5 Secrets to Pricing Your Classic Car for Top Dollar

The price of a classic car can vary based on its type, whether it's a real classic or only has a potential to be a restored classic. Classic cars can be quite expensive because makers no longer manufacture them.

The rarity of classic cars gives them a value that we can't find in today's vehicles. However, knowing exactly how self-confessed automobile experts rate them can be a complete mystery to those who are new to the world of classics. One might judge a classic car depending on its condition and model category.

Demand for the Vehicle

This category is one of the first in determining the value of a car. If the vehicle isn't in demand, meaning there's no interest in it, the price value will be small. Car dealers and editors of collector magazines will tell you whether a car has any value at all like a classic that buyers and collectors seek.

A model that isn't on a car collector's radar will not be highly sought after, which means it has no real monetary value. Although, it could have a sentimental value to the right buyer.

Rarity of the Classic Car

A car that we rarely see on the market is one that will likely have a higher price tag. That is true for models that had a limited production, just like the Pagani Zonda Roadster priced at $1.9 Million for each of the 40 units.

A classic gains more value because of its exclusivity and the prestige that brings to a serious collector or car enthusiast privileged enough to own one. That means the seller can name the price. And it can be tough to set a price on a rare vehicle without having a buying history available for comparison.

Potential as a Project in the Future

A classic car that isn't in the best condition will need restoration. The value of the vehicle will depend greatly on how much work it needs to be marketable again. A total repair will lower the price of the car considerably.

When assessing the value, the seller will have to think about how much parts and labor will cost and take those into account when gauging the sales price. For example, a classic car in mint condition might run $50,000. If the cost of restoring the classic car is $20,000, the seller should price around $30,000 depending on how intensive labor will be for the vehicle.

When in Current Restoration

If you found a classic in the middle of an overhaul, you'll be able to fetch a higher price for it than if it was in need of complete repair, from scratch. You'll have to determine how much work it left as well as the costs of labor and materials when figuring the sale price. If the car isn't in good driving condition, that'll lower the price significantly. Using parts with a more recent manufacturing date can also bring down the value of a classic car too.

Condition after Restoration

One can only assess the real value of a classic car when the overhaul is complete. In fact, some restoration might even lower the cost of the vehicle if not done properly. In printed guides and comparison with other classic cars, it can be tough to make side-by-side judgments. That is why it's vital to have more than one way to judge the price of a classic.

NADA Appraisal Guide

Aside from flipping through magazines of classic automobiles and seeing the prices of vehicles, the NADA appraisal guide is the premiere resource for a car valuation process. While the price differs through time, you can get a basic estimate from car guides as well as by considering the demand value, restoration condition, and rarity.

When a classic car is rare, and in high demand, one can say that's the jackpot regarding high-value classic cars. A seller could potentially name their price for the classic without having to worry about it sitting on the market for years. When restoring a classic car for the best sales price later, make sure you're using old stock parts and repairing the body of the vehicle to mint condition.

Josiah Mosier is a car enthusiast and loves working on his 2011 Mercedes Benz 300 C-Class. Other than that, he loves to cook and spend time with his family. In his free time, he writes about cars on Adsitco's blog and shares them with his readers.

John Doe
UI/UX Designer

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