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What Makes A Vehicle Vintage?

What Makes A Classic Car? Should I Invest In A Vintage Vehicle?

Many people wonder what elements make a classic car. The answer is rather simple. For a car to be considered a classic, it must be more than 15 years old, be valued at more than £15,000, have a dateless or private number plate.

Another sign a car is a classic is if it has a wondrous, classic black and white or silver number plate. Plus, if the car is fine, distinctive, built and produced between 1925 and 1948, unique, bespoke and has historical significance, it is also considered to be a classic.

What Is A Vintage Vehicle?

In the narrowest sense, many car enthusiasts and collectors consider vintage cars not just to be old automobiles, but also to be vehicles specifically produced between 1919 to 1930. While the exact classification criteria may vary from one group of car enthusiasts to another, in the United Kingdom, large, major organizations such as the Vintage Sports-Car Club help maintain consensus on the general classification criteria that must be met for a car to be considered a vintage automobile. Some of the key criteria include rarity, age, condition, its era and whether any modifications have been made to it.

Standardising The Sometimes Fluid Categorisations

For many automobile enthusiasts and collectors, there is often a somewhat fluid categorization of the distinction between classic, antique and vintage cars. Recently, a number of services that offer expert valuation of the most in demand older cars have popped up. They tend to look at the vehicle's condition, age, modifications made to it, whether the parts used to restore it are authentic and of the proper age, it's mileage and the history and demand for the vehicle to determine its true value. That has created some standardisation as to which cars are considered antique, vintage or classic.

An Older Vehicle's Appearance

One of the important factors that play a role in an older vehicle's classification and value is its appearance and aesthetic quality. Collectors and investors look closely to see how well the interior and exterior of the cars have been maintained and preserved over the years. The interest and excitement the vehicle generates when it is on the streets, motorways and car shows are often based on its rarity, function and appearance. These are important factors that play a role in ascertaining its value. Collectors, investors and people that see the vehicles are more likely to be impressed if the cars are in pristine condition. If they look great, run well and are rare, they tend to generate more interest and garner a high price when sold.

Why People Buy Classic, Vintage and Antique Cars

People from all walks of life invest in classic, vintage and antique cars for business or pleasure. Some purchase the vehicles because they are reminders of bygone days when a higher level of workmanship went into making a car look outstanding. Others buy these cars as a hobby and enjoy displaying them and showing them off to family, friends and visitors. There are also some people who see these rare, older, in-demand, vehicles as a smart investment — one that will pay great dividends when they are sold at some point in the future. All of these are great reasons to buy a stylish automobile from a bygone era.

Acquiring Older Cars As An Investment

For a growing number of people, acquiring an older car is a great investment. These individuals are in the business of purchasing 'hot' older cars that they anticipate will steadily increase in value and attract well-heeled buyers. While they appreciate the beauty and workmanship of the vehicles, their primary reason for purchasing the older car is to make money. Some savvy investors have been able to get a significant return on their investment because they were able to get a 'hot' car at a good price and then resell it at an auction or to a private buyer for thousands more than they paid for it.

Should You Invest In A Vintage Vehicle?

There are several factors you should consider before making the decision to make an investment in a vintage automobile. One of the factors is the rarity of the automobile. If there are quite a few of the vintage cars available, purchasing one with the expectation of reselling it at a profit may be a risky investment. The appearance and condition of the vintage car is something else to which you should pay close attention. If the vehicle looks great and is in pristine condition, you have a better chance of reselling it later at a profit than if it's only in mediocre condition.

Beware Of Fakes, Frauds And Scams

Investing in classic, antique and vintage cars can be like walking through a minefield.

There are many ways the investment can blow up in your face. The marketplace is full of fakes, frauds and tricksters looking for ways to scam unsuspecting investors who lack knowledge or do not do their due diligence. Never purchase classic, vintage or antique cars without having them inspected and authenticated by an automobile expert you trust. Before handing over any money, make sure to ask to see the title and verify the VIN numbers it contains matches those on the vehicle that is being offered to you. Scammers have been known to sell stolen, fake or non-existent vintage cars to naïve, unsuspecting, investors.

A Volatile, Unpredictable Market

The market for classic, vintage and antique cars can be volatile and unpredictable. Cars that are in great demand today can quickly fall out of favor and leave investors with tens of thousands of dollars tied up in a vehicle they cannot sell to recoup their money. Buyers might decide that while the year of the classic or vintage automobile is rare enough, it is not the model they want, or it does not have the specifications and options that would make it worth their money. Plus, investing in classic and vintage cars can have many other unexpected pitfalls that can make it an unprofitable venture.

Do Your Homework

If you plan to invest in classic cars, you must be prepared to do a lot of research in order to find the right deal. You have to properly educate yourself about the year, make and model automobile in which you plan to invest. You must be prepared and excited to visit a great number of dealers and sit through lots of auctions to find the ideal classic or vintage car in which to invest. One that looks great, runs well, is consistently appreciating in value and commands lots of interest year after year. That is the type of vehicle that's a safe and lucrative investment on which you can depend.

Passionate About Classic And Vintage Cars?

The ideal investor in antique, vintage and classic cars is someone who is passionate about this type of automobile. They should truly enjoy looking at them, driving them and even cleaning and polishing them. Therefore, if the market for them fluctuates and is not as lucrative as it once was, they can enjoy owning the vehicles while they wait for a buyer to offer them the right price. A good classic, antique or vintage vehicle will become more valuable and attractive as the years go by.

A Rewarding Experience

Investing in classic, vintage and antique cars can be expensive and time consuming. Yet, it can also be done in such a manner that maintains and creates value. Moreover, if you are a true aficionado about cars, then adding elegant, timeless, classic cars that ignite nostalgia to your investment portfolio can be a fun, exciting and rewarding experience.

CarReg hold many vintage private number plates in stock, we also have dateless number plates where the age of the vehicle is completely hidden. See our website to find your ideal private number plate.

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