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Where are the best places to buy a classic car?

Driving a classic car

Maybe it's a car you've dreamed of owning since you were a teenager. Perhaps it's a vintage vehicle that recently caught your attention. Once the classic car bug bites, it's hard to shake. 

However, if you have the time and resources, making the decision to buy a classic car could be more than just giving into temptation; that purchase could even become a valuable investment. Classic cars are holding their value and are seen today as an investment akin to rare coins and artwork.  

Starting the classic car search

Before you buy, you'll want to do plenty of research to get an idea of the fair price of the car you want to buy. If you're searching for this information online, you'll probably uncover many different sellers, so be sure to take notes. 

Websites including Classic Cars and Hemmings carry large inventories of cars that you can search for by location as well as by make and model. These sites should be a first stop if you're seeking a specific car. 

Regardless of where you search, ensure you've done your homework on a car's value and that it’s in the condition promised before making a deal. 

You can also find deals in your area through Autotrader, which has long been a marketplace for buying muscle, classic and vintage cars, hot rods and import collectibles. It's also a great site for learning more about classic cars and following trends in the classic car market.

While heading online to begin researching makes and models is a quick way to get started, speaking with local owners is a great way to get up close and personal with the cars that interest you. Attend a classic car show or visit a local car club meetup to view vehicles in person. This is also a great opportunity to get answers to questions you have from people who have real-life experience owning, repairing and driving the types of cars you’re considering.

Find vintage and classic cars at an auction

Another option is an auction. Automobile auctions featuring classic cars for sale have become increasingly popular over the past 10 years, However, as their popularity has grown, so too have prices. 

Some experts caution against buying cars at auction unless you’re a seasoned buyer, know exactly what you want to buy, and what the car is worth. You'll also need to make sure you can resist the urge to go beyond the dollar amount you’ve set as your limit, which can be difficult to do in the heat of bidding. Auctions tend to be passionate and emotional, and it’s rarely a good idea to make important financial decisions quickly. 

That doesn't mean you shouldn't attend a classic car auction or avoid bidding. Car auctions can be exciting experiences for participants and observers, and you might even end up with a new-to-you collectible dream car after attending several auctions and learning the ropes.  

Once you do decide to bring home a classic auto, ensure you have the right classic car insurance to protect your ride. Learn more about Nationwide's vintage car and truck insurance options.

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