Under The Hood

Six Hassle-Free Tips for Selling Your Classic Car

Owning a classic car can be quite a source of pride, whether you bought it in mint condition or detailed it yourself. However, even the most enthusiastic car owners may be looking to sell. Figuring out the best options for selling your classic car can remove some of the hassle and stress of the situation. We have six tips to help you sell your car to the best possible buyer.

1. Understand What You Have

Before starting the process of selling your classic car, be certain you understand exactly what you have. You'll struggle to find potential buyers if you don’t describe the classic vehicle correctly in sales listings and match the terminology most people use. For starters, it helps to know the following:

  • A classic car is at least 20 to 25 years old
  • An antique car is at least 45 to 50 years old.
  • A vintage car is one manufactured before 1930.

In online marketplaces where people are searching for a vehicle from a particular era, accurate descriptions are key. Someone looking for your exact car may miss your listing if you don’t describe it properly.

2. Decide How You Want To Sell

You have a few options for selling your classic car.

  • Consignment: Some consignment dealers specialize in classic cars and already have a client base. This can help you sell the car faster, but you will pay commission fees.
  • Online: You can list your car yourself on websites that specialize in selling classic cars. Vintage car buyers are already looking at these sites. You’ll have some fees with these sites, but this usually is a good way to increase profit. The sales process likely will take much longer, though.
  • Dealer: You could sell the vehicle directly to a dealer. This can allow you to sell a car fast and with minimal hassle. However, remember that you’ll receive a lower price because the dealer must maintain a profit margin for resale.
  • Instant cash buyer: Some companies, such as Swap Motors, will purchase your car in cash instantly. You just need to fill out an online form and schedule a free inspection to receive your cash offer. This option is the fastest and easiest on the list.

3. Determine an Accurate Value

Even if you are confident in the type of car you own, do some further research. You do not want to mischaracterize your vehicle in a description, or you’ll frustrate buyers, wasting time with those looking for something else.

Additionally, by doing research, you’ll better understand the vehicle's value. If your research shows that your car is worth far more than you thought, you won’t leave money on the table in the transaction. Neither will you overprice a car, which would cause buyers to skip over your listing.

If you simply have no idea how to value the car, you may want to consider going through a consignment dealer. This method of selling a vintage car can help you set a highly accurate price versus trying to sell it yourself, even though you’ll likely sacrifice some profit in the sale.

4. Focus on the Photography

Most potential buyers start their search for vehicles on the internet. Although your description of the vehicle in an online listing is important, the photography draws the eye of the buyer first. A buyer may instinctively pass over your listing if you have a poor-quality photo.

Clean the car completely before taking any photographs. Interior and exterior photos are equally important. Shoot plenty of photos from multiple angles, even if you don’t upload all of them. Potential buyers may ask for these extra images during the negotiation process.

Take the photos during the day, ideally when it’s overcast, to avoid significant shadows. Pay attention to the background behind the car, ensuring it doesn’t detract from the quality of the vehicle.

Most modern smartphone cameras can deliver high-quality images. However, if you are going to be asking a significant price for a rare vehicle, it may be worth hiring a pro to take some photos.

5. Be Honest About the Vehicle’s Condition

Classic cars are available in a wide range of conditions. A vehicle in pristine condition that runs beautifully will be worth far more than one that needs towing from your property.

Being completely honest about the car's condition will help you draw the right buyer and create less hassle. Some buyers only want a classic vehicle in perfect condition, while others enjoy the challenge and potential savings of a fixer-upper. Being accurate and honest about the condition saves you time by weeding out uninterested buyers before they contact you.

You may find through your research that buyers are only interested in your particular model of car when it’s in pristine condition. Now that you realize the importance of condition, you may want to make repairs before selling your classic car.

If your research shows you have an extremely rare model, you may find that buyers are willing to pay top dollar regardless of condition. You may not want to waste time and money on repairs in a case like this.

6. Get Your Documents in Order

Classic cars can sometimes have odd title issues. Take the time to obtain replacement titles and other documents before you even start selling your classic car.

The last thing a buyer wants to discover as the deal is nearing completion is that you don’t have all the paperwork in order. This may cause the buyer to withdraw from the transaction completely, fearing potential fraud.

On the flip side, having all your documents ready for the buyer to inspect may convince the buyer that you are prepared. If you took the time to organize your documents, you likely paid close attention to the details when handling and repairing the car.

If you made repairs to the vehicle, have all documents available regarding warranties and guarantees of work.

Let Swap Motors Help you sell your classic car

If you need help selling your classic car, use these tips to speed up the car sales process. But if the process still sounds a little too time-consuming for you, sell your car to Swap Motors instead for a completely hassle-free experience.

At Swap Motors, we offer instant cash for classic cars — no fees and no obligation. We’ll even pick up your car for you!

Sell your car now with Swap Motors, or reach out at 312-650-SWAP (7297) for more information.