Sell Your Classic Car

Do you have a rare classic car you are trying to sell? Find out how to get top dollar for your cherished ride.
If you have a classic or exotic car that you want to sell or trade, there are many services that specialize in buying your car. While you can certainly sell or trade your vehicle at a dealership, companies that focus on rare cars know more about what the market will bear and might be able to get you more for your prized beauty.
Classic Car Values
Antique or classic car values are based on many factors including using historical sale prices and reviewing current trends and sales figures for similar vehicles.

If you are considering selling your classic, first do your research on the value of your car. You'll find an excellent exotic car value calculator at and another that is more specific to collector's cars at
For rare classic and exotic collector's cars, 70 percent are sold through private sales, 20 percent through auctions, and 10 percent through dealerships. As you might expect, with so many variables at play, it is difficult to appraise what your car may be worth. So, when selling a classic or exotic car, it is best to use several different online value calculators to do a cross-reference of your vehicle's current value. The following list is provided by American Collectors Insurance, and it includes reputable free sources to estimate your car's worth:
  • offers a tool that allows users to find an accurate classic car value online by comparing classic and collector car valuation data from both online and offline sources.
    The classic car valuation prices are based on the specific vehicle year, make, model, vehicle trim and included factory options of a classic or collector car. Data comes from acclaimed publishers like Old Cars Report Price Guide, NADA,, Hemmings and Collector Car Market Review.
  • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
    The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA Guides) is a trusted, comprehensive source that has created the searchable NADA Guides - Classic & Collectible Car Values to provide an online tool to quickly estimate the Low Retail, Average Retail and High Retail values of classic and collectible cars based on the specific vehicle year, make, model, vehicle trim and included factory options.
  • Collector Car Market Review (CCMR)
    Collector Car Market Review compiles auction, sales reports, classified listings and other proprietary data sources to estimate values in their VMR Collector Car & Truck Price Guide estimating car value using a 5-Level Condition Guide. 
    CAARGUIDE.COM is another online resource that uses a proprietary Classic Automobiles Appraisal and Resource Guide to estimate values of collectible and classic cars using its valuation scale.

Historical Vehicle Auction Sale Prices
CLASSIC.COM - Classic and Exotic Car Market Trends and Historical Prices - Historical Vehicle Auction Trends: Values by Year - Auction Results by Year/Make/Model
Available Inventory - Vehicles Listed for Sale - Private Party Classic Car Classifieds
Hemmings - Vehicle Classifieds
Autotrader - Classic Cars for Sale - Private Party Collector Car Classifieds
Available Inventory - Online Vehicle Auctions
Bring a Trailer - Vintage and Classic Cars for Sale Online
AutoHunter - Classic and Modern Collectible Cars Available for Auction
eBay Motors - Classic Cars and Trucks for Sale

Prepare the Sale

Private sale
If you have decided to sell your classic car yourself through a car auction or a private buyer, here are a few tips to help you get top dollar.
Make repairs
People who buy an exotic or classic car expect the vehicle to perform properly and not have any outstanding mechanical issues, especially if they are paying top dollar for the car. Before putting it up for sale, take your car to your mechanic and have the vehicle looked over from top to bottom. If there are repairs you choose not to have made, at least you can make sure the buyer knows about the car's imperfections.
Be Honest
That leads us to being honest about the condition of the car. If it has any rust or mechanical issues, come clean about them. Not only is this the right thing to do, but hiding potential problems is the fastest way to lose a possible sale. No one wants to be assured that a vehicle is in perfect shape only to drive out to see it and discover problems. Think how you'd feel.
Detail the Car
Whether you handle this yourself or hire a service, you need the vehicle to look it's best. After all, you're going to take a bunch of photos of it for your ad. Again, nobody wants to come out to see a car to find it covered in dust, grime, and cobwebs. That might be okay on American Pickers, but if you're trying to get top dollar for your classic, it must be immaculate. It shows the buyer that you truly care about the vehicle. You want the potential buying to be stunned by how gorgeous the car is.
Photos help sell the Car
The Internet is a visual world, and you'll want the best images possible to help sell your classic or exotic vehicle. If you are taking the photos yourself, make sure the background is uncluttered so the car can be seen to its best potential. Golden Hour at the end of the day offers the best lighting to make the car "pop."
Take lots of photos. Place the camera close to the ground to make the vehicle look stunning. Walk around the vehicle for both stills and video to show every angle. Take pictures inside the car as well to show how well maintained it is. Shoot photos of the engine too.
If you are using a smartphone, turn the phone horizontally so we can see the entire car. Shoot profiles of each side as well as the front and rear. Think about what you would like to see if you were buying the car. Don't forget to take a photo of the odometer reading to prove mileage.

Setting the Price

Having looked through the prices for similar cars online, access the value based on your research. Find out what other cars like yours are being sold for in the marketplace. Look at the highest and lowest prices being asked for cars like yours and be honest about the value.
Most people set a price that is a bit higher than what they are willing to take so there is room for negotiation with buyers.
Writing an Ad
No one wants to read a novel about your car. When writing an ad, focus on getting forth the most amount of information in the fewest words. Look at other car ads that work and follow suit with yours. Make sure to list the year, make and model, special features and trim level, current mileage, and condition. If the car is super rare, tell us how many were manufactured. If it is one-of-a-kind, tell us why. Again, think of what you would want to know if you were buying the car.
When listing the vehicle