Spending on classic cars is not unheard of. In fact, the number of people who are foraying into the purchase and restoration of classic cars is gradually increasing over the years.
As more people become engrossed in classic cars, its value in the market also increases. This pushes scammers to make advancements in their strategies and make their plans for fraud more sophisticated.
The prevalence of classic car scams
Scams are inevitable in industries where there are high values involves. That said, it’s important to note that high value and rare classic car models are those that are most likely to be scammed.
This is not to say that more common classic cars are safe from scams, though. It’s just that rare models have higher value, and thus they are more tempting to scammers.
The role of technology
While the internet plays a major role in improving our lives through better communication and connectivity, it also goes without saying that modern technology can be used for scams. Scammers could easily resort to using the internet to promote classic cars and this is the first step in engaging buyers and leading them into a fraudulent sale.
Unfortunately, scammers are everywhere. To keep yourself from falling prey into the hands of scammers, it is necessary to learn the nitty-gritty details of classic cars.
Information awareness is key to becoming a more informed buyer. And when you are an informed buyer, you can make better purchase decisions, including staying away from classic car sellers that are either not selling for the right price or are planning to get away with your money.
Classic car buyers don’t just prepare for the purchase by having the money on hand. It’s not enough to just be financially prepared. More than anything else, you also need to be in-the-know about the classic car you are interested in.
The first thing to do is to do your own research. Read up about classic cars – product information, the process leading up to the sale. These are some of the important things you need to look at. You might also want to consider consulting with friends who have had experience in dealing with classic car restoration, purchase, and ownership.
The only time that you can move forward in the process of a classic car purchase is when you’ve covered the basics. Once you were able to gather all the information you need, you can start making plans to buy your classic car.
Some people either invest their time in finding out about classic cars or hire an expert to do the work for them. But either way, you cannot foray into classic car purchase without having firsthand information about some very basic stuff. Here are some things you need to look out for in order to veer away from classic car scams:
Devise a plan.
Don’t go into classic car purchase without having a clear plan in mind. Before anything else, you should have a clear idea of the type of car you are looking for.
If you can’t find the exact model you have in mind, how are you willing to compromise? Can you settle with a classic car that was manufactured the same year but has a different brand or model? These are the things you need to be clear on before you go scouting for a classic car.
By having clear thoughts about these things, you can focus on researching the classic car that you are willing to spend on. The more informed you are, the less likely you would end up as a victim of classic car scams.
Do a vehicle check.
We already mentioned that classic cars are costly, especially if you are keen on purchasing a rare model. But even when you are financially ready for the purchase, don’t jump right into making the purchase for fear that someone else would beat you to it.
In the same way that you don’t purchase a home without first doing an ocular, you should also inspect your classic car before finalizing the deal. This involves meeting with the supplier and closely scrutinizing the classic car.
To make the most of the inspection, keep a checklist of the things you need to look at to determine the authenticity of the classic car. Ask the owner if you could take the car out for a spin as well. This should help allay your fears about the car’s overall condition.
If you’re still in doubt, you could consider asking a friend or a classic car expert to come with you to conduct the car inspection.
Ask the right questions.
While you’re in the process of communicating with the seller, make time for asking questions and see to it that all the pertinent questions you want the seller to answer are answered correctly and accurately.
The clarity that the seller’s answers will give you should make you more confident to proceed with the purchase. You can break down your questions into different categories,
When it comes to the car’s engine, what would you need to know? The basics include the original parts of the car, the specs of the engine, the transmission type, the options included like the A/C and its condition.
From there, you can proceed to the next category of questions, this time focusing on the aesthetics of the car. Ask questions about the car’s body panel and the restoration itself. Take pictures and show it to friends who have had previous experience restoring or purchasing classic cars.
Ask about the title of the car – is it clean? This should also be a good time to discuss the seller’s asking price.
Better be safe than be sorry
It is important to know that classic car purchase comes with a number of risks, especially with classic car scams on the rise. To protect yourself and your money, you need to keep some checks in place.
Be intuitive. If something feels wrong, don’t go for it just yet. Sellers that sell for a ridiculously low price are fishy. Same goes for sellers that give out wrong phone numbers.
On a last note, it would also be wise to keep communication lines with the seller open. This would help ensure that you can still go back to the seller if something wrong happens after you finalized the purchase.