Owning a collectible car is a dream come true for many vehicle enthusiasts. Whether you’re an older car lover who grew up watching golden-age muscle cars roar down the road or a younger enthusiast with a penchant for exotic performance, buying a high-end vehicle is likely on your bucket list. It’s important to remember, though, that there’s much more to buying one of these cars than the price you pay for the vehicle itself. Here are five unforeseen expenses you should take into account when buying a classic, luxury, or exotic vehicle.
1. Parts and Maintenance
Just like your daily driver, your collectible car will need regular maintenance to keep it in good shape. The difference, however, is that parts for classic, luxury, and exotic vehicles are usually more expensive and harder to find. This is especially true for rare vehicles with limited aftermarket parts manufacturing. Even if parts for your car aren’t especially expensive, you may have to do some legwork to track them down.
Your budget for parts and general maintenance will vary based on your car, its condition, and the type of work it needs. Be aware, however, that the costs of maintaining a collectible car often run up very quickly. Even simple tune-ups on classic and luxury vehicles can range from $400 to $4,000. More extensive repairs, of course, will cost substantially more.
Insurance is easily one of the most overlooked unforeseen expenses associated with buying a collectible vehicle. While you might expect that all collectible cars are expensive to insure, this isn’t always the case. Classic cars that are only driven a limited number of miles per year, for example, can be even cheaper to insure than your daily driver. At the other end of the spectrum, exotic car insurance can be quite expensive due to the high valuations attached to many premium imported vehicles.
While situations vary, the best auto insurance for collectible cars is almost always a specialty insurance plan. Unlike general auto insurance, specialty plans for collectible vehicles provide full coverage for the appraised value of your collectible car. These plans also recognize that collectible cars don’t depreciate, meaning you won’t receive less than what your car is worth in the event of an accident. Many specialty insurance plans even cover you for accidents or theft that occur at car shows, providing additional peace of mind when you take your vehicle out to show it off.
If you’re buying a classic vehicle, restoration work is likely to come into play. The best classic muscle cars, for example, were principally made in the 1960s and 70s. Given their age, most of these vehicles need at least a bit of restoration work to put them back in prime shape. Restoration costs vary widely, but you can reasonably expect to pay a skilled classic car mechanic $100 or more per hour, plus the cost of parts.
When you buy a collectible car, parking it in the driveway isn’t a realistic option. These vehicles are investments and should be treated as such. Ideally, your collectible car or truck should be stored in a locked storage space with temperature control. If you already have a garage attached to your house with space for an additional vehicle, you’re probably in good shape. If not, expect to pay $100 or more per month for storage. You can also consider building a separate garage on your property, especially if you plan on buying more than one collectible car.
While it may seem odd to think about transportation costs for something designed to move under its own power, few classic car owners want to drive their vehicles across the country. Many buyers end up finding their dream cars outside of their local areas. When this happens, shipping the car back home becomes a necessary part of the buying process. The cost of car shipping depends on the distance and the route, but you can reasonably expect to pay $800 or more for interstate shipping.
Transportation costs are especially relevant if you’re planning to take your vehicle to car shows or competitions. While the cost of shipping a car home once isn’t too bad, it can add up when you have to transport the car several times each year. At the same time, the wear and tear that occurs while driving long distances may actually cost you more than the price of hiring a vehicle shipping company.
By taking these unforeseen expenses into account, you can get a more complete picture of the full cost of owning a collectible car. While these costs may seem daunting, they’re manageable if you plan for them in advance. Once you know what your dream car will actually cost, you can begin budgeting to finally put it in your garage.