Last Reviewed: October 21, 2016
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Buying a collectible classic vehicle calls for a significant amount of research and scrutiny. This is bound to be a big investment in time and money and you will want to negotiate intelligently. Start by using our other resources to learn all about finding, appraising, financing, insurance, escrow, transportation and restoration.

1922 Buick Touring Car

1922 Buick Touring Car *

Many people are apprehensive about buying a used car or truck, especially antique, vintage or classic cars or trucks as an investment. If it is a significant financial investment you may be concerned about how to avoid scams and/or nervous about how to negotiate the best deal. New and used car dealers in general have a bad reputation of taking advantage of the unsuspecting buyer and private parties can be guilty of that too. Finding a used car is the easy part. Buying a used car can be a daunting task. This page will serve as in introduction to the process and the Reference Library will give you the tools you need to get through every step of the process.

The first decision a used car or truck buyer needs to make is the specific make and model of vehicle(s) they are looking for so they can do some research about the history and known issues. Once you have a make and model in mind the Internet is your best bet for finding used cars for sale. Whether you are looking for a collector car or simply an old truck for trips to the dump you will find thousands of appropriate vehicles online. If you are considering a specific vehicle the easiest way to get information is by submitting the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to research companies such as CarFax©. There is a fee involved but the report will tell you if the vehicle has been in a wreck or flood and information about it's past owners which will be handy to compare to the story you get from the seller. If you do not have the VIN number you can still learn a lot by searching the Internet for a specific make, model and year of vehicle. For example, if you are considering a 1936 Ford in your area and you have a zip code of 99999 you might search for "1936 Ford, 99999" (in quotes) to see what is nearby; or "1936 Ford restorations, 99999" to see who is available in your area to restore it; or "antique Ford financing" to see what companies specialize in financing it. The more you know about the vehicle before entering negotiations the better prepared you will be to get the best deal.

Shopping in local used car lots, reading classified ads and watching for "For Sale" signs in car windows can also be productive but there are some significant advantages to shopping online. The first one is the lack of pressure. Used car dealers work on commission so it's in their best interest to move as many cars as possible regardless of the condition the car is in and your needs. This leads to pushy and aggressive sales tactics and you could end up with something you do not really want. Second, you have a far greater selection to choose from. In most cases you can find the exact vehicle you are looking for online within minutes, even the one sitting at the local used car dealership. And finally, it is by far the easiest way to shop. You can relax with a cup of coffee and make it a daily routine to search for the keywords that produce the best results on the best websites, like!

Finding an antique, vintage or classic car or truck is relatively easy but buying one can be a complicated process. Most people start with a budget in mind so you have probably already given the financing, insurance, registration and other relate expenses some thought. However then you will have to figure out the actual value, inspect and diagnose potential problems, negotiate the deal, protect yourself from scams, find appropriate financing and insurance, and perhaps locate a reputable shipping company to get the vehicle home. Every one of those tasks represents a potential stumbling block and you will find handy reference guides for each subject in the Reference Library.

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Following are the basic steps for buying an antique, vintage or classic car or truck and we have also prepared a Vehicle Check List to help you through the inspection and road test procedures.

1. Decide what you are willing to pay

2. Have a plan in mind for the inspection

3. Make a list of your goals for the first visit

Think about the purchase for at least 24 hours -
no matter how good the deal appears to be.

4. Go home and evaluate the information

5. If you decide to make an offer

6. Make the deal

7. Make plans for delivery

Here is some more information about antique, vintage and classic vehicles. You will find services and resources in our Business Directory.