Budget Collector Sports Cars Buying Guide

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Budget Collector Sports Cars Buying Guide
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Budget Collector Sports Cars Buying Guide

Super-rich sports car collectors can afford multi-million dollar Pebble Beach restorations, race cars with Mille Miglia provenance, and ex-Reggie Jackson muscle cars. Luckily, with terrific collector cars available in every price bracket, people of any income level can also find a collector sports car to put in the garage. Collector sports cars do not have to be high-priced items to provide owners with enjoyable rides, great ascetics, and a car that turns heads on the highway. Learn how to set a budget for a collector sports car and how to search online to find a vehicle to suit taste and pocketbook.

Choose Budget Collector Sports Cars

Before buying a collector sports car at any price, buyers should determine how they plan to use it. The collector sports car should fit a buyer’s needs while still allowing the individual to afford the costs of ownership. Shoppers should look at their finances and see how much money they are willing to put down, and how much money they have for annual fees. When it comes to cars, there are many hidden costs, and owners have to make sure they have enough money to comfortably afford all associated expenses.

Buying on a Budget

Buying a collector sports car on a budget requires careful accounting of all costs. Set a budget and then calculate all estimated costs, and make sure the car fits within this budget. Collector sports cars have more costs to consider than an average new or pre-owned car. Understand the variables that can increase or decrease ownership costs.

Asking Price

The first major cost is the initial price of the car. Owners will set competitive asking prices to make the most money on their sale. Negotiations are standard practice when buying used cars, so be prepared to work to get the price down.

Use of the Car

Those buying a car that will sit on display in a garage or showroom without much use will save money on maintenance and parts. Many buyers will want to use their car and take it on frequent drives. If the car is going to be the primary vehicle, then costs will increase based on daily use. Determine how much use the car will get, and estimate expenses, such as maintenance, gas and repairs.

Car Parts

Many older collector cars have parts that are hard to find or are no longer made. This can make repairs and maintenance very expensive for owners. The more often the car is driven, the more frequently parts will need replacing. Fixing parts, replacing pieces of the engine, and even cosmetic repairs can add up. Make sure to find a mechanic that is familiar with the specific type of car purchased. Speaking with mechanics can give buyers a decent estimate of what average preventive maintenance and repairs can cost.

Gas Mileage

Gas mileage is always a concern for any car buyer. Older cars often get worse gas mileage than contemporary cars. Decide how much the car will be driven, and calculate annual fuel costs.

Miscellaneous Costs

Remember to consider other potential costs such as title, registration, insurance and state taxes. Once the vehicle is purchased, be sure to complete all of the title paperwork and pay any required taxes on the vehicle. Note that this information varies by state and vehicle type. Contact the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office for more information on taxes, title transfer, and registration.

Shipping the Car

Buying online gives shoppers access to thousands of cars they would not ordinarily find nearby. Online shopping offers great deals, affordability and simple searching tools. Many websites allow buyers to search by location. Buying nearby has the benefit that buyers can see the car in person, meet the seller, and drive the car home themselves. Many people buy cars from sellers who live far away. These buyers needs to factor the cost of delivery into the purchase price.

Be an Informed Buyer

There are countless options of makes, types, styles, and vintages to choose from when selecting a car. The right car is going to vary based on a buyer’s personal preferences of asthetics, performance, vintage, and make. It is important to understand what to look for and ask for when purchasing a collector car. The chart below lists helpful steps that will help buyers make informed decisions.



Run a Vehicle History Report

By running a vehicle history report on a used collector sports car, buyers can learn about the history of the vehicle, including accident reports or title brands, such as flooded or salvaged titles.

Get Service Records

Check with the owner to see if the car has service records. A car with full service records will reassure buyers that the car has been properly maintained and can alert buyers to any major repairs or problems the car has had in the past.

Research the Model of Car

Models of cars from varying years can be more susceptible to rust, engine trouble, or need more frequent repairs. Extensive research can alert buyers to specific things to look for in a car or specific questions to ask owners.

Get the Vehicle Inspected

An independent third-party inspection can validate a seller’s claims about a vehicle’s condition. Find a trusted mechanic or a mechanic that specializes in collector sports cars. These mechanics can alert buyers to any current or potential problems with the car.

Ensure a Fair Price

Make sure to check the blue book value of the collector sports car to ensure a fair price. These prices can fluctuate based on condition of car, mileage, and major repairs such as a transmission replacements.

Find Collector Sports Cars on eBay Motors

Once buyers know what collector car make and model is wanted, go to eBay Motors, click Cars & Trucks, and select Collector Car from the drop down menu. Buyers will then have access to all collector cars listed on eBay.

eBay has an extensive and informative collector car section. Each day, eBay features the catch of the day, popular models, and most watched collector cars on the main Collector Car page, where it is easy to browse all of the collector cars on eBay. Search by era like the 1940 s or 1970 s, types such as Convertibles, Muscle cars, Antiques and Vintage c ars, or by make, like Buick or Chevrolet.

