If you’re looking to buy a classic car, you probably want to have a good idea of its value before you make the purchase. You’ll also want to know the cost to insure your investment. Websites like LelandWest.com make it easy to get an instant quote, once you have the specs of the car. Finding those specs can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of publications that can help you figure out the fair market value. In most cases, these publications use six different categories to determine the value of the vehicle.
Classic cars can be placed into six different categories. Those that fall in category 1 are considered to be in pristine condition. They’re gorgeous cars that are in great condition, but because they’re considered pristine, you can bet that their owners are going to be wanting top dollar. On the other hand, category 6 cars, which score a total of less than 40 points on a 100-point scale, are going to be falling apart. They probably won’t be in running condition, and you’ll need to put a lot of work into restoring them. Don’t forget that the cost of buying the car is just one part of your overall cost—you’ll also need to buy classic car insurance and pay for any parts and services you need to get the vehicle running.
The six categories are as follows:
Category 1 – 90 or more points
Category 2 – 80 to 89 points
Category 3 – 70 to 79 points
Category 4 – 60 to 69 points
Category 5 – 40 to 59 points
Category 6 – less than 40 points
Figuring Your Points
So how do you tell what your car is worth? There are a number of different areas to inspect, each worth various points. Add up all of them and then classify your car.
Body: How is the paint job? Is there any rust on the vehicle? Have any dents been filled? Is there damage?
Doors: Do they sag when opened? Are the weather seals tight?
The hood and trunk: Are there dents? Is there rust under the carpet in the trunk? Do they both open and close easily?
Top: Are there dents? If it’s a convertible, is the top the original? Is it worn or discolored?
Paint: Is it peeling? Are there any cracks or drips that show the paint job wasn’t well done? Is the car the original color?
Trim: Is the chrome shiny? Are the light housings pitted? Is the grill damaged?
Glass: Is it the original glass (look for factory markings). Are there cracks?
Dashboard and instrument panel: Are there missing knobs? Do all switches work? Are the gauges intact?
Upholstery: Are there any rips or tears? Are the interior coverings the original?
Floor coverings: Are they torn or worn? Are they original? Are they hiding rust?
Interior trim: Is it complete? Are there missing handles? Do all handles work?
Engine: Does the car start? Does it run without any odd noises?
Odometer: Does the mileage look accurate?
Special options: Are there any? Are they original?
These are just some of the areas you’ll need to rate in order to determine your vehicle’s price and worth.
Author Bio: Matt Robertson is head Honcho at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. This role consists of being an Underwriter, classic insurance, Programmer, Writer, Janitor, Fireman and Boss. An avid racer, Matt’s credo is “will work for tires”