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How to Sell a Collector Car | Tips for Selling Your Car

Posted on 2019-12-14

When you're ready to sell a classic car, you'll want to give it a high-quality new home and receive a fair price for it. If you go into the process without all of the information, you risk getting ripped off or just not choosing the better option. Read on to find out the proper steps you should take when selling a car, the options that you'll have as you try to find a buyer and other tips for selling a classic car.

Prepare the Car to Be Sold

Before you sell your collector car, you should attempt to make it as presentable and attractive to buyers as possible. To get the most money for your car, you should take the necessary steps to prepare it. Below is an overview of the steps you need to take to repair your car and raise its value:

1. Make Repairs

how to sell a collector car

Tuning up your classic car before trying to sell it will help you get a better price for the car. People want to be excited about buying a classic car. They don't want to send it off for repairs immediately.

To add extra appeal to your car, you can take care of some of the maintenance before you offer it for sale. For some low-cost changes, you can replace the spark plugs with new ones and also change the oil to ensure that the engine is going to run smoothly. Having this maintenance completed will give buyers just a little bit more incentive to purchase a collector car, and, sometimes, a little incentive is all that you need.

2. Clean It

Like making repairs, thoroughly cleaning your car can add to its value. If a vehicle comes in looking like no one has washed it in years, it's going to be a red flag to a buyer that the car hasn't been taken care of properly. You may also want to take a picture of the vehicle to send to a dealer or other buyer to get their attention, so you'll want your car to look as good as possible in the photo.

A good cleaning will give the car a shine. To make it stand out, you can clean the hubcaps and polish the chrome. In the interior, you'll want to get any dust off the upholstery and polish the dashboard to give the vehicle some extra appeal. By adding some shine and polish to the vehicle's appearance, you'll be raising the profile of your vehicle and possibly even raising its value.

3. Locate Needed Documents

Before you make a sale, you'll want to boost your credibility as a seller and show that all of your claims about the car's history are true. You'll need to be prepared to provide the buyer with old receipts, photographs, ownership documents and other relevant material. As you move to complete the sales process, the purchaser will often want to inspect them and will need some of the documents transferred to them at the point of sale.

you need to prepare documents to sell your collector car

You can also generate new documents to help the sale. For example, to verify the make and model, you can go to a local car dealer. Additionally, you can go to an appraiser to get the car valued and back up your asking price. As a general rule, any new documentation that you create should be notarized to aid the documents' credibility.

Pricing Your Car

After you've prepared the car, you can begin to focus on getting the right price for your vehicle. You can do some research online on your own first to get an idea of the value of your car. See how much other people have paid for your vintage car in the past and how much people are selling similar cars for today.

Along with searching for price information online, you can also get in contact with car enthusiasts and classic car clubs to see how much they think your vehicle is worth. While you're researching the valuation of your car, you should also be aware of the condition of your car. You might find someone who is selling the same car as yours for much cheaper, but before you lower your valuation, compare the state of your vehicle to theirs, as damaged cars will have a lower value.

While you search, you'll need to consider the following questions:


  • How do I go about selling my classic car quickly? If it's important to sell your collector quickly, your car's value may go down somewhat. A lower valuation will often result in a faster sale as it makes it more financially viable to more buyers. If you don't need to sell it quickly, your value can be higher as you can wait for a buyer who is willing to pay for the vehicle's full value.
  • What is the market for collector cars, especially those in my make and model? Like most markets, the demand for collector cars will rise and fall. As you begin to consider selling your vehicle, you'll want to examine the market to see if collector cars are in high demand. If you sell when there is higher demand, you'll be able to raise the price of your vehicle and often have a faster selling process.
  • How popular is the car I'm selling? You should determine the popularity of the vehicle your selling. If your collector car is a favorite among buyers, you'll be able to price it higher. However, if people aren't interested in the kind of car that you're trying to sell, you likely won't be able to sell it quickly. A specialized buyer may have an interest in a less popular classic car, but you may have to do a little more legwork to sell it for the price that you want for it.
  • What is the market value of my vehicle? On top of examining popular cars and the market in general, you should try to determine the market value of your car. To figure this out, you can look at previous sales, the price that other sellers are getting for the car currently and the general collector car market, among other factors.
  • What state is my car in? As you look to sell your vehicle, you should be honest with yourself about its condition. If your vehicle isn't running properly, you can't expect buyers to pay full price for it. Lowering the price for a damaged vehicle is entirely reasonable and is a common practice among car sellers. If you want to sell your collector car quickly, be sure to set a realistic price based on its condition.


Once you've compiled all of the information above, you'll be ready to set the price. On the one hand, if you've found that your car isn't in pristine condition or that there isn't a high demand for your vehicle, you'll want to set your price closer to the market value of the vehicle. To sell your collector car quickly, you may even lower the price below the market value.

