A complete guide for buying classic cars

The process of purchasing a classic car is similar to that of a regular car. Making sure you are purchasing a high-quality vehicle requires a significant amount of investigation and inspection.

Because classic cars are both used and valuable collectibles, there are additional things to consider before making a purchase. Furthermore, classic cars frequently require much higher investments than modern vehicles, so it is critical to get them right.

You can locate the classic car of your dreams by doing your homework, carefully inspecting the vehicle, and having reasonable buying expectations. Here is a complete guide to help you with choosing the right classic car:

  1. Why buy a classic cars

You will feel like an old movie star in a classic car that is sure to attract attention. Driving a classic car is thrilling and gives you the chance to show off your individual style.

Classic cars stand out from modern vehicles because of their character and attention to detail. You can also participate in entertaining car shows and antique car events. It will help you become a part of a large community of classic car enthusiasts when you own a classic car.

Cars like this are not produced anymore, so classic cars are a rare chance to showcase your individuality. Consider purchasing one that fits your personality if you enjoy standing out from the crowd.

Gateway Classic Cars

Gateway Classic Cars

  1. Which classic car should you buy?


  • Pick the right time period.


There are numerous car types available, no matter what your budget. Determine what you want, whether something fun or useful, conventional or unconventional.

By determining what time period your classic should be, you can focus your search. Many older classic cars are surprisingly usable on a daily basis. If the car becomes more than a toy, you will need something more recent that is reasonably practical and economical.


  • Pre-war classics


Most pre-war cars are slow but have a charm that makes them a lot of fun to drive. If you intend to use them over short distances, they are a particularly wise choice.

Their parts are also simple to work on. If you are a person who likes to move your life slowly and enjoy the surroundings, then pre-war classics are made for you.


  • Post-war classics


Maintenance is typically very simple due to the separate chassis gradual transition to monocoque construction in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Many low-volume vehicles based on well-known mechanicals were introduced with the introduction of glass fiber in the 1950s. There is always a vintage charm attached to these cars.

Gateway Classic Cars

Gateway Classic Cars


  • The 1960s and 1970s


Due to higher production numbers and better build quality, the 1960s and 1970s produced a significantly greater number of classics. Additionally, there is a wider variety of classics available, including convertibles, coupés, estates, saloons, and numerous small hatchbacks.


  • Modern Classics


Classics from the 1980s and 1990s, also referred to as young timers, have started to become valuable. There are still plenty of chances to purchase an appreciatable classic, especially if you choose a 1990s model.

  • Convertible

The rush of a sunny-day drive in a convertible is unbeatable. Hard tops are available for some models, improving year-round usability.

  1. How to buy a classic car?

Before purchasing a classic car, there are a lot of things to think about. Consider the following steps:

  • Do your research

You must first choose the make, model, price, and long-term use of the car you want. Is it meant to be driven frequently? Do you intend to display it? Will it spend most of the time in your garage unoccupied? One should think about these considerations.

Gateway Classic Cars

Gateway Classic Cars

Additionally, research the car’s past and any potential mechanical problems. Research fair market prices to get the best value for your car. To find out more and connect with other enthusiasts, you can also join classic car clubs.

Services that list classic cars for sale and auction websites like Gateway Classic Cars are great sources for this.

  • Locate a reliable dealer

It is crucial to deal with a reputable dealer when purchasing a classic car. Gateway Classic Cars are reliable dealer you can believe in.

You can get to know about vehicle history from their detailed data report. They also have a great online review, so it is the place you can trust for classic cars.

  • Get an inspection prior to buying.

Get a classic car inspected by a licensed mechanic before you buy it. This makes it easier to spot potential car issues and determine how much it will cost to fix them.

Before you purchase the vehicle, have the expert check the mileage to make sure that the high mileage is reflected in the price.

  • Adhere to spending limit.

You must establish and stick to a budget. Your budget for supplies and labor might be quickly depleted if you purchase a fixer-upper. A less expensive but less environmentally friendly car might cost more. So, try to make a balance.

  • Think about insurance premiums

When planning for a classic car, take the cost of insurance into consideration. To get the best deal, be sure to compare prices from various insurers.

After purchasing the vehicle, obtain the title and registration in your name. As the rightful owner, this aids in proper insurance.

  1. What are extra costs involved?


  • Servicing cost

The need for maintenance on a car generally increases with age. But DIY maintenance is not as difficult as you might think because the majority of classics were simply engineered.

If you buy a workshop manual, you could save a lot of money on maintenance. Otherwise, if all of that seems like a lot of work, you should find a reliable back-street mechanic. They should be ready to take care of whatever mainstream classic you buy.

Gateway Classic Cars

Gateway Classic Cars

  • Operating costs

Determine the ongoing expenses for the classic vehicle of your choice. Look at the cost of insurance and the parts and labor charged with the help of specialists.

  • Buying a project

If you are purchasing for a restoration project, it might be worthwhile to hire a professional to handle some of the trickier tasks. Because they will finish them in a lot less time than you will and to a higher standard.

