HomeAutomobileClassic car: our tips to get started

Classic car: our tips to get started

Almost 9 million vintage cars circulate in France. Budget, research, here are our tips when buying your first collectible model.

One million. This is the number of vintage vehicles circulating in France, according to the French Federation of Antique Vehicles (FFVE). Adding the “young timers”, these vehicles whose age ranges between 21 and 29 years -a vehicle must reach 30 years to officially obtain a collection registration document-, there are about 9 million cars that attract vintage car enthusiasts.

While the 47th edition of the Retromobile fair dedicated to these vintage cars is being held in Paris from February 1 to 5, here are some tips when choosing this car that makes you dream.

A car in good condition

For a first purchase, Matthieu Lamoure, director of Artcurial Motorcars, advises choosing a ready-to-run model in pristine condition, rather than opting for a restoration job. “In an old car, you have to remember that it is not the engine but the bodywork that costs the most, continues Matthieu Lamoure. An engine is mechanical, it can be repaired, corrosion on the other hand…”. The true criterion for a car in very good condition is a reliable history with “the invoices, the maintenance booklet, the manual”.

Beyond the technical history, having many details about the life of the vehicle is essential, such as the number of owners, for example. Because everyone has their own way of driving, maintaining the vehicle and therefore using it. “What will make the difference between two vehicles in the same condition is also its history, the impression of knowing it, where it lived, with which owners”, explains Benjamin Arnaud, director of sales at RM Sotheby’s France.

contact collectors

For example, buying a car from an auction collection can be a solution to finding a vehicle with a known track record. Otherwise, “don’t hesitate to turn to the clubs”, advises Pascal Rousselle of the French Federation of Antique Vehicles (FFVE).

“When you have found the model of your choice, you can contact a collector’s club to find out about the history of this model, the known defects”, continues Pascal Rousselle, who also advises asking to take a short tour in a similar car . To ensure that once behind the wheel, you don’t regret your purchase. “You can also ask members to come with you to see the vehicle you are considering buying,” continues Pascal Rousselle.

And the catering?

Some still fit into the collection and into the vintage vehicle for restoration, especially if you are a mechanic. Benjamin Arnaud therefore advises to properly assess (or have assessed) the cost of such a project. “If the price of the car is quite low -below 20 or 30,000 euros- it can be difficult to find a balance in the project,” warns the specialist.

Another crucial issue is the availability of parts. “On mass-produced models, such as Minis and 2CVs, parts are easily accessible, so maintenance is easy,” explains Pascal Rousselle. On rarer models, it’s more complicated, it’s better to check beforehand when buying this type. of details”.

For what budget?

Maintenance, club: a classic car costs an average of 3938 euros per year
Everything depends, of course, on the value of the vehicle and its age, but on average, according to the FFVE, the owner of an old car spends 3,938 euros a year on his car. Expenses that are broken down as follows: “3085 euros per year for ordinary maintenance and conservation, 525 euros for participation in events related to old vehicles (registrations, accommodation, meals, etc.) and an additional 328 euros for other expenses inherent to this passion, such as affiliation to clubs or the specialized press”, specifies the FFVE.

The budget for a classic car project goes beyond the simple purchase price. If the car is purchased at auction, the costs must be taken into account, which are added to the amount of the last bid. Thus, at Artcurial, for a car whose price can reach 900,000 euros, you must add 16% of the price without taxes in various expenses.

If you come from abroad, in addition to shipping costs, you have to think about the cost of the gray card, which can be high in a powerful model. Then it is necessary to take into account the cost of a possible garage and maintenance, which can be quite expensive on certain brands (Ferrari, Porsche). There is also the question of insurance, which can also represent a small budget if it is an all-risk insurance (from 1 to 1.5% of the value of the vehicle after the expertise).

But beyond all these positions to take into account, only one really counts according to all our interlocutors. “To buy a car, you have to love it, because you have to maintain it, make it work, it’s not an image, there are limitations, says Matthieu Lamoure. If it’s just an investment, we run the risk of disliking it.”

What about the mileage?
Do you risk buying a car with high mileage? All of our experts agree that this is not really a problem because an engine rebuild is always a possibility. Newer models, like youngtimers, “are designed to do a lot more,” explains Pascal Rousselle.

Author: paulina ducamp
Source: BFM TV

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