What Is Involved in Classic Car Valuation?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 15 May 2020
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Classic car valuation typically involves the expert inspection of a vehicle. The physical condition of the car needs to be taken into account because not all vehicles of the same make, model, and year are worth the same amount of money. Many different factors can be taken into account, such as the condition of the body, paint, upholstery, and engine. All of these different factors are typically weighed against a price that comes from auction sales or one of several different classic car price guides. An expert can typically use all of this information to place a value on a vehicle for sale or insurance purposes.

The process of classic car valuation typically begins with a baseline value, which can come from a price guide or recent auction sales. There are several different classic car price guides, so it is possible to use figures from more than one location in the process of classic car valuation. A more accurate representation of what a vehicle is worth in the marketplace can be auctions, so an expert will often search for recent sales of similar vehicles. This sort of data is not always available, but it can be very useful when it is.

Since vehicles of the same year, make, and model can vary widely in condition, an expert will typically examine a variety of different items. The physical condition of the frame and body can be very important, since a solid frame can allow even a very poor vehicle to be a good candidate for a rebuild. Other physical characteristics, such as the paint and upholstery, are typically examined as well. If a vehicle still has the original paint in fairly good condition, it can be worth more money.

The mechanical shape of a vehicle can also be taken into account in the process of classic car valuation. A vehicle that starts and drives can be worth a premium, especially if the engine, transmission, and all related parts are original. If the engine doesn't run or has been repaired in a shoddy manner, that can result in a lower value.

If any rebuild work has been done, that may also be looked at. A vehicle that has had professional rebuild work may still have a fairly high classic car valuation, but poor workmanship or unauthentic parts can be undesirable. All of these various undesirable factors can be tallied up to adjust the final value of a classic car, though this is often just an educated suggestion. Since particular models classic cars are often in short supply, the true value is whatever a collector is willing to pay.


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