Considering Investing in a Classic Car?

Written by Wendy Keith on June 22, 2017

We know that owning a classic car is a love affair. The countless hours of TLC that you put in, so you can enjoy those summer months of care-free cruising.

While owning a classic car is usually a good investment, there are some financial costs to consider before making that leap. Newcomers to the collector car scene or those who just acquired their first classic car often ponder, what is the true cost of owning a vintage vehicle?

Just as any other vehicle, there will be the required maintenance, which brings an ongoing cost for the duration that you’ll own the car. After all, classic cars don’t come with a 100km, 5-year bumper to bumper warranty. So, anything that needs to be done, adjusted, or repaired will come out of pocket.

Here’s a quick list of some of the costs to keep in mind when owning (and operating) a classic car.

  1. Storage

    Not everyone who owns a classic car has the luxury of having the extra space required for the North American reality of winter storage. It’s a must with Canadian winters, but if you find yourself without a properly insulated/heated garage, you’re likely going to have to find somewhere safe, secure, dry, and free of vermin to store your car for the winter. This is one of those small and recurring temporary, but necessary costs, which will run you anywhere from $50/mo. - $200/mo., depending on the facility.
  2. Upkeep and Maintenance

    We know that the upkeep of classic cars is one of the joys of having them. Spending hours engulfed in the soothing mindset that is old school mechanics. Tinkering with this or that while using the ol’ proverbial elbow grease to get your car just the way you want.

    Should you need to perform a repair, something to keep in mind is that the original model-specific parts for your car are not available at your local Canadian Tire. And authentic numbered pieces will likely cost you a hefty premium when you do find them. This quickly escalates the cost of owning a classic car. After all, we want increase, or at least maintain, the value of our vehicle and not devalue it through our attempts of maintaining it.
  3. Usage

    For many, the obvious purpose of having a classic car is to be able to take it out and show it off. Classic cars aren’t the epitome of economical gas consumption, so getting your car anywhere is likely going to cost a pretty penny considering today’s increasing gas prices.

    Depending on the history and maintenance, classic cars may not be mechanically reliable. This said, we have to think of how hard we want to push our cars.

    Think about it. If you own a classic muscle car, you’ll of course want to unleash the vintage fury or the 375+ horsepower engine that made the vehicle a classic in the first place. Just keep in mind the mechanical risks that come with pushing a car with that amount of power.

  4.  Insurance and Registration

    It’s a legal requirement in Ontario to have your car registered and insured if you’re going to be driving it at all. Depending on the type of classic vehicle you own, registration and insurance costs will vary. Although they are not primary costs, and definitely less costly that their daily driver counterparts, they are still recurring costs to keep in mind.

    Beyond the legal requirements, it’s your baby, so insuring your vehicle is a smart way of protecting your investment should something go awry.

    Simply keep these costs in mind when making an investment in your first classic vehicle to ensure years of classic car pleasure and to avoid any financial surprises.


Happy owning.

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