctly, a certified auto appraisal can help.

If you are preparing to sell a vehicle, a vehicle appraisal from AAG can help make the process easier and more successful! We can provide a range for the vehicle’s worth and can give you a solid idea of what constitutes a fair price. Our comprehensive documentation offers you the confidence that your vehicle is priced properly and that all details are accurate and well-represented.

Call us today to have your classic car appraised and sell your antique vehicle with confidence!

What Happens to Vehicles During a Divorce?

What Happens to Your Vehicle During a Divorce Settlement?Divorce is always difficult, particularly when couples try to decide how assets should be distributed to each party as part of the settlement. Property is usually equally distributed between two parties, but how do you split a vehicle two ways? Most people know that a lawyer is necessary to make sure that all agreements are fair, equal, and well documented, but you may not realize that it is also wise to have your estate evaluated and professionally assessed to properly account for assets that are difficult to divide.

In a typical divorce settlement, one party will take the vehicle and give the other party an equal share of the property in return. This can be complicated if the vehicle is worth a substantial sum or if there isn’t enough property in the estate to equally compensate the other partner for the vehicle. Some auto owners may be forced to sell a valuable car or collector vehicle in order to adequately split the value.

Property Distribution Appraisal by Auto Appraisal GroupMatters can be further complicated if the value of the vehicle is ambiguous or undocumented, as is often the case with antique vehicles or hobby cars. If a value cannot be determined and agreed upon by both parties, there can be disputes about the vehicle value that can make it difficult to reach a settlement. An independent value appraisal is an excellent way to establish what the car is worth. A certified independent appraiser can establish a fair, universally agreed-upon value for the vehicle, which can help to smooth out discrepancies during the divorce settlement process.

Even if you never intend to divorce your spouse, a certified auto appraisal performed by an independent appraiser can protect you any time that the value of your vehicle may come into question. This can be useful in insurance disputes, estate settlements, and sales, and should you find yourself in need of a divorce settlement, your appraisal will make the process much easier for all parties involved.

Expert Testimony from Auto Appraisal GroupFor over 30 years AAG has provided an independent vehicle appraisal service that can determine the current value of a vehicle for the equitable distribution of property during a divorce settlement. AAG can also provide expert witness testimony in support of our automobile appraisals. If the other party chooses to dispute the value of your vehicle, the documentation and witness testimony provided can help you to expunge any confusion about how that value was determined.

Whether you are beginning a divorce settlement or merely want to document your vehicle accurately as part of your estate, give us a call and find out how easy it can be to protect the value of your car.

Acquiring Car Loans for Antique Vehicles

Car Loans for Antique VehiclesMany classic car collectors face the challenge of obtaining a loan for an antique vehicle. Because antique vehicles typically do not qualify for traditional car loans, collectors turn to alternative lenders to get a loan for their dream car. It’s important to be aware of the hurdles and pitfalls involved in securing financing for an antique car just as it would be with any other type of loan.

Establish the Value of the Vehicle

A lender will want to know the value of the vehicle before approving a loan. Lenders need proof that the value of the property matches the value of the proposed loan. In the same way that a home appraisal is essential to the mortgage process to establish equivalent value between the loan and the home, lenders want to ensure that there is property collateral to back up the loan in the case of non-payment.

Antique Vehicle LoanBank loan appraisals can be an effective way to convince a lender of the viability of a loan. Not only will a well-documented appraisal reassure your lender, but it can also protect you should a vehicle show issues including improper restoration, hidden damage, or other problems that would not be obvious without an appraisal. The last thing you or your lender want is for the car to be worth significantly less than the loan, making it difficult or even impossible for you to recoup the loan amount should you need to sell.

Lenders also require that the vehicle be insured to protect against accidental loss. Look for an agreed value policy that will guarantee the loan will be paid-in-full should an unfortunate situation deem it a total loss.

Beware of Predatory Loans

Because classic car buyers face certain challenges in the loan process, there is a robust industry based on predatory practices that target those looking to finance a vehicle. Extremely high-interest rates, inflated down payments, and complicated contracts can be a sign that the loan is not on the level. Read contracts carefully and ask questions – if there is anything you don’t understand be sure to get the answers you need before signing anything.

Establish Antique Vehicle ValuesIn general, a good loan should include no more than a 10-20% down payment, and loan payments should be consistent and regular so that you always know what you’ll owe and when. Variable payment rates, particularly those that start high and decrease over time, can be a sign that your loan is intended to get as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time as part of a larger ploy. You should never sign any loan contract until you are completely clear about your payment schedule and your intended date of payment completion.

No matter where you secure a loan, you want to borrow as little money as you need at the lowest interest rate. A pre-purchase vehicle inspection allows you to make the best decision about the loan you’ll need. If the vehicle requires repairs or restoration, you will want to take into account these extra “after-purchase” expenses. It is often in your best interest to only borrow on the existing value of the vehicle. If you purchase a classic car without an inspection and discover that more work is needed than you had planned, you may have difficulty selling the vehicle or paying for the loan and find yourself stuck paying monthly for a vehicle that is essentially useless.

Knowing the accurate value of the car you are hoping to buy will make it much easier to obtain the right loan for an antique vehicle. Let AAG perform a pre-purchase inspection on the vehicle before you apply for a loan to make the most informed decision about how to finance your “dream car”. Call today to schedule your pre-purchase inspection or certified appraisal!

