How to Determine a Classic Car’s Value (Before Buying or Selling)

If you’re in the market to buy or sell a classic car, the first step is knowing the vehicle’s value. Determining the value of a classic car will require a different process than determining the value of a typical car due to the fact that classic cars gain their value based on a different set of criteria. As you go about this process, these are the steps you should consider taking.

Online Check

Check the listing for the value of your classic or the one you’re interested in purchasing. Search results should provide a price range for your classic car in the area that you live; keeping in mind there are many things that impact the value of the car, especially the condition. Check the official price guide for the value of the classic car to give an idea of how much a particular one is selling for at that time.

Evaluating the Car

Since each car has been maintained differently, just knowing the year, make, and model of a vehicle won’t give an accurate valuation of a classic car.  Get the VIN to look up the history of the vehicle online. Check for official receipts of regular maintenance.

Start the car and listen for any unusual noise coming from the engine or smoke coming from the exhaust. Note if the engine revs up smoothly or not.

Take the car for a test drive to get a feel for how it brakes, turns, accelerates, and idles. Use the turn signals and put on the seat belts to make them work. Pay attention to the following:

  • Working speedometer and odometer
  • Any unusual noises
  • Smooth steering
  • Smooth gears shifts

Some exterior items to check for are:

  • Scratches, dents, rust, worn chrome
  • All lights work
  • Tire condition
  • Working trunk
  • Maneuvering mirrors

Any obvious alterations that aren’t from the original manufacturer will decrease the value of the classic car.

Inspect the interior for:

  • Wear and tear on seats, floors or mats
  • Seatbelts
  • Working AC/Heater
  • Locks, door handles

Look for the following engine problem clues:

  • Oil leaks
  • Poor oil quality
  • Coolant leaks
  • Corrosion

Assess the Authenticity

A classic car with all of the authentic parts and paint will have a high value, whereas a classic car with mismatched paint or newer replacements parts will be worth less. Authenticity  must be taken into account to determine its value. The market value is determined by the condition, usability, and authenticity of the car.

Classic cars are also tied up with unique risks, which is why it’s so important to be protected with New Jersey Classic Car Insurance.

About Provident Protection Plus

At Provident Protection Plus, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania for more than 65 years. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefit, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.