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.
Matters 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.
For 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.
For 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.
Many 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!
There 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.
Classic 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.
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 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.
Restoration 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.