Tips for Buying a Classic Car Out of State

Tips for Buying a Classic Car Out of State

Buying a classic car can be exciting, but there's also an element of risk involved. If you consider what to know before buying a classic car, and do your research, you can be more prepared. When the car you want is out of state, though, that can change the game. You might not be sure how to get the car to your location, if you can trust the buyer, and what kinds of logistics are involved in a title transfer.

Rather than take risks you may not feel comfortable with, or potentially end up with a problem during or after the sale, it's better to have a good understanding of what you need to do. Here are some of the most important tips for buying a classic car out of state, so you can reduce your risk and get the best deal on your new ride.

Make Sure You Understand the Investment Risk

Anytime you buy a classic car you're making an investment, and investments always carry risk. You don't have to be a savvy investor to understand that some cars can really be a bad deal. Others are a great choice because they've been cared for well. But they may also come at a premium price because of that care. Since you can't see the car in person if it's out of state, ask for pictures and video. Consider contracting with a mechanic and a classic car inspector in the seller's state, as well, to get a professional opinion.

Decide How You'll Use the Car

How you plan to use the car is going to affect the kind of insurance you get and the cost of that insurance. It may also help you decide if the out-of-state purchase is worth it. When you're thinking about what to know before buying a classic car, one of the things you have to pay close attention to is insuring it properly. Many companies won't insure classic cars, and where the car came from could affect things like whether there's rust or other problems that could affect the value and coverage you can get.

Nice, black, classic car on neighborhood road in front of a stop sign.

Research the Make, Model, and Price

No matter what the seller is claiming the car is worth, it's clear that they want to get top dollar for it. If you're thinking about what to know before buying a classic car, consider that a difference of even one model year could greatly affect the price. Also, consider that the base model of a car isn't going to cost the same as a premium model of that same vehicle. For example, be sure the LX model is what you're getting if the LX model is what the seller is claiming to have.

Require Proof of Matching VINs

Unless it's clearly stated that the VINs don't match — in which case the vehicle should be significantly less expensive — you'll want proof that the VIN on the body and on the engine are the same. If you have the car professionally inspected, the inspector will verify that information for you. If not, you can ask for pictures or videos showing the match. A classic car with its original engine is going to be more valuable than one that has had its engine replaced.

Consider Your Budget, and the Logistics Involved

Buying a classic car from out of state is certainly possible, but it can get expensive. Choosing something nearby may work better for your budget, depending on whether you can get to the car easily or not. If it's one state over, and you can drive it home, that's much easier than a show car located on the other side of the country. Be mindful of the true cost of getting the car to your location, before you make your purchase.

Check for a Vehicle History Report

As you think about what to know before buying a classic car, considering getting a vehicle history report. That way, you can see whether the car has been in an accident, how many owners it's had, and other things about it that might be important to your decision to purchase. These reports aren't expensive, and they're very good at giving you more peace of mind. Especially with a purchase made out of state, you'll want to have as much information as possible.

Classic Mercedes on a dirt car lot.

Work With Your Local Title Agency

Talking to your local title agency can help you figure out everything you'll need to get the classic car you buy to its new home and properly registered. You may need an emissions test, or the car may be exempt due to age. There could be specific information that needs to be put on the title by the seller, or other factors you'll want to consider. Knowledgeable professionals can help make that process so much easier for you.

Ready to Make That Classic Car Purchase?

If you've researched what to know before buying a classic car, and you're ready to make a purchase, you need to buy from a site you can trust. Reach out to PrivateAuto today, and we can help you get the car you're looking for. You don't have to take a risk at a dealership or buy from someone you don't know anything about. We can help protect your transaction, so you can get the car you really want, safely.