Unlike other vehicles, which depreciate in value quickly, collector cars are an investment. The longer your car has been out of production, the rarer it will likely be, and it could be more valuable.
Any smart investor knows the importance of value maintenance. So how do you maintain or raise the value of your classic car? Below are a few ideas.
#1 – Keep Up On Car Maintenance
Maintenance is the single most important part of protecting your classic auto. If your car is in disrepair, it’s value will drop much farther than just the cost of repairs — and consistent disrepair can lead to irreparable damage.
Even if you are a casual driver of your car, it will be especially vulnerable to wear and tear. Older cars were made during a different time when production standards were different and regular engine rebuilds and fluid changes happened more often. Depending on the model, your glass may be more fragile, the sheet metal may not have an effective protective coating, or the paint may be vulnerable to UV rays.
It’s wise to locate a mechanic that specializes in the make and model of your vehicle. They’ll diagnose and address common problems much more easily. Also, specialized mechanics will be familiar with the quirks that most classic cars seem to share. Collector cars can’t be treated the same as modern vehicles.
You should keep up on the little things as well, such as:
- Replace the air filter at least once a year.
- Change coolant every 3-5 years.
- Replace the engine thermostat every time the coolant is changed.
- Replace the spark plugs after 20,000 miles.
- Replace your oil and filter every 2,500 miles
#2 – Safe Driving
Even if you’re trying to keep your mileage low, it’s important to drive your vehicle every couple of weeks. Cars are meant to be driven, and a small amount of miles a month won’t hurt.
Still, you want to be careful about how, where, and when you drive.
Carelessness with the roads you drive on and the lots you park in can lead to irreparable or expensive damage. Damaged roads with potholes or gravel can damage your tires, suspension, and paint. If you can’t avoid such roads or other obstacles, at least drive slowly and with caution. Packed parking lots at shopping malls and grocery stores can lead to door dings or vandalism as well.
Rain and humidity are dangerous as well. Because painting with electrolysis is a relatively new procedure, often any bare metal on older vehicles is vulnerable to rust and corrosion. It’s safer to drive when the roads are dry and there’s no expectation of rain.
Winter is a threat to classic cars. Salt accumulation wrecks paint and speeds up corrosion.
#3 – Car Storage
Proper storage of your classic vehicle is critical to value retention. Most car owners park their car in the home garage and this practice is just fine. Keep in mind that classic cars should never be stored in environments that aren’t climate controlled.
A car cover can prevent dust, dirt, and that UV damage we mentioned from wrecking your paint job.
Check on your car every once in a while as well, even in the winter. A short drive on a dry day every 3-6 months can keep the moving mechanical parts in working condition.
#4 – Keep Important Documents
The original car maintenance manual, historic photos, and repair history will all be important to a new buyer and will help you retain or increase its value.
It’s smart to keep car photos of your own as well. Your classic car is your pride and joy, it’s your passion. Having a set of historic photos will come in handy in the future. One day, a buyer will view your photos the exact same way and these photos will help you notice small deteriorations over time.
Classic Auto Insurance – Collector Car Insurance for Less
Classic Auto Insurance offers affordable, agreed value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and give you a quote on the spot. Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.