Classic car shopping? Budget costs ahead of time.

On January 19, 2016 in AutoClassic Car

Classic car shopping? Budget costs ahead of time.

Photo courtesy of Mecum Auctions.

Like anything you love, a classic car is a commitment. Once you take ownership, you are the steward of your vehicle, responsible for its transport, repairs, restoration and maintenance. Clearly, you’ve entered into long-term relationship.

Costs can quickly add up. Since there’s no such thing as a warranty for a classic car, it’s prudent to plan and budget for ancillary expenses.

Here are some important questions to consider in planning your classic-car budget, whether you buy at auction or through a private-party seller:

Can your car be driven home?

If so, do you want to add mileage driving your vehicle home? If you’ve answered “no” to either of these questions, you may want to arrange for your car to be shipped to its destination.

Do you have room to store your car and the equipment you need to restore it?

How much are you going to need for restoration, from a simple tune-up to possibly a complete rebuild, inside and out?

Before you purchase, look at descriptions of the vehicle, and have an expert examine it on-site. Knowing its condition will help establish the amount you’re willing to pay, as well as how much it will cost to restore it.

If you’re doing the restoration yourself, you may need to acquire lifts, tools, parts and specialty purchases to get your car into the shape you want it to be. This could even include costs for garage construction, improvements or rental space.

How does insurance work on classic vehicles?

If you’re maintaining, restoring, or preserving an antique or classic car, you may be eligible for special insurance policies. With these policies your vehicle can’t be used for everyday driving, although it can be driven in limited functions such as parades, meets, tours and occasional pleasure trip (and you’ll still need to have a valid, standard ).

Also, there are often requirements that it must be stored in a private, secure indoor structure. Some insurance companies will insure a classic motor vehicle that is 10 years or older, or will insure a car as being “antique” if it’s over 25 years old. Insurance costs vary depending on whether the car is rare, has historic value, is part of a limited production run or is an example of unique workmanship. Your personal driving record may also impact your insurance costs.

If you plan ahead for collector-car expenses, you’ll be in a much better position to have a long, loving relationship with your classic beauty.

LightStream provides classic car financing for classic car purchases and expenses to customers who have good credit. For important information, visit

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