Collector Cars: Know Your Values

Collector Car Value Appraisal with AAGKnowing the value of your classic car can affect your bottom line in so many ways. Vintage vehicles are often sold, purchased, and traded “among friends”, at auctions, and in situations where the agreed value is little more than a few words and a handshake. This may seem adequate for a car you intend to work on as a hobby and have little intention of driving (except on holidays), but knowing the exact fair market value of your antique car can be very important.

Taxes

It is not uncommon for the IRS to look into the value of a collector car and launch an audit if the value claimed on a tax form doesn’t seem to match the fair market value of a vehicle. The unfortunate truth is that many collectors don’t know the fair market value of their vehicle and may rely on the price they paid for the vehicle when claiming the car’s value for tax purposes. This can be particularly fatal if you’ve bought a car from a relative or a friend who did not price the car accurately (often as a kind gesture). You could end up being liable for taxes on a $25,000 car even if you only paid $5,000 for it.

You may be asking yourself, “But what happens if I really DID pay $5,000 for the car and then restored it to a $25,000 value?” This can also be troublesome without proper documentation. Should you decide to sell that vehicle and receive a full $25,000 for the car, you don’t want to pay taxes on the full profit when a large portion of the price of restoring the vehicle makes up for the difference between purchase and sale price. A lack of documentation showing the original value of the vehicle, the price of restoration, and the value at the time of sale can cost you a pretty penny.

Classic Car Value Appraisal from Auto Appraisal GroupInsurance

Many vintage auto owners will claim that their collector cars rarely leave the garage and that they have no intention to sell the vehicle, believing that they don’t really need to know the full value of their classic auto. It would be nice to believe that a car that is largely garaged and only driven on the 4th of July is safe from the type of insurance claims that require full knowledge of a vehicle’s value. Unfortunately negligent drivers rear end even antique cars, and there is just no way to know that an accident or theft will never happen and require you to file an accurate claim with your insurance company.

While insurance companies rarely question a claim on a classic car when the other driver is at fault, attorneys for the at-fault party may not be so quick to accept the value presented by the classic car’s owner. Without proper documentation of value, a claim can easily be disputed. Good paperwork helps you to defend your claim and get the compensation you deserve.

In situations where value can be helpful or even vital to the protection of your assets, a well-documented vehicle inspection can be critical. Whether you’re being audited by the IRS or defending an insurance claim, a carefully documented value appraisal can save you money, time, and hassle. A pre-purchase inspection can also help you determine if a vehicle has been properly valued and help you understand what your tax commitment may be.  Furthermore, a resale value appraisal will help you save money and get more for your restoration efforts.

Know what your vintage vehicle is worth! Contact AAG today to schedule a value appraisal or pre-purchase inspection and protect your investment.

Does an Antique Vehicle Need to be Restored for it to be Valuable?

Restored Vintage Vehicle AppraisalFor most of us the words “valuable antique vehicle” conjure up the image of a perfectly restored “fresh off the lot” vintage car. Obviously such a vehicle would be very valuable indeed, but many antique vehicles still hold value, even with very little or no restoration work having been completed. The reasons that collectors seek classic cars play a significant role in the determination of a vintage vehicle’s value.

Antique vehicles come in all shapes and sizes and offer different benefits to different types of collectors. If a vehicle is particularly rare or sought after, it can be extremely valuable to the right buyer. Hobby buyers may be interested in the car as a “project” and will welcome the need for restoration and the chance to own a unique gem that they have lovingly brought back to its former glory. Even a car past the state of restoration can be used for parts to a collector who enjoys the process of restoration.

Many modern buyers are interested in “patina” vehicles. These antique cars might be found in a barn or a garage and are then lacquered to retain the patina and rust that have resulted from neglect and age. This new fad has created a market for unrestored vintage vehicles, allowing sellers to fetch outrageous prices from collectors who covet the “rustic” look. There is some debate about whether or not these vehicles are actually worth what people are asking for them.

Restored Antique Vehicle AppraisalMany collectors will admit that part of the allure of working on a vintage vehicle is the social environment associated with the process. Going to auctions, conferences, and auto shows where restorers and collectors can share information and talk about their vehicles is part of the attraction for serious antique car restorers. Even a car that is eternally “in the shop” or that can supply rare parts for trade can be valuable to a collector who enjoys the lifestyle of vintage car collecting.

Even if your vehicle has not been restored, you should have a certified AAG agent assess the vehicle and get a certified appraisal. You might have a diamond in the rough, but even if your 1969 Station Wagon is just a piece of nostalgia collecting dust in the garage, it’s important to know what you have rather than to sell the vehicle for less than it’s worth!

Likewise, if you are considering purchasing an antique vehicle, an appraiser can help you determine a fair price for the vehicle based on your intentions. A pre-purchase inspection can be an important reality check, reining in the excitement of shelling out an enormous sum for a classic car that may end up being little more than a garage ornament. If you are looking for a decorative “patina” vehicle, an appraiser will give you the knowledge you need to negotiate a realistic price.

Contact Auto Appraisal Group today to make an appointment to have your antique car evaluated!

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 vintage vehicle’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!