The day has finally come for you to sell your classic car. You’ve had it for a long time, maybe too long and now you can’t store it, or don’t feel like fixing it, or maybe it’s beaten your wallet to within an inch of its life. Either way, you need a way to get rid of it and websites like Autotrader or cars.com simply aren’t quite right. You’re going to need to get more creative than that. There are websites that actually specialize in selling older cars, and those are probably the best options available to you.
The first thing you should do is find out where it fits in the older car spectrum. There are antique cars and classic cars, each existing within its own range of years. For instance, a classic car is dictated by the Classic Car Club of America as unique and produced between 1925 and 1948, has been fully restored and running. An antique car, however, is a fully restored and running car more than 25 years old. They can all be considered collector’s cars though, and there are steps to selling one.
Once you determine where your car fits on the classic spectrum, it’s time to evaluate its condition. How is the paint? Is it original? Does the engine run and is the interior intact? These factors determine if whether the car will go for $25,000 or $250,000 at auction. A classic car that has been restored with all original parts can be worth millions, so keep in mind when you’re appraising your car that those things matter. Note whatever rust may be present on the car, as that can have a detrimental effect on the car as well. Keep in mind if you try to hide things from a prospective buyer, it probably won’t go too well. If someone’s about to drop $50,000 on a car from the 1960s chances are they know what to look for and what not to buy, so it’s important to be honest and price your car as such.
There are lots of resources you can use to sell your car. Aside from various owner’s clubs and auctions, websites like hemmings.com can serve as a good option. Hemmings has a limited selection, but if you have that perfect classic that loses about $10,000 in value with each fingerprint, it’s the place to post up your car for sale.
myclassicgarage.com offers a very simple layout that divides the cars available into either eras (decades) from all the way back to the 1930s and earlier, to what is called “late model cars” from the 2000-present. Unlike CCCA’s website, Myclassicgarage does not discriminate and provides space for all kinds of special cars. Another way it divides the listings is by make, with subheads indicating models. So underneath the Ford make is a list of several models by Ford. The best part is, for a buyer is there are lots of listings which can make things slightly more difficult for a seller, who probably wants their car to stand out from the rest.
Another option is selling a classic car on eBay, which is a great resource because it has a section dedicated to classic cars. Granted all it does is limit the search with a long list of relevant keywords, but at least it does the work for you. It’s also eBay, so the interface is well known and easy to use.
A big challenge to buying and selling a classic car, or a collector’s car, is finding a buyer willing to ship it. Because classic cars are harder to find, if you’re looking to buy one chances are the one you want is across the country which can be pricey to ship over to your area. It also complicates the selling aspect, because shipping is yet another thing you may have to deal with unless you insist the buyer take care of everything, but if you do that it could be more difficult to find a buyer. Another thing to consider when selling a car is since it’s such a niche market you’re after, the right seller could take a while to surface. It’s best to be patient during this process.
There you have it. The steps to sell a classic car are similar to those of selling any other car, except the market available to you is much smaller. The good news about that is, the people looking at this market typically know what they want. So if you can snag some interest, chances are you’ll be able to sell it not long after.
Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.