Additionally, keep in mind that a restoration project is frequently simpler (though significantly more expensive and time-consuming) than a quick fix. Because it is easier to access everything after a car has been completely disassembled.

  • Reshelled vintage pieces

Reselling is common because finding a well-used bodyshell is frequently more cost-effective. It is especially true when repairing one that has been severely damaged by corrosion or a crash.

It is usually safe, unlike the cut-and-shut. Make sure the car isn’t made up of two cars welded together across the middle. A properly shelled classic is a great investment, don’t think about taking on a cut-and-shut.

Gateway Classic Cars

Gateway Classic Cars

  • New bodyshells

Bodyshells for some vintage vehicles are readily available. They are still more affordable than replacing the majority of the inner and outer panels, and everything should fit better.

  • Panel accessibility

Check panel availability first if you are thinking about performing a particularly difficult restoration. Replacement panels and the quality of any reproduction parts that are available vary.

For hidden items like inner wings, you will frequently need to design your own panels. If you are not an expert wheeler, you might want to purchase a simpler project.

  1. What checks should you carry out on the day?


  • Exterior

If you have experience inspecting cars, you are aware that walking around the outside of the car is the best place to start. This can be thought of as a functional and visual inspection.


For example, you should be opening and closing doors, checking the glass for cracks, looking at the paint for damage, and other such things. It should be obvious that this must be done in a location with good lighting.

Look out for warning signs like paint that doesn’t match, which could point to an earlier collision. You might also need to check the antenna, trunk key, and keyless remote entry, depending on the model.

The grill, trunk, fenders, mirrors, bumpers, windows, windshield, doors, handles, all the lights, and all of the signals. The condition of the tires, mirrors, and bumpers should also be examined.

  • Interior

Make sure to check the upholstery’s condition once you are inside the vintage vehicle. Burns, stains, or tears are examples of things to look for that aren’t regarded as factory flaws. In that case, adjusting the headrests and seats should be simple.

Check all of the gauges, the dashboard, interior mirrors, and the headliner next. Are the door locks, handles, window controls, and dash controls all functional? Verify there are no missing or damaged essential components.

Verify that the carpet’s condition and the car’s age are compatible. Look for the the brake pedal wear, which should match the mileage. Be on the lookout for any odd smells that might point to hidden moisture or flood damage.

You might also inspect the air conditioning, air vents, glove box, and sunroof, depending on the model.

  • Engine and Undercarriage

Not least, but equally important, remember to inspect the classic car’s engine and undercarriage. You need to check the drive axles, battery, brakes, cooling system, and transmission.

To make sure there are no leaks or broken belts, don’t forget to check the engine oil. You should inspect the insulation underneath the hood and make sure the shocks and hood release function properly.

Inspect the suspension and shocks, check the power steering fluid, and take a close look at the condition of the undercarriage. You should look for leaks, rust, scrapes, and loose parts.

Don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help with your inspection because this part can be intimidating for beginners.

  • Bring the right kid with you.

Take a flashlight, screwdriver, and camera with you. A voltmeter, circuit tester, and wire brush are additional items that may be helpful (for checking the chassis).

If at all possible, you should get the car airborne on a lift so that you can properly inspect the underside. To that end, bring a jack, axle stands, and overalls.

  1. Benefits of owning a classic car


  • Timeless styles

Classic cars don’t look anything like the ones people see today. Designers used pencils and paper rather than contemporary illustration software. It resulted in the creation of lovely, flowing lines that were influenced by the elegance and mood of the period.

  • Simplicity

Old cars are very straightforward. They provide a true driving experience by relieving the driver of all the modern car’s hassles. Their comforting ease and simplicity are a gift. In addition to performing better on the road, lighter cars are frequently more robust.

  • Light and small

In general, many vintage cars are more compact and lighter than contemporary models. The driver will typically benefit more from having these two qualities. Because they will feel more in control and comfortable with the car’s size.

  • A Good Investment

Modern cars lose value over time. You must always sell them for less than you initially paid for them. This is due to the ongoing production of new models.


With regard to classic cars, this is not a concern. In fact, classic cars are the exact opposite. Because they are unique, classic cars only gain value over time if they are well-maintained.

  • Low-maintenance

Due to the simplicity of rebuilding the mechanical components of classic cars, owners can easily repair them. Modern cars, on the other hand, require expensive diagnostic tests. Additionally, it is very expensive to replace the car’s electronics and sensors.

Bottom Line

Many people dream of purchasing a classic car. Take your time if you are one of the fortunate individuals who can now purchase a classic car for yourself.

There are many advantages to owning a vintage vehicle. It gives the owner complete control over driving, maintaining, and modifying it to suit their needs. They have a high market value and become more and more exclusive as time goes on.

If you are convinced that classic cars are for you, then Gateway Classic Cars is a place for you. You can find well-maintained classic cars, don’t hesitate and look for your favorite cars on their websites.