Keyword Search

Search eBay listing titles for specific words by entering keyword terms into eBay’s Search box. For example type "1989 Mustang" (without quotation marks) to find results relevant to words searched. Get even more specific results by using the Advanced Search feature on eBay Motors. Buyers can consult eBay’s Search Tips for additional help.

Category Finder

Search using eBay Motor’s Category Finder, which allows buyers to specify make, model, year, and distance from seller. Once these categories are selected, buyers can refine their search by selecting more options, such as exterior and interior color, condition, and type of seller. Shoppers can also set a price limit of $1,000 to $10,000 to see only search results in that range. This is a useful tool for those on a budget because more expensive or tempting options will not be included in the search results.

Compare Feature

Mark the check box next to each car item listing of interest, and click the "compare" button to view and compare product details side-by-side. For buyers who cannot find exactly what they want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what is wanted by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay, and eBay will send an email alert when a match becomes available.

Buy Collector Sports Cars With Confidence

Hundreds of collector sports cars on eBay Motors will likely be of interest. When trying to select the right car, get to know exact details about each car, research the seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal help protect buyers. Buying a car can be an expensive and major purchase. Informed buyers will be confident and secure about each aspect of the buying process

Know the Purchase

Many sellers put a lot of time into creating their listings, making an effort to ensure they include all the information buyers need. Carefully read the details in listings for the car(s) in consideration for purchase, and carefully review available photos. Before placing a bid or buying an item, be sure to:

  •     Ask Questions: If buyers still have questions after reading the listing and reviewing the photos, contact the seller using the "Ask the Seller" link at the bottom of each listing page.
  •     Request Photos: Request additional photos to see the car from a particular angle that is not shown in the photos included in the listing.
  •     Call the Seller: For those with more questions than can be addressed in email, ask for the seller’s phone number and call him or her. Some sellers even include their phone number so they can be called directly.
Get Delivery Details

To learn more about shipping costs, ask the seller or contact DAS, an eBay Motors-approved vehicle shipping service. Buyers can also track items with eBay Toolbar. Use the free eBay Toolbar to track items that buyers have bids with. The toolbar includes Account Guard, a feature that indicates when buyers are visiting a verified eBay or PayPal website and warns when an eBay password is entered into an unverified site, even if it looks like eBay or PayPal.

Pay Securely

Always complete all transactions on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs. Never pay for an item using instant cash wire transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone the buyer does not know. Instead, pay with PayPal for amounts less than $2,000 (including deposits), a money order, or direct bank-to-bank fund transfer.

Shoppers are required to have a credit card on file with eBay if they bid more than $15,000 for an item. eBay will notify buyers to provide this information when they bid. The credit card will not be charged; instead, eBay uses it to confirm buyer’s identity as a safety measure to help protect both buyers and sellers.

Know the Seller

Take time to research the seller so that buyers can feel positive and secure about every transaction. Ask these questions about the seller to ensure a safe and efficient shopping experience.

  •     What is the seller’s feedback rating?
  •     How many transactions have they completed?
  •      What percentage of positive responses do they have?
  •     What do buyers and sellers say in their feedback?
  •     Did the seller receive praise?
Find out how long the seller has been a registered eBay user, and look at the types of items a seller typically sells. It is okay to buy a car from a seller who has not sold one before. Many of the car listings on eBay are from individuals selling their own cars.

Terms and Conditions

Find out the seller’s terms and conditions for the sale and whether or not they are agreeable. Sellers typically set terms and conditions, but buyers should make sure they agree with them. If not, find another seller or contact the seller to find out if he or she is open to negotiation.

Seller Communication

Once shoppers have initiated communications with the seller, the seller should behave courteously and professionally. Is the seller responsive? Once shoppers bid on a big-ticket item such as a car, communicate with the seller through My Messages in My eBay.

All legitimate Second Chance Offer messages will come through My Messages and not to an email address alone. Always contact the seller before accepting a second chance offer, and never respond to any request to send money via Western Union or other instant cash transfer service.


Many dream of owning a classic collector sports car, but not everyone has enough money to afford it. Those on a budget need to be careful and diligent in their shopping. Look for models or vintages that were widely produced. Use online search tools to set a price limit during the search to find cars within a specific range. Sometimes buyers will have to find an expensive model they like and research similar less expensive options. Extensive research, thorough questioning of the seller, and a realistic budget will allow many car buyers to purchase a collector sports car just as they dreamed.

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