Choosing a Classic Car Price Guide

Whether you are selling or buying a classic car, you need to use a classic car price guide to help you determine the approximate value of the vehicle. The challenge arises because there are dozens of potential guides and pricing models. To be sure the price you locate will be close to market value of the vehicle, use a nationally recognized guide to help set the price of your classic car. 

Collector Car Price Guide

Each year, the Collector Car Price Guide publishes an index of prices for different collectible vehicles. This index is fairly all-encompassing, and it is written and published by collector car fanatics. You can purchase the index from most box stores or through popular Internet bookstores like Be sure you are selecting the most recent guide, since prices do fluctuate each year. The major fall back on this guide is it is written by collectors for collectors. When you are dealing with an individual who is not a collector, you may find a different valuation than the one presented in this book. In this case, you may want to opt for a more traditional car pricing model.

NADA Guide

The National Auto Dealers Association publishes vehicle prices on used cars through one model: the average cost of the car at auction. This measure, then, gives you the most accurate assessment of what the vehicle is actually worth based on what people have paid for it. The actual price and the collector's price may be very different due to a limited market of buyers. If you have a hard time finding someone to buy your car, you may have to sell it for below the collector price. On the other hand, if there are plenty of buyers compared to the number of available vehicles, the NADA value may be above the collector's value. 

Kelley Blue Book

The Kelley Blue Book is an index of car prices estimated based on the original value of the car plus other factors such as condition, mileage and special features. This is a great option to use if your collector car has upgrades and features that are not available in most options. Similarly, if you plan on purchasing a car that needs a lot of work, the Kelley Blue Book can estimate the cost of the car in its current state and in its estimated repaired state. This option, then, is great for specific vehicles rather than just a make and model.

Choosing the Best Option

Most often, an investor who is spending a large sum on a collectible car will want to review prices from as many sources as possible to determine its approximate market value. It is wise to use all three price guides to gain an idea of the range of prices you should be able to purchase and sell a car for. Each potential buyer or seller may be using a different pricing index than you. Try consulting as many as possible so you know where the other individual is coming from.

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