Cost of Owning Collectible Cars

The costs involved with buying, owning, maintaining and possibly restoring a collectible car or motorcycle can go beyond what you purchased the vehicle for.

These may not be extraordinary expenses, but they can add up. In most cases these are costs you may be clearly aware of but there are some that may be considered “hidden costs” which are always good to consider. The added expenses may certainly not be deal breakers but they can add up and should be made a part of what your total costs of owning the vehicle are. If you decide to buy and sell, then these added expenses will make a difference.

As with any investment, buying a classic car or motorcycle can be fraught with pitfalls. Buy correctly, and owning a classic car can be a terrific experience that can also reap a profit when it comes time to sell. Make a mistake, and a classic car can become a money pit that returns little joy and no profit. Keep a record of all costs associated with your investment. When and if the time comes to sell your classic vehicle you’ll want to know how many money you have in it.


Buying a classic car is an investment.

Like any investment you want to know what you are in for. If you make the right choices up front then the entire experience can be  fun and rewarding. Make the wrong decisions and you can create a money pit. Don't catch auction excitement and bid too high for that car or motorcycle. If you take meticulous care of the car and are careful about the improvements you make you may be able to show a profit on the car or bike at the end of your time with it. That might feel better than buying a new car and having it depreciate as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Shipping Your Car

If you decide to buy a classic car outside of your local area you'll want to consider transportation costs. There are many companies that transport cars and some even specialize in shipping collectible vehicles.

You can ship your car in an enclosed carrier or an open one. Enclosed will cost more. If you're buying an old car to restore then an open trailer or truck may do fine and save you money. If you've purchased a finely restored collectible then the extra money for an enclosed trailer is the right thing to do.



The insurance costs are pretty much determined on how you will use your collectible car  Most large insurers will offer collectible car insurance. Types of collectible vehicles that can be covered include antiques and classic cars, muscle cars, exotic and special interest vehicles, street rods, modern classics and high quality replicasCollectible vehicle insurance may be a bit cheaper than you would think. Many people have put their classic vehicle on their normal car insurance policy when they could perhaps get a lower price with a separate policy. Some have found rates discounted by 20% to 30% or more by just mentioning that the vehicle will only be driven on Weekends or to shows, parades and special events. Specialty automotive insurers generally charge much less than standard insurers. 

Storing Your Vehicle 

Already have a storage area for your collectible vehicle? If so you'll save a lot of money. If you need to rent space that's enclosed then you'll need to add this to the expense of owning your car.

Restoration and Repair Costs

This category of expense is somewhat voluntary.

Whether you want to put R10,000 or R200,000 into a vehicle’s restoration is a decision you will make. Repair costs are something to determine prior to buying.

The car you purchase may not need restoration work or it may need little work. This is something you want to calculate upfront. If you decide that that the car is worther of a complete restoration have an expert or a restoration shop take a look at the vehicle prior to buying. Go over in detail what the costs would be with a professional.

How’s the engine and transmission? Have the car inspected by a professional mechanic if you are not mechanically inclined or take the car for a test drive.

Before you purchase that classic car check out the availability of parts. Many parts for vintage cars are amazingly easy to find, especially with today’s internet. Some other parts may not be easy to locate and can cost much more than you thought.


The bottom line is that there are a lot of Sweet Looking deals out there that may seem like Good Deals. Buying from a Dealer or Specialist Broker may seem expensive but remember they are in the industry and will go through a vehicle before selling it or putting it on the market. They will also know who and where the best Insurance, Transportation and the Correct Expert to do general repairs or complete restorations on your purchase.