Used Classic Cars For Sale By Owner

Buy your next classic vehicle directly from a private seller and enjoy the convenience and security of our transactional marketplace.

Browse used classic cars for sale by owner.
Used Classic Cars For Sale By Owner.

Types of Classic Cars

There are four main categories of classic cars:

1. Antique cars: typically manufactured before 1918 such as the 1908 Ford Model T and 1913 Duesenberg Model J.
2. Vintage vehicles: produced between 1919 and 1930 like the 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom.
3. Classic cars: older than 25 years as the famous Chevrolet Corvette, 1989 Mercedes-Benz, and the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet.
4. Classic sports and muscle cars: known for their performance and design. Examples: 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda, 1970 Dodge Challenger, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, or Porchse 911.
Image highlighting Buying/Selling Car Privately by PrivateAuto

Advantages of Classic Vehicles

Classic car enthusiasts like to own these vehicles for the following reasons.

1. Value
2. Uniqueness
3. Nostalgia
4. Simple mechanics
5. Low insurance costs

Appreciation in Value

Unlike standard vehicles that depreciate steadily, well-maintained classic cars can retain or even gain value as they age. Each year makes them rarer, especially classics in original condition or restored to their former glory—-they’re like fine wine. So technically, you are making an investment when buying a car like this.


Owning a classic car sets you apart from the crowd because of its distinctive design and increasing rarity on the roads. Unlike mass-produced modern cars that blend in, a vintage ride stands out for its unique styling, so you won't have trouble finding it in a packed parking lot.


For older generations who lived through the era, classics are a sentimental reminder of the styles and culture from their youth. Seeing a classic car like the Mustang Boss may recall memories of a first car or road trip. Even younger generations can appreciate classics as a snapshot of retro design.

Simpler Mechanics

The mechanical components of most classic cars are less complex than modern vehicles, making them more accessible for owners to maintain and repair themselves.

Engines often utilize basic carburetion rather than computerized fuel injection controls. This makes tuning and modifications more straightforward.
Transmissions have fewer forward gears (3-4 speeds) and lack complex electronic controls. Shifting feels more hands-on and intuitive.
Ignition points, condensers, and distributors are basic compared to modern computerized ignition control modules. They're easy to adjust and service.
Electrical systems don't have the intricate network of sensors and modules found in new cars. Troubleshooting issues is more straightforward.
No onboard engine management computers to diagnose. Mechanical issues can be identified through hands-on inspection and testing.
Interchangeable parts between same-era models abound. Finding compatible replacement components is easier.

Lower Insurance Costs

Insuring a classic or antique car often costs significantly less than insuring a new vehicle.

There are a few key reasons for this:

Classics are typically not used for daily commutes, so fewer miles driven annually lowers risk. This is why most insurance companies offer discounted " pleasure use" plans.
Owners tend to be older and more experienced drivers with good records, representing lower risk. Safe storage also reduces theft and damage risk.
Limited usage means lower premiums for collision and comprehensive. Most owners select just liability coverage.
No need for expensive collision avoidance tech and replacement parts coverage.

Disadvantages of Classic Vehicles

A classic car comes with the following disadvantages.

1. Unreliability: classic cars can be less reliable than modern vehicles due to their age and older technology. Regular maintenance and tune-ups are essential to keep them running well.
2. Fuel efficiency: classic cars generally have lower fuel efficiency compared to modern vehicles.
3. Expensive parts: sourcing parts for classic cars can be expensive, as they may need to be custom-fabricated or imported from other countries.
4. Rust and corrosion: classic cars, especially those made before the 1980s, are more prone to rust and corrosion due to the materials used in their construction.
5. Lack of safety features: classic cars do not have the same safety features as modern vehicles, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and crumple zones, which can make them less safe in crashes.
6. Comfort and convenience: classic cars lack modern comforts and conveniences, such as air conditioning, power windows, and infotainment systems.
7. Insurance limitations: some insurance policies for classic cars may not cover the actual value of the car or allow daily driving.

What's the Most Desirable Classic Car?

When it comes to most breathtaking classic rides, there is a handful that really revs enthusiasts' engines.

1. Ferrari 250 GTO
2. Lamborghini Miura
3. Ford Mustang Boss 429
4. Aston Martin DB5
5. Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
6. Jaguar E-Type Series I
7. 1967 Chevrolet Impala

How to Research Classic Car Pricing?

Figuring out what a classic car is worth takes some digging—you can't just pop the VIN into our handy value calculator or the Kelley Blue Book like a regular car! But getting to the bottom of fair pricing is totally doable with the right research.

First up, get super detailed on exactly what make, model, and year you're dealing with. A 1969 Mustang is different than a 1970, and a base model Coupe varies big time from a Boss 302.

Then dig into recent sales listings on all auction websites—this gives you the ballpark range.

Better yet, auction your car yourself with our self-serve, low-cost auction technology—and find out what the market is willing to pay.

Where is the Best Place to Buy a Classic Car?

If you’re a classic car enthusiast and looking for classics for sale, you have the following options:

1. Buy a classic from a classic car dealer.
2. Buy a classic vehicle from a private seller.
3. Buy from an auction website such as Cars and Bids or Hemmings.
4. Buy on PrivateAuto with our easy self-serve technology

When you’re investing in a classic car, you’re better off buying from a private seller. Buy on PrivateAuto with our easy self-serve technology, skip the fees, and get more classic for your buck when you transact on PrivateAuto.

From instant payments to secure communications, we give you the power to drive the deal on your terms. That’s why we’re the best place to buy a used classic car online. We have a wide selection of non-classic perfect vehicles for sale as well.

Browse our full selection of vehicles for sale by owner.
Image highlighting Selling Car Privately by PrivateAuto

Where is the Best Place to Sell My Classic Car?

If you want to sell your classic car, you can get way more for it by going directly to a private buyer than you could with a dealer trade-in.

Classic car dealers have to buy low so they can mark your car up and make a profit. When you sell directly to the end user, you capture that extra profit.

PrivateAuto gives you dealer-like convenience in the palm of your hand, so you can sell your classic on your terms.

Never give out your contact info
Steer clear of car scams with identity verification
Act as your own escrow service with our escrow-like safeguards
Get paid instantly, up to $1M, with no transfer fees

Even better, you can list your car on other marketplaces. If you find a buyer, you can use our DealNow feature to invite the buyer to a fast-tracked dealflow that gives you all the advantages of our transactional infrastructure.

Create your listing on PrivateAuto now and see how easy selling your classic can be.

Classic Vehicle FAQ

Are classic cars good for daily driving?

Classic cars can be suitable for daily driving, but it depends on the specific car and its condition. Some classic cars, such as the Volkswagen Beetle and Ford Mustang, are known for their durability and can be driven daily with proper care.

Do classic cars use more fuel?

What is the best classic car to invest in?

What is the rarest classic car?

What is the best classic muscle car?

Which classic cars retain their value best?

What makes a car a classic?

What is a cheap classic car?

Do classic cars have an automatic transmission?

Do classic cars have the same engine blocks as modern cars?

What fuel type do most classic cars use?

Do most classic cars have a 5-speed manual transmission?

How rare is the 1962 Ford M-Code Thunderbird hardtop?