Most people find great classic cars online. It is easier to browse through a lot of vehicles from the comfort of your home than if you went to a car show. But while the internet does provide you with the perfect opportunity to meet your perfect match, it is also not without its shortcomings. The most obvious is that not everyone is who they say they are online and you are therefore advised against trusting everyone who says they have the perfect vehicle for you.
You’ve found what seems like the classic car of your dreams. The first thing you should do is call the owner. If the person who posted the listing didn’t include a phone number, you might want to move on to the next one. Calling is preferable to sending the person an email since it allows you to get all your questions about the vehicle answered. You can find out if the seller really has what you want on a thirty minute call than having to travel all the way to see the vehicle only to find it is not what you need.
Once you have them on the line, ask them the following questions;
- Is the vehicle they are selling currently registered? If the car has valid number plates and the seller can verify that it is registered, you will know for certain that the vehicle is in good working condition. A registered vehicle is one that is driven on a regular basis.
- How long have they owned the vehicle? A classic car will be somewhat old. But to determine the current condition of the vehicle, you want to ask them how long they’ve had the car. But don’t just take their word for it; have them send you all the documents that prove ownership.
- Why are they selling? You also want to determine why they are selling the car. The answer they give you can determine if you should purchase it or not. If the seller says he/she is selling because it needs work, only buy if you enjoy restoring old vehicles.
- Are they willing to have the vehicle inspected? A vehicle should be inspected before you can purchase it. So, discontinue the negotiations if there is any indication of resistance from the seller.
- Is there credible paperwork? Ask them if they have a paper trail detailing everything they have ever done on the vehicle. This should include all the receipts for any repairs done. This will help you determine if the vehicle is worth the asking price. You should also seek to find out if they did the repairs themselves or had professional help.
Only when the seller can answer these questions satisfactorily should you consider buying the vehicle. The next step is meeting with the buyer to see the vehicle, test-drive it and even inspect it before buying. Be sure to have a lawyer present to hold the funds until the deal is complete.