An appraisal is an important step in establishing the value of your classic car. Where it’s selling, buying, insuring, or applying for a loan, appraisals are critical to people who have any stake in these classics. There is a lot involved, but we’re here to help you simplify the process no matter the reason for the assessment.
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The average cost range for a classic car appraisal is in the range of $100 to $500. Some cost more depending on the depth of the appraisal, which could include pictures and a full written report on the car after a thorough inspection. The more involved the inspection, the more it cost.
You could also face travel time charges for the appraiser depending on your location. This could be as high as 60 or 70 dollars per hour for travel time. If they have to make an overnight trip, it could cost more.
I’ve seen some classics and antique appraisals that were over $1,000.00 on very high-end vehicles, and the people who use these guys will quickly tell you that they save you money in the long run.
There are a lot of variables in the cost of appraisals on older classics, antiques and vintage cars. The more valuable the car, the more it may cost to ensure you get it right. Show ready cars can cost a pretty penny, and when buying one, you make sure of what you’re getting before you sign on the dotted line. The same applies if you own the car and have it on the market for sale.
Insurance is another reason to get a good appraisal. If you have 40k or more on the line, quality insurance is a must for the prudent. Make sure you have the value correct so that you are covered for any potential losses.
If it’s a mid to high range car, you’ll probably want to visit car shows or auctions for classics, antiques, and vintage cars. These are the best places to ask around for a quality appraiser based on the experiences of others who deal with such vehicles.
At most car shows, you have expert appraisers on the ground and they are there to help. The same applies for specialty vehicle auctions. Just ask around and someone will point them out for you, and will likely give you their opinions on them.
Calling a used car manager at Bob’s used cars is not the person you want in this case. You want an expert that knows the market and the cars and vehicles that fall into this industry. Never take short cuts or you may end up with less or more appraised value than your car fits. This could spell disaster for you. They know little to nothing about the value of a quality paint job to the undercarriage to vin plates to fender numbers.
Appraisers for this industry are completely different than an appraiser for bankruptcy, divorce, trade in’s for a new car and so forth. Make sure you get an expert in classics.
For lower-end cars, there are more options such as Motortech, NADA guides, and the Auto Appraisal Network.
I prefer the Auto Appraisal Network since they are geared up for classics and other rare vehicles. They have all of the standard and advanced documentation so that you have everything you need to acquire loans, insurance, and the actual fair market price.
They are the best move in my opinion if you have a project car in the more advanced stages of the restoration of the lower end classics, and they don’t cost much compared to other options.
Motortech would be my second choice and then NADA Guides as a last resort. I look at NADA as the bottom of the barrel, but still a good average. The problem with NADA is the average resell price and the way it’s calculated. The appraisal could be altered by personal opinions and biases on specific parts of the inspection. It’s somewhat arbitrary.
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