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.

Don’t miss the Ford Nationals

Red Mustang at the Ford Nationals

Watch for record attendance at the next all-Ford Nationals in Carlisle on June 5-7.  This year we celebrate 50 years of the Ford Mustang and that includes honoring 50 years of the Shelby GT350 as well as a special GT-40 display.

As one of America’s favorite collector cars, the Mustang has seen an uptick in value as its anniversary celebration continues. The Auto Appraisal Group will host two seminars focused on value trends for the Mustang and Shelby GT350 over the past 50 years.  Come early to get a good seat and be prepared to participate in our classic car value “Fact or Fiction” fun.  Friday’s seminar is at 12 Noon and will review 50 years of Mustang values. Saturday at 1PM we will cover 50 years of Shelby values.

Don’t miss this special weekend presented by Carlisle Events, one of our country’s largest and most welcoming car show hosts.

 

Spring is Here, Buyer Beware

Prepurchase Inspection

Good news! It’s time to start getting collector cars out of storage and on the road. Or maybe you’re looking for the car of your dreams to drive, show and enjoy.

Buyer beware! Over the last few months, we have seen an increase in so-called brokers selling non-existent cars. We have been asked to inspect cars at locations that are empty lots or abandoned buildings with no car or seller in sight.

Do not send a deposit on a car that you have not seen in person or had inspected by a certified appraiser.  We also have a list of brokers and businesses that do not want to allow an inspection of whatever they are marketing.  We can only guess that they do not want us to report on the true condition of the vehicle.  Some will only allow inspections by “their inspectors”.  We recommend that no inspection means “no sale”. Additionally, you should have control over which independent appraiser you hire.  You want someone to work for you, not to help them sell the automobile.

There are only a few professional dealerships that offer any type of warranty on collector cars. Most dealers, brokers and private sellers offer their vehicles “As Is – No Warranty intended or expressed. Where is, as is. You buy it you own it”. A prepurchase inspection will and has saved our clients tens of thousands of dollars. Buying a car sight-unseen could lead to owning a money-pit. An experience no one wants.

We never tell our clients to buy or not to buy. We tell our clients what we see and document the condition of the vehicle including a test ride.  Most cars look better in a photo from 10 feet away than up-close and in person.  And most ads include some type of embellishment about condition.  After all, they’re trying to shine the best light on it.   We present the facts, with no emotional or financial involvement.

Reputable sellers expect you to want to see what you are buying before you negotiate your purchase. Be a wise consumer. Know what you are buying before you make a deal, not after. Call us for a prepurchase inspection. If you’re looking at a car at a dealership that has proven to be unwilling to allow inspections or is uncooperative when we get onsite by not being able to find keys, move other vehicles out of the way or won’t even charge a battery to allow us to test features, we will tell you before we take your order.  Our interest is your best interest.  Let us know how we can help you.