Classic Car Buying Guide

It’s on many a person’s bucket list to own a classic car, vintage, exotic, or muscle car at some point in life. The pure bliss that comes out of tinkering under the hood (or letting someone else do the work and enjoying the outcome), restoring your prized whip to her former glory, gathering a crowd as you cruise around town, showing off your beauty at car shows…We get it! At The Vault, we specialize in making those dreams a reality because we too are true car aficionados. It is important to consider a few things when buying a classic car (or any specialty car) so that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Our experts share classic car buying secrets that everyone should know before buying a classic car

How to Buy a Classic Car

how to buy a classic car

The first key aspect of a successful purchase is to find the best in the field to work with (such as The Vault), to ensure you get a quality car and an actual classic versus just an old car! Search for places that buy classic cars or classic car buyers near me because that will indicate who is in the business in your area. This will steer you away from risky individual sales and direct you to a reputable classic car dealer who will only sell high-quality, top classic cars to buy. Review their website, classic car seller ratings, and testimonials as a reference check on their sales, services, and business reputation. Another benefit to working with a professional is they’ll know exactly what to look for during your pre-purchase car inspection. Once you’ve found your trusted classic car seller, it’s time to consider a few other factors. 

Choosing the Right Classic Car

While you may have an idea of what you want, it’s important to keep your options open. Consider whether you want an already restored, ready-to-go vintage car to buy or one that you will have restored. An already restored classic car may raise your initial classic car price but after the purchase, you will only have to pay for classic car maintenance rather than full restoration. 

If you’re like many others, and part of the draw for you is the restoration process, then the make and model classic car you choose is crucial. Classic car restoration and maintenance can be expensive and time-consuming, so avoid a rare model that will make finding parts and service difficult and costly. If your goal is owning a classic car as an investment, then you’ll also want to review classic car resale value, most popular classic cars to own (so you’re assured to resell easily), and carefully scrutinize the condition of any potential car. 

Old Car Buyer’s Guide

There are many other elements to consider when buying a classic car, the list could go on and on. But there are two standouts that we urge you to pay attention to when determining how to buy a classic car

Rust on Classic Cars

A classic car’s kryptonite is rust. A little rust is likely with an older car, but classic car experts will be the first to advise you to reconsider buying a classic car that has extensive rust. Restoring a classic car with rust will require intense treatment of the bodywork or even replacement, which means the car will not maintain all her original glory. Additionally, rust is an indicator that the car has not been properly stored or maintained. This usually means other components of the engine or body also will need repair or replacement. 

how to buy a classic car

Classic Car Matching Numbers

If your goal is purely enjoyment and you don’t care about restoration to original factory specs, then choose freely!  If you are looking for an investment or want a quality classic, then it’s worth it to ensure the numbers match on a classic car. Check that the factory numbers on the vehicle all match, including the VIN number, transmission, engine, and rear axle. These matching numbers are indicators that all the major components are unique to that car body and are original to that specific vehicle. This makes your car sought after and valuable!

Best Classic Car Dealer Near Me

Owning a classic car is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever enjoy, so it’s important to get it right! Visit The Vault, where our experts are standing by, ready to help with every aspect of your classic car experience. Explore our extensive fleet of classic cars for sale, consult with our car experts to find the perfect fit for you, purchase your dream car with us, restore her to her former glory, and stop by for service and maintenance. The Vault does it all, from bumper to bumper. We buy classic cars to offer you the very best on the market and get you into the car of your dreams. Call or click today and ride off into the sunset in your classic beauty!

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& our team of experts are here to help evaluate
repair & increase the value of your classic vehicle.



Mon - Fri : 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat: By Appointment Only
Sun: By Appointment Only
Holidays: By Appointment Only
Christmas Break: December 24th-January 1st
No deliveries or pick ups after 4 PM or on weekends.


Over the past several years, The Vault has become the South’s Premier Classic Car Dealer. Since 2018 we have delivered more than 1,000 cars to happy customers. Our 100,000 sq.ft. showroom and restoration shop holds more than 50 of the highest quality classics . The Vault is dedicated to delivering your dream to your garage and bringing you the full value of your classic when it’s time to sell.