On the other hand, if your car is in top condition, is popular among buyers and the overall market is strong, you can raise the price of your vehicle above the market value. Typically, you can raise the price of popular vehicles around 10 to 20 percent higher than the market value.

Where to Sell

Now that you know the valuation of your car, you can start focusing on where you're going to sell it. There are a few options that you should be aware of as you consider how to sell a vintage car to a dealer or individual:

1. Auction

One of the ways that people sell their classic cars is through online and live auctions where an auction house will display an individual's car and have potential buyers bid on it.

An auction can be a risky option if the bidding starts below the price you'd want for it and there's low demand, as the lack of bidding could cause the car to be sold well under asking price. Even if it is sold, the auction house will take a cut of the sale, reducing the amount of money you earn from selling it.

2. Private Sale

In a private sale, you'll be selling your vehicle directly to another person. If you don't already have someone to sell to, you'll have to advertise the car by yourself. Along with putting in the effort to create an advertisement, you may also run into costs associated with advertising on websites, magazines, newspapers and other venues. While you won't have to split any costs with this method, you may end up spending money and time that you could have spent elsewhere.

3. Dealership

Dealerships know how to sell a classic car, but they also know how to buy them. If you're looking to find a trusted home for your vehicle, a dealership can be one of the best options. You'll still need to do your due diligence on the reputation of the dealership and see how much they'll pay, but they can make the selling process very easy for you.

Dealerships will typically have their own facilities and showrooms and will want to maintain their reputation in the classic and collector car industry. At times, they'll even let you sell your car to them online and will come to pick it up, making the process even more convenient for you.

4. Consignment

Along with selling directly to the dealership, some dealers also offer consignment services. If you sell your car on consignment, the dealer will sell the car, with you only having to put in a minimal amount of effort.

If you sell your car at Volo Museum Auto Sales through consignment, for example, you'll just have to fill out a quick online form and then agree on the net proceeds that Volo will earn. After that, Volo spends $1,500 dollars from the very beginning photographing, inspecting and marketing your vehicle.

Volo will also come to pick up your car and ship it back to the Volo Auto Museum, where it will be displayed until its sale. The car will then be marked on over 70 websites and other media avenues. Once it sells, you'll get paid. The advantage of this method is that you won't have to put a lot of effort into selling the car yourself, and you'll still get a great return on it.

options to sell a collector car

Closing the Sale

Once you enter into negotiations with a buyer and you can tell that you're comfortable selling to them, you'll need to close.

One useful tip for selling a collector car is to choose a number that you won't go lower than and stick to it. Sticking to this number will put you in a better negotiating position and ensure that you don't sell your car for lower than it deserves. Even if an offer is lower than what you want, you should always send the buyer a counter offer back to keep communication open.

After you agree to a price and a payment method that works for you both, you'll need to complete the appropriate paperwork to make the sale legal. In addition to state regulations and documentation, you'll need to get a bill of sale to finish the closing process.

Get a Bill of Sale

you will need a bill of sale to sell your classic car

No matter where you sell your car, whether through a dealership or a private buyer, it's important not to forget that the bill of sale should be prepared and executed. A proper bill of sale will include the following information:


  • Buyer identification: The buyer should list their name, address and phone number along with their driver's license number if required by the state. Instead of taking the buyer at their word, the seller should ask to verify the information by physically reviewing the buyer's driver's license. If you're looking for another way to contact the buyer, you can also take their email address down.
  • Seller identification: Along with including the buyer's information, you should also include your own on the bill of sale. List your name, address, phone number and driver's license. Offer to let them see your driver's license so they can verify your information. You can also provide your email address to them.
  • Car identification: The bill of sale should also include information about the car, including the year, make, model, VIN and any other identifying features of the car.
  • Purchase price: With all of the information verified, the bill of sale should show the total purchase price of the vehicle. Also, you should include if the vehicle has been paid in full or if there is still a balance due.
  • Statement of warranty: If there is a warranty that covers the car, it should be listed on the bill of sale. Most private sales will not include a transfer of warranty, making this portion irrelevant.
  • Date and signature: Of course, to complete any sort of paperwork, you're going to sign and date it. Both the buyer and seller should complete this section of the bill of sale.

If all of the relevant information is listed above on the bill of sale, you can feel confident that you've completed the process properly.

Sell Your Car with Volo Museum Auto Sales

Vole Auto Museum Sales is a trusted buyer and seller of classic cars. At Volo, you can sell your vehicle via a free consignment, trade-in or cash offer. Volo makes it easy for you to sell your collector or classic car online.

If you're looking for a smooth selling process, Volo Museum Auto Sales is unparalleled in delivering a hassle-free sales experience. If you have any questions about selling to Volo, contact us, and one of our trusted representatives will be happy to speak with you.

sell your classic car at a quality dealer

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