Cheap classic cars

11 minute read Published on Jan 12, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

Colorful classic cars parked along a street

Are you interested in buying a classic car but you’re on a budget? BrokerLink is here to help. Not only can we help you find a cheap classic car by outlining some of the least expensive vintage cars on the market today but we can also help you cut costs on your classic car insurance. Continue reading to find out more about cheap classic cars and cheap classic car insurance.

Inexpensive classic cars

If you need help finding a classic car within your budget, check out this list of inexpensive classic cars:

Honda S600

The Honda S600, which originally launched in 1964, is one of the most affordable classic cars on the market today. It was the Japanese automaker’s first-ever sports car prior to 1964, Honda was largely known for its motorcycles. Features of this car include a 57-horsepower engine, a 4-speed manual transmission, and 0-60 miles per hour in 17.8 seconds.

BMW 635CSi E24

The BMW 635CSi E24 is another classic car that is considered one of the most affordable on the market today. This grand touring vehicle originally came out in the 1980s and features a shark nose design. Features of the BMW E24 include a 208-215 horsepower engine, 0-60 miles per hour in 7.2 seconds, and either a 4 or 5-speed manual transmission or a 3-speed automatic transmission.

Ford Mustang 1st Generation

It doesn’t get more classic than a Ford Mustang, especially the 1st generation of this car, which came out in 1964. Although some models come with a higher price tag, the Ford Mustang 1st Generation with a 289 V-8 engine remains relatively affordable. Horsepower ranges from 200 to 225 and it comes in either a 3-speed automatic transmission or a 3 or 4-speed manual transmission.

Porsche 944

The Porsche 944 is another classic car worth considering if you’re looking for a vehicle with a lower price tag. This German-made vehicle was a later version of the Porsche 924. Notable features include a 160-211 horsepower engine, a 5-speed manual transmission, and 0-60 miles per hour in 8.0-6.7 seconds.

Chevrolet Corvette C3

The Chevrolet Corvette C3 is another affordable classic car. It is one of the most famous sports cars in American automotive history. Its curved body is what earned it the nickname the Coca-Cola Corvette as it was said to mimic the shape of a bottle of Coke. The Corvette C3 offers a 190-375 horsepower engine, 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual transmission, and goes from 0-60 miles per hour in 7.9 to 5.8 seconds.

Jaguar XJS AJ6

Next up is the Jaguar XJS AJ6. One of the cheapest classic cars out there, this British grand touring vehicle is available with two types of engines, the AJ6 engine or the V-12 engine. However, the latter is known for being difficult and expensive to service, which is why the Jaguar XJS AJ6 is the preferred classic car. Other features include a 3-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission, a 200-230 horsepower engine, and 0-60 miles per hour capabilities in 7.8 to 7.1 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz W123

Finally, the Mercedes-Benz W123 is another cheap classic car worth considering. An iconic Mercedes-Benz model, the W123 was first introduced in 1975 and was manufactured until 1986. These cars are known for their durability and reliability. However, they aren’t known for their speed, with engines of just 123 horsepower. They also only go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 13.3 seconds. That said, there is a 280 SE version with a quicker engine, though it might come with a higher price tag. Other features of the Mercedes-Benz W123 are a 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual transmission and a 3.0 litre inline-5 turbo diesel engine.

Tips for buying a cheap classic car

There are lots of factors to consider when buying a used vehicle, especially when you’re buying a vintage, classic, or collectable car. One main factor is cost. If you’re looking to spend as little as possible on a classic car, read through the tips below to help you save big:

1. Decide how you want to use your classic car

Before buying a classic car, think long and hard about how you intend to use it. Will the classic car become your primary vehicle, and if so, will you be driving it on a daily basis. If so, how far? Calculate your daily commute to answer this question. Alternatively, do you intend to drive your car only during the summer season or even less, perhaps only for joyrides here and there or to certain types of events. Deciding how you want to use your classic car can help you pick the right model for your needs.

2. Stop by some classic car shows in your area

A second tip that can help you find your ideal classic car is to attend some classic car shows in your area. These shows take place all over Canada, and they give interested buyers an opportunity to experience and see these vehicles in person. It also gives you a chance to speak with knowledgeable and like-minded people about what it’s like to own a classic car, so if you have questions, a classic car show is a great place to visit.

