Ok so you’ve seen them very photogenic rather lovely looking vintage vehicles on Instagram and Pintrest and you’ve decided you need one in your life. Stat. You spend the next 2 weeks hunting every advert on eBay and Gumtree, hoping and praying you find a perfect little vintage car. Here the question Should I buy a Classic Car? is born.
Ok ok ok pause here a second. Lets have a honest talk about this, I have now owned a 1973 Vintage Beetle for almost 4 years. She’s called Winnie. I’m not proclaiming to be a master of all things classic car but hear me out. I promise I’m not trying to talk you out of buying a classic car but have a read.
1.Do you have the space to store your newly acquired beauty?
Ideally a garage to keep your new lovely car out of the British elements, if not a private drive? Oh and all the space for tools and things to fix it when it breaks down? And it will at some point or many points.
2.Do you have the skills to fix it when it breaks down?
In my case I have a lovely handy boyfriend and neighbour that like to tinker and fix things when it gets poorly. But if you don’t, do you have the cash to be taking it to a garage? And it may have to go to a specialist garage, not everyone has the knowledge to fix something 30+ years old that doesn’t plug into a computer.
3. Are you prepared for an English winter in the car?
This is no joke. Its more then likely not going to have reliable heating, heated windscreens for that early morning defrosting action yup inside and outside and that lovely flat battery just when you don’t need it.
4.Same goes for summer?
No air conditioning and an overheating engine, just to name a couple of things. Not that it gets that hot here in good old blighty that often but just say I did warn you. I’ve sat in a supermarket carpark for over an hour waiting for the engine to cool.
5. Cold hard cash? Do you have enough of it?
Ok, so your dream classic car maybe in reach but for a fully restored model you’re more than likely looking at £15k upwards. So if you’ve bought something that needs a little love and sweet whispers of encouragement be prepared to spend some pennies on it one way or another, this includes petrol. None of that 50mpg malarkey think 15-20mpg = getting to know the clerk at the petrol station really well. So well in fact he nicknamed Winnie ‘the tractor’.
6. Have you checked insurance?
Even though insurance may appear cheap, there are often a couple of clauses that may catch you out if you’re not careful. Agreed valuations are important and often cost £10-£25 extra – hello point 5. Limited mileage, don’t go thinking about driving your precious 1000s of miles to that surfers beach in the south of France if your limited to 5000 miles a year.
7. MOT time, will it bring you to tears?
More than likely yes at some point it will do, again refer to point 1 when it fails and you have to store it. 2 and 5. When you may have to sell your soul to get it welded. That is unless you buy a pre 1960 vehicle currently exempt from the dreaded MOT. But always check with the DVLA on this one. Oh same goes for Tax exemption which is exciting but changes yearly when the budget comes out but is currently at 1974 or older.
8. Everyday car or going for the weekend car thing?
Ok not gonna brush over it but it does feel pretentious to have a weekend/nice weather car, yet for 3 of the 4 years Winnie was my every day. I won’t lie, I’ve cried in a car park after finishing work at 11pm when the inside of every window was iced over. Now I have a modern car for driving to work and back, it does make me weep inside a little but my sanity and purse is much more healthy.
So after reading what appears to be the points of doom, you’ve decided to bite that bullet. Buy the car of your dreams. Congratulations. It’ll be the best and worst thing you’ve ever decided to do on probably an hourly basis on a bad day. But on a good day, by you’ll love it, it’ll be amazing, small children will wave, adults will smile and you’ll wonder why you ever thought of sending your slightly rusty baby to the scrap heap in the sky.
Do you own a classic car? Have any tips?
Welcome to the club.