|How to buy kit on EBAY|
|1. Introduction |
|We bring you advice on buying cheap classic cars from ebay. Most of this applies to buying cheap classics from any source really. First, the 2 main idiotic questions you will regularly encounter on embarking into this pastime: |
|Q: But where are you going to put it? |
For some reason, many people think that if you own a car, you have to own private property in order to park it. What's wrong with the road? We're talking weathered £500 cars here, not the crown jewels. Make sure your car has a valid disc and youíre laughing. Thieves usually steer clear of cars like these, they are hardly inconspicuous. Stick out like a sore thumb.
|Q: But what are you going to do with it? |
Ask these people the same question back about what they own - a painting on the wall, a pet dog, an antique. Why not just enjoy it for what it is? Not what it does.
2. Before you start ... things to consider.
|Don't buy one to use as regular transport! |
Either have a separate modern day-to-day car, or take public transport, but donít use it as anything other than a hobby car, otherwise you will grow to hate it very quickly.
|Accept NOW that it WILL break down. |
All old cars do at some point. If it doesn't then thatís a bonus. If it does, well just go with the flow. It's an adventure. You might learn something.
|Don't be too picky. |
You're spending under £500 on a classic car. So what if there's rust on it, or the radio doesnít work, or the seat is worn and needs a cushion, or the heater doesn't work, or the window sticks? It's a classic car for under £500! Itís just a bit of fun, not a comfortable workhorse. If you want that get an old Fiesta instead and please leave.
|Don't set strict journey time constraints. |
You may get disappointed. If you pull over for a break, and it won't start again, the first thing to do is - chill out! Wind the window down, have a smoke (if you do), or pop into the pub over the road for a Guinness whilst you go through the options of what to do. Enjoy how great you car looks over there, and how it still grabs attention. If you can't think how to fix it, phone a friend. Worst case scenario, get the AA to bale you out. They can even drive you and the car home.
|Join the AA/RAC in advance. |
For obvious reasons. Peace of mind for classic car motoring - they can always bail you out if the worst happens..
3. How to successfully buy a classic car on ebay for under £500 - for the amateur enthusiast.
Got to have an MOT, the longer the better, so you can drive her straight home and not worry about the impending MOT garage bill. Try and steer clear of cars with less than 3 months, unless you've really fallen in love with it.
Wherever possible, go for cars registered before Jan 1st 1973, they are tax exempt, so no tax to pay for (you still must get the free disc though). On a car under £500, over time this will have a proportionally high impact on cost. Especially if youíre going to start a collection.
You must find out up front what needs attention mechanically, or any money spending on it. Almost all sellers are honest and upfront about this. Ask open questions like "if I drive her home 100 miles after collection, will she make it without any trouble?" or "please list everything that needs mechanical attention or doesnít work", you always get an honest reply you can use to base your judgement on. Ask mechanically minded friends for their opinions based on this.
|SELLER RATING: |
The higher the score the more experienced the ebayer, and a rating below 95% is to be avoided. It's a combination of the two, but avoid people with multiple negative feedbacks. Anyone with a score over about 20 and a rating of about 99% is usually a very honest person, but there are also plenty of honest folks with hardly any feedback too.
Check where the car is, you might not notice at first you would need to drive it back from The Shetland Islands to Swanage.
This is never a concern. If it's unleaded or diesel then fine, otherwise you buy a £4.99 bottle of lead additive from the petrol station which lasts you many fill-ups.
|TIME LEFT: |
Try to have contact with the seller as early as possible, either by email, phone or a viewing, at least a couple of days before bidding finishes. You want to avoid making decisions without sleeping on it first. Plus you know who each other are then for when you've won the car.
After you've done all your homework, look the book price up in a classic car magazine, or online at http://www.practicalclassics.co.uk/reference/price_guide/ . Set your price based on your findings, and then STICK TO IT. Never get carried away in the heat of the moment. If it goes higher, then let it go, it was never meant to be, there's always tomorrow to grab your bargain.
Cash on collection is the norm (get a written receipt), but Paypal is just as good (plus you are insured automatically in case anything happens).