Whether it is a great find in the auto section of your favorite listing site or a classic that you’ve been wanting to get for a while, getting an old car is both exciting and challenging. In most cases, you can save a lot of money by opting for a slightly older model. You will also find the opportunity of restoring the car to be exciting.
Restoring and maintaining an old car don’t have to be expensive if you know what you’re doing. We spoke to some of the best restoration experts and gathered the best budget restoration tips and tricks for you to use.
Pick the Right Car
Some cars are easier to restore, yet they offer the same level of excitement to the owners. Some of the more popular models are also easier to find, which means you can get a good one for less; the money you save on the purchase can be used to finance the restoration project.
If classic cars are what you are into, then the Pontiac GTO from 1971-1972, a 1960s Lincoln Continental, and the 1972 Dodge Challenger are among the easiest cars to restore. You can also go for the all-time favorite Ford Mustang (1964-68 model to be exact) if this is your first restoration project.
For those who want to save money on a slightly older model, read on.
Estimate the Costs
Yes, it is always a good idea to learn about the costs of repairing or restoring an old car before making your purchase decision. With the help of the internet, this is something that can be done rather easily.
The previous owner of the car usually lists the things that need repairing, so you can start looking for parts and get a good idea of how much the restoration project would cost. If the information isn’t available, be sure to ask for more details or check the car directly.
You can then compare the repair or restoration costs with the amount you save on the purchase. As long as you can still save some money at the end of the day, the project is worth a try.
Do Your Own Parts Hunting
One of the greatest challenges in a restoration (or even a repair) project is hunting for parts. It is even more challenging to find parts at the right prices when you’re on a tight budget. Once again, the internet is your friend. There are plenty of resource centers that offer access to parts for old and new cars at great prices.
Learn the difference between original parts, aftermarket parts, and OEM parts. OEM parts are actually great for the budget-conscious because they are exactly the same as original parts but without the brand and expensive packaging. Tuning Guru has a great page on OEM parts and all the information you need.
These three expert tips will help you complete your own restoration project on a budget. The same tips can also be used to help you save money on a slightly older model of today’s best cars while keeping maintenance costs to a minimum.