Selling Classic Cars by Autozen

In the realm of timeless automotive beauty, classic cars stand as testaments to craftsmanship and design excellence. For enthusiasts and collectors alike, the process of selling or acquiring a classic car involves a delicate dance between passion and business acumen. Autozen understands the intricacies involved in classic car transactions. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the best practices and optimal avenues for selling your classic car.

Understanding Classic Cars

Before delving into the nuances of selling a classic car, it's crucial to comprehend the dynamics of the classic car market. Classic cars are not merely vehicles; they are cherished artifacts with unique histories and aesthetic appeal. Autozen recognizes the sentimental value attached to these vehicles, making the selling process an art as much as it is a transaction.

A classic car is at least 20 years old, whereas an antique car will have been manufactured 45 years ago or earlier, and a vintage vehicle is from the period from 1919 to 1930. This guide is focused on those cars between 20 and 45 years old.

If you have a Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang that falls into that range, you have one of the most popular classic cars out there! The Jaguar E-type and Chevrolet El Camino SS are also much in demand with classic car collectors.

A classic car is usually considered a “hobby car”, rather than one for daily, year-round use. Classic car aficionados may collect several vehicles, and restoring them to pristine condition and driving them on special occasions is a big part of the appeal of owning a classic car. They’re usually stored through the winter so that they won’t be exposed to road salt and more hazardous driving conditions.

Once you’ve established that your car qualifies as a classic, it’s time to start considering how you can best sell it. Bear in mind that because the pool of potential buyers for a classic car is smaller than for late-model vehicles, you are going to have to spread your net as widely as possible to find a buyer.

Preparing Your Classic Car to Sell

Before putting your classic car up for sale, you should be realistic about its current condition, and weigh carefully how much money you’re willing to put into it.


Because of their age, classic cars often need substantial mechanical repairs and bodywork before they can be driven safely. If you don’t have the skills to do that yourself or don’t have a place where you can easily do that work, consider selling your classic car as-is. Remember, collectors see working on a car as part of the appeal. 

Obviously, this also means that you will have to ask for a lower price than for a vehicle in excellent condition, but the cost of buying replacement parts and labor fees can quickly add up. If you don’t have the cash to invest in this, you’re much better off selling it in its current state.


No matter what shape your classic car is in, it’s a good idea to at least clean it thoroughly. Vacuum the interior, shampoo the cloth upholstery (if any) and the carpets, and polish the vinyl with a quality protectant that will restore its original luster. Wash the exterior and polish it to make it look its best. Even if the car isn’t running, this will show that you have maintained it well over the years. Set your classic car against an attractive background like a green lawn, and take pictures that show every angle of the car, including under the hood and the odometer.


Get all the necessary documents together so that you can show buyers that you are the rightful owner. If the registration has been lost or damaged, as can easily happen with an older car, get a replacement. If you have any current warranties for tires or mufflers, include them in your file so everything is ready to share with interested buyers.

If your classic car is in good shape, paying for a safety inspection can provide reassurance to buyers that they’re getting a car that is already road-worthy.


Establishing the price for a classic car isn’t as easy as for a late-model used vehicle. While you can browse online listings for similar classic cars to see what sellers are asking, the condition of these older cars can be so variable that you may not be able to get a good sense for what your particular car is worth. Consider spending the money for a professional appraisal of your classic car so that you can post a price with confidence.

The Best Place to Sell a Classic Car

When deciding what is the best place to sell your classic car, take into account how quickly you want it to sell, and how much you are willing to accept as a selling price.

Selling a Classic Car to a Dealer

There are dealers who specialize in classic cars, and are always looking for desirable models for their customers. If you want to sell your car quickly, it’s worth considering this option. Just be aware that you will probably end up with a lower price than by a private sale, as the dealer needs to be able to make a profit when they resell it. 

Selling a Classic Car Online

Using free online platforms such as AutoTrader, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace can reach buyers from across the country, as well as close to home. There are also sites such as Classic that charge a listing fee, but also cater specifically to classic car enthusiasts in Canada and the United States. If you want to optimize your chances of selling your classic car quickly and for a good price, these options are well worth considering.

Best Practices for Selling Classic Cars Online

Autozen recommends adhering to best practices when selling classic cars online. This includes setting a realistic and competitive price, conducting a thorough inspection, and obtaining a professional appraisal if needed. High-quality photos showcasing the car from various angles, both interior and exterior, are essential for attracting potential buyers.

Selling a classic car online involves more than just posting a few pictures and a brief description. Autozen advises sellers to create a detailed listing that not only highlights the technical specifications but also delves into the car's history, restoration details, and unique features. The more information you provide, the more likely you are to attract serious buyers. If you’ve got extra parts for your classic car, be sure to list them as well.

Selling a classic car online can take a fair amount of time to find the right buyer. Post your listing on as many sites as you want to increase the visibility of your classic car. Update the listing periodically so that it stays near the top of search results, and if you’re not getting enough interest, consider rewriting your listing or taking better pictures.

In addition to the dedicated platform, Autozen suggests leveraging social media and online communities to enhance your classic car's visibility. Sharing your listing on relevant groups, forums, and social media platforms can generate buzz and attract potential buyers who may not have encountered your listing otherwise.

Selling a Classic Car: Working with Buyers

Once you’ve gotten responses from interested buyers, be prepared to answer their questions, and set up a time for them to come and see your classic car. Obviously, they’ll want to take it for a test drive if possible, and at least give it a thorough inspection to determine its condition. Be prepared to negotiate a final selling price, and complete all necessary paperwork, including a bill of sale, to finish the transaction. Ask for payment by certified check, cash, or an e-Transfer. Selling a classic car isn’t as straightforward as selling a late-model vehicle, but if you have a popular make, you can expect to find buyers who are keen to take it off your hands. Using the right platforms and optimizing your listing can help you sell it more quickly and for a better price!