Are you looking for cars for sale on eBay that meets the criteria of your dream ride? With so many cars for sale on eBay, it's a great place to start your search for a classic car. But, before you look for a classic car online, it's essential that you do your due diligence. Here's what you need to know about buying a classic car online and weeding out the many eBay cars for sale to find your perfect match.

woman searching ebay on a laptop

Classic vs. Antique vs. Vintage Cars

Knowing the classification of the car you're after can help you find it faster. Generally, a classic car is at least 20 years old, which means it was manufactured in 2002 or earlier. This comes as a surprise to most car buyers, as you might not consider anything classic unless it was built in the '80s or prior. With that said, just because a car is "classic," it doesn't mean it's a collector's vehicle.

As you can imagine, plenty of cars were built before 2002 that no one would consider a "classic" by the modern definition. Collector desirability and rarity are the key subjective factors that determine whether a car is truly a "classic" and how much it's worth.

There are also two other terms you may see tossed around: "vintage" and "antique." You might call a 1965 Mustang a classic, but it's technically an antique. That's because an antique car is any vehicle that's at least 45 years old (manufactured before 1977). Meanwhile, a vintage car is one manufacturer between 1919 and 1930.

Once you know how your dream car is actually classified, it can help you understand how the titling and licensing process may differ in your state. For instance, an older vehicle might qualify for a discounted license plate, which is great if you only plan to drive your car occasionally or you're registering it for use in club rides or parades.

Finding Classics in eBay Cars for Sale Ads

Whether the car you want is technically a classic or antique, you can find it on eBay if you know where to look.

#1 Head to eBay Motors

While there used to be an entire subdomain dedicated to eBay motors, it is no more. Still, you can find cars for sale on eBay by looking under the categories bar and selecting "Motors" from the list of options. This opens a special area of eBay that's dedicated to car parts and vehicles.

Scroll down on this page to the "Find a Vehicle" section, and you can start your search instantly. The advanced search tools might take a moment to fill out, but it will help you narrow down all the eBay cars for sale and find your dream car that much faster.

Person searching on eBay Motors on iPad

#2 Choose Your Search Criteria

Once you're in the "Find a Vehicle" section of eBay motors, you can put in some filters to help you find the classic you've been hunting for. The easiest way to start is to narrow your search by make and model. For instance, you can enter "Ford" and then "Mustang" and then search "Used" to see all the used Mustangs for sale on eBay.

Once you click "Find Vehicle," you can narrow your search even further. Using the top of the search results page, you can specify a range of years in the "Year From" and "Year To" fields, which can help you find a classic. If you only have one year in mind, put the same number in both boxes.

#3 Sort Through The Results

Once you enter the age range you have in mind for your classic car, you can start finding the perfect deal using eBay's standard functions. For instance, you can view all listings or narrow down your options to the following:

  • Sale type: Choose "Accepts Offers" if you want to see both "Buy It Now" and "Auction" listings that will accept an offer to purchase right away.
  • Condition: Keep the "Used" box ticked if you want to avoid seeing new models. If you enter a year range, the condition won't matter (as long as you don't accidentally select "new").
  • Shipping: Even if you want a car that will come to you, delivery is arranged directly with the seller after purchase, so selecting "Free Shipping" will probably show no results.
  • Local: If you want to view the car in person, narrow your results by the number of miles you're willing to travel from your zip code. There's no need to select "Free Local Pickup" if you use the distance search feature.

When you find some listings that interest you, the next step is to either place your bid, make an offer, or schedule an appointment with the seller to view the car. If you decide to buy it, you've got two options: pick it up locally or arrange delivery through a third-party shipper. Once you locate your dream car and decide you want to buy it, your biggest concern should be protecting yourself.

Tips for Buying a Classic Car on eBay

Scouring eBay cars for sale and looking for your dream ride is no easy feat. Even though eBay offers good buyer protection policies, buying a vehicle is extra tricky, especially if you're trying to arrange shipping through a third-party delivery company and you won't get the chance to see the car in person. Don't expect to stumble upon your perfect car the first time you go looking, and if you do, be sure to proceed with caution.

Gray classic car parked on a wet road
  • If you can't see the car in person, ask for a video tour of the vehicle, preferably one over a live call, so you can ask questions as they go along.
  • When arranging delivery through a third-party company, consider asking if the company's driver can verify the car's VIN and condition on your behalf before picking it up.
  • Never pay for the vehicle outside of the eBay platform, as that means you will sacrifice all of the platform's protections for you as a buyer if the listing turns out to be inaccurate.
  • Always have a professional around to inspect the car, even if you can see it yourself in person. You could miss costly problems, even if you know your cars well.

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If you're nervous about buying a car on eBay, or if you have trouble arranging payment, financing, or pickup, you can always look elsewhere. PrivateAuto is making private car sales safe, simple, and secure. Their integrated banking option offers built-in financing and instant transfer of funds to give you peace of mind and to save time. Interested in learning more? Start your search today!