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Tips for selling a Classic Car

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  • 02-08-2021
Tips for selling a Classic Car

What's the best way to sell my classic car?

If you are thinking of selling your classic car, you will be happy to know there are several options open to you. Of course, the more people who see your classic car is for sale, the greater the chance that someone will buy it. Therefore, it would be best to advertise in as many places as possible, rather than concentrate your efforts on one sole outlet. 

But, of course, where and how you sell your classic car depends on the make and model. If you are trying to sell a relatively common model that is fairly prevalent in the market, you're going to come up against some strong competition. Therefore you will need to put in some extra effort to make your advertisement as eye-catching and noticeable as possible. 

On the other hand, if you are selling an extremely rare model, perhaps one of only a handful ever produced and subsequently much more expensive, you will also need to be wary of how you sell. While it will be easy to garner interest in classic cars like this, there will not be many out there with pockets deep enough to afford them. Therefore, unless you have a shortlist of people you know are interested and can afford these rarer models, it may be best to take your classic car to a dedicated, professional auction. 

Sell your classic car at Auction

Selling your classic car at auction comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. The first benefit is that selling classic cars via an auction house can save you time. Rather than calling several prospective buyers on the phone and negotiating prices, auction houses can take care of all of that work. 

However, given that they are taking some of the hassles off your hands, classic car auction houses will generally charge you an entry fee, as well as receiving a percentage of the final selling price. Which auction house you choose to sell your classic car through will determine the percentage of the price they will take. On average, you can expect them to demand between 5%-20%. If your car fails to sell at auction, they may charge this percentage as a flat fee. 

Selling your classic car with a dealer

Another excellent option might be to sell your car to a dedicated classic car dealer. This can be especially advantageous if the dealer specialises in the car make or model you are trying to sell. The dealer may even have the perfect buyer in mind already, particularly if your car has an enthusiastic following or supporters club. Specialist classic car dealers may be interested in your car, whatever its condition, from pristine models to restoration projects. 

However, some will not want a car that is too badly damaged or with a mileage that is too high. While they may be interested, dealers do not want to put too much of their own money into the vehicle to get it in a sellable condition. This means that if your classic car is in poor condition, you may not be able to get as much for it as you are asking for. 

Dealers will essentially want to purchase your car at wholesale prices, giving them enough room to make a profit when they sell it in the future. Therefore, you will not be able to get a larger market value for your car if you decide to sell to a dealer.  

Sell your classic car privately

This third option requires a lot more effort on your part, but you will reap far greater financial rewards for the time you spend selling your classic car privately yourself. Selling vehicles yourself ensures that you will have a better chance of receiving the market value of your car, or at least nearer to it. Without having third parties involved, you are free to set your own asking price for your classic car, so long as it is reasonable and in line with the model's market value. 

You can also pick up some useful selling experience if you ever have another classic car that you want to sell. If you want to get your hands on another classic car after selling the one you currently own, you may even be able to work out a part exchange or straight trade agreement with another seller. Selling your vehicle doesn't have to be the end, and, after all, what's a classic car lover without a classic car?

Selling privately also gives you far more options of where to list your classic car. From online auctions to posting on social media, there are plenty of places for you to advertise. However, selling by yourself takes up much more of your time than selling through third parties. You will have to valet the interior and exterior and take photos of the car yourself, making sure that it looks attractive in the listing where you put your car for sale. 

You will also have to write accurate advertising so that your eventual buyer knows exactly what they are being sold. You will also have to put some time aside to allow potential buyers to view and test drive the car and, of course, have to deal with a good amount of time wasters. Private selling is a long process, so if you want to create some extra garage space quickly, you may want to consider other options. 

Tips for selling a classic car

As you may have gathered by now, selling a car, whether classic or otherwise, can sometimes be a complicated process. But don't worry; we have a few tips to help ensure that your vehicle goes to a good home for the best price. 

To increase your chances of selling your classic car and get the best price possible, you need to have your classic car looking its best. Washing, polishing and valeting is a good place to start, but you should also pay attention to the tiny details. Replacing worn-out trims, oiling creaky hinges, repairing any chips or dents, and fixing any engine issues will give potential buyers less room to barter a lower price. 

Of course, you want to get the best possible price for your car, and while it is important not to undersell your vehicle, you should also be careful not to get too greedy. The best thing to do is check listings for similar models to see the going rate. Checking online auctions, classic car magazines, or other sources will allow you to figure out the right price, allowing you to list your classic car accurately and hopefully garner plenty of interest.

How you compose your listing to advertise your car is also a crucial element of selling. Of course, you need to detail all the essential information, such as the make, model, year, and contact information. But it would be best to avoid cliches like "mint condition" becoming synonymous with subpar sellers. 

The best place to sell your classic car is where your advertisement will get the largest amount of exposure. Given that classic cars have a dedicated and specific following, placing your advertisements in dedicated classic car magazines, social media pages, or auction sites are the best option. 

It is best to be cordial and polite with any potential buyer, but do not give them any information before you know they are serious. There are potential scammers and thieves out there, so do not give any details of where you or the car are located. It would be beneficial for you to question them also. Ask them why they are interested in your classic car or whether they have ever owned one before. If they do not sound like a legitimate buyer, it is fine for you to call things off. 

It would be best only to allow forms of payment that you are familiar and comfortable with receiving. Online bank transfers or PayPal payments are more common these days, and you should familiarise yourself with any confirmation processes necessary to prove that you have been paid appropriately. Again, if you are at any point uncomfortable with the interaction you are having with a buyer, you can always call things off.