3. Join a classic car group

Another great resource to take advantage of when shopping for a cheap classic car is classic car groups. Nowadays, there are all kinds of clubs, both online and in person. These clubs can provide you with tons of information on different makes and models of classic cars, ranging from cost and value to maintenance and upkeep.

You can also look to group members for objective, unbiased opinions on classic cars, opinions that you won’t always get from a seller. For instance, a classic car group might make you aware of the fact that certain classic cars need a lot of expensive work to be roadworthy. Of course, there’s also the possibility that someone you meet in the classic car group decides to sell their classic car, which increases your odds of finding one you like.

4. Be prepared to ask the seller lots of questions

If you’ve found a car you’re interested in, make sure that you ask the seller lots of questions. Your questions can vary from logistical ones to technical ones. The following is a list of questions we recommend asking before buying a classic car:

  • Do you hold the title to the car?
  • Do you know how many other people have owned this vehicle in the past decade?
  • Do you have the car’s maintenance records and if so, can I have a copy?
  • How often do you drive the car?
  • Has the car been modified, and if so can you provide the details of these modifications?
  • Are you aware of any minor or major issues with the car, either presently or in the past?
  • Why are you selling the car?

5. Take the car out on the road

Before buying any new or used car, taking it for a test drive is imperative. The same goes for buying a classic car. Taking it for a spin is the only way to find out how it feels. Pay close attention as you drive. Consider how the brakes feel, if you notice any strange sounds or vibrations, and whether you can visualize yourself driving the car in future years.

6. Get the car inspected by a mechanic

Part of doing your due diligence when buying a car is having it inspected by a mechanic. With any car, especially a used car, you will want to make sure that it is in good condition before buying it. This is extremely important when buying a classic car that may be decades old. There are many horror stories of classic car owners having to spend tens of thousands of dollars to make their cars roadworthy, so be sure not to skip this step or you could end up spending a lot more than you thought on your new car. It’s also worth noting that if the seller is hesitant to let you hire a mechanic to inspect it, this could be a red flag.

7. Don’t forget about insurance

One final tip for buying a cheap classic car is to consider your insurance options. Car insurance is a must in Canada, but there are ways to make it cheaper. If you’re looking to spend less on a classic car, one way to do so is by taking advantage of the ways that you can save money on car insurance. Get started by contacting an insurance broker at BrokerLink who can explain how classic car insurance works. From there, a dedicated insurance advisor at BrokerLink can give you tips on how to save money on car insurance, such as by bundling home and auto policies, buying multiple auto insurance policies, enrolling in a driver’s education course, or installing a telematics device in your car.

Classic car insurance explained

Speaking of insurance, insuring a classic car is a vital step that should be taken immediately upon purchasing a classic car. That said, not all classic cars may qualify for car insurance. Further, even if your car qualifies, you might have trouble understanding what types of car insurance you need in your policy. That’s what BrokerLink is here for. Below, we explain classic car insurance qualifications, as well as the different types of auto insurance available to you.

Classic car insurance qualifications

One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when buying insurance is buying car insurance for a classic car that does not qualify for coverage. Qualifying for classic car insurance can be trickier than you think. Unlike with modern cars, not all old cars will qualify. In fact, in most cases, to qualify for classic car insurance, your classic car cannot be your primary vehicle, it can’t be driven more than 8,000 kilometres per year, and you must be at least 25 years of age at the time that you purchase insurance. To be able to insure your classic car, it must usually also be one of the following types of vehicles:

  • Collector and classic cars manufactured in 1979 or before:
    • Antique – cars built between 1896 to 1948
    • Classics – built between 1924 and 1948 featuring custom coachwork
    • Post-War – popular cars manufactured in the years following World War II
    • Muscle Cars – American made, V-8 engine cars made between 1968 and 1972
  • Collector trucks and SUVs that are 25 years or older (stock), or 15 years or older (modified)
  • Military vehicles – retired, demilitarized vehicles from 1985 and older
  • Classic and antique tractors – restored vintage models 30 years of age and older
  • Car trailers for vehicles and street rods
  • Retired commercial vehicles that are 25 years or older
  • Classic vehicles under construction for active restoration projects

To clarify, the following types of classic cars usually will not qualify for coverage:

  • Commercial-use vehicles
  • Motorcycles or scooters
  • Vehicles used for off-roading, camping, or utility purposes
  • Vehicles with 700 horsepower or greater (no matter whether they've been manufactured or modified)
  • Dune buggies
  • Motorhomes or recreational homes
  • Vehicles used for racing or autocross events
  • Vehicles that are highly customized for appearance and suspension

To find out if your classic car qualifies for insurance coverage, contact BrokerLink today. Otherwise, keep reading for a breakdown of some of the most common types of classic car insurance coverage.

What does classic car insurance cover?

Toronto car insurance coverage for cars ultimately varies as it depends on what coverages you choose to include with your policy. That said, assuming you qualify for coverage, your policy will need to include the mandatory coverages in your province at a bare minimum. In Ontario, basic car insurance looks like this:

Remember that car insurance is a legal requirement everywhere in Canada, whether you drive a classic car that dates back to the 1960s or a vehicle that was manufactured last year. The penalties are the same if you are caught driving without insurance in any type of vehicle. In Ontario, you could face fines of up to $25,000 for a first offence and up to $50,000 for a second offence, as well as the potential impoundment of your vehicle and suspension of your driver’s licence. Thus, purchasing car insurance is always the best course of action. Continue reading to find out how auto insurance covers your classic car.

Third party liability coverage

Third party liability coverage will protect your classic car if you get into an accident that you cause. With this type of coverage, your insurance company can pay for various costs associated with the at-fault accident, like legal fees, medical bills, and car repair bills.

Accident benefits coverage

Accident benefits coverage is another type of mandatory coverage that will pay for medical costs associated with an accident. No matter who caused the accident, if someone needs medical attention due to the collision, accident benefits can cover the cost. It can also help pay for funeral fees and lost income if someone is unable to work following the accident.

Direct compensation - property damage coverage

Direct compensation - property damage coverage will help pay to repair your vehicle if it is damaged in a collision. However, you cannot be found at fault for the accident in order to claim this type of coverage.

Uninsured automobile coverage

Uninsured automobile coverage is the final type of mandatory classic car insurance coverage in Ontario. It covers drivers if they get into an accident with another motorist who does not have adequate insurance. They may not have sufficient coverage to cover the cost of the accident or they may not have any car insurance at all (i.e. they are driving illegally). Another scenario that uninsured automobile coverage covers is hit and run accidents. If you do not know the identity of the driver because they fled the scene after crashing into you, this type of coverage can help pay for the costs of the accident.

Collision coverage

Collision car coverage is a type of optional coverage that may be worth adding to your classic car insurance policy, especially if your car is very valuable. Collision coverage is optional but will pay for the cost of major repairs or replacing your car if it is totalled in an accident. The accident can be with another vehicle, an animal, or even a grounded object.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive car coverage is another type of optional auto insurance that may be worthwhile for classic car owners, especially if your classic car spends time in storage. Why? Due to the fact that comprehensive coverage is designed to protect parked vehicles from damage. That is why it is sometimes known as parked car coverage.

This type of coverage can protect your car from losses or damage while parked. Only specific types of damage, also known as insured perils, will be covered. These most commonly include theft, vandalism, fire, falling and flying objects, explosions and riots, and weather-related incidents, like wind and water.

Accident forgiveness coverage

One more type of optional car insurance coverage popular among drivers is accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy as an endorsement, to protect your driving record and to help prevent your insurance premium from increasing if you have an at-fault accident claim. Note: coverage and eligibility varies by province.

Contact BrokerLink

On the hunt for a cheap classic car? BrokerLink can help. One of the best ways to reduce the cost of buying and owning a vehicle is by qualifying for a lower car insurance rate. As auto insurance experts, the BrokerLink team can give you advice on the many ways that you can lower your premium. For instance, we can make you aware of discounts you didn’t even know you were eligible for and ensure that you only buy the coverage you actually need. Learn more about BrokerLink’s car insurance services, which include classic car insurance, by getting in touch today. You can also request free classic car or any other insurance quotes using our online quote tool, or by giving us a call or visiting one of our 200+ locations in person.

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