So you found the classic car of your dreams, but you live in Chicago and the car is in Miami. What to do now? Hopefully you have done your research prior to making a buying decision. You should find out as much information on the type of car you are looking at so you know if you are getting the right value prior to making a purchase.
Pretty as a picture You simply cannot judge a car from one or two photos. What the seller may describe as minor defects may be a big turnoff for you, should you see it in person. The photos also may have been taken several years ago and the condition of the car has been changed since then. Make sure the seller has, or will make available, many photos of the car, both inside and out.
Nice to meet you There is simply no substitute for going and inspecting the car in person. We all like to think that we live in an honest world and can simply take the word of a fellow car enthusiast to heart, but taking the time to see for yourself might save you from major disappointment and aggravation.
Contact the seller prior to your visit.
Ask as many relevant questions as you can,
Why are you selling the car?
How long have you owned it?
What is the history of the car?
What repairs have been done?
What repairs need to be done?
Get a feeling of how willing they are to answer your questions. While not everyone is a natural born salesman, the seller should freely give you the answers and be as helpful as possible discussing the good and the bad points of the car. Ask to see a copy of the title.
Make sure the seller is the rightful owner.
Use your instinct here to determine if you have a good feeling about the information you are receiving before proceeding further. The time to ask and receive this information is well before you make the purchase.
To go, or not to go? Presuming you are satisfied with the car's appearance in the photos and the seller has answered your questions in a professional and timely manner and you are still very interested in the vehicle. Your next step is to visit the vehicle in person. If you just can't see the car in person, your best alternative is to hire an inspection service that specializes in judging the mechanical condition and value of the car. Automobile Inspections, LLC
is the largest national auto inspection service. For a fraction of what it might cost you to see the car in person, you will receive a detailed report and be in a much better position to make a buying decision. Also, hiring an inspector adds their automotive expertise if yours is lacking. Piece of mind is priceless.
How do I get it home? If you have to travel a long distance, more than two hundred miles, you should consider using a transport company. Some companies who
specialize is shipping cars are:
Their services vary from using flatbed towing to fully enclosed trailers and from delivering to a depot or to your front door. Check with these companies to compare prices and services.
Weigh the costs Considering many classic cars are offered for sale by on-line auction, the time to view the car in person can be 14 days or less from the time the auction begins. Unless you can plan a vacation around inspecting a car, you need to factor in the cost of your travel towards what you will ultimately be paying for the car. You can book your travel plans through an on-line company like Orbitz. After you have determined your travel costs, and your shipping costs, add that cost to the price of the car and see if it still makes financial sense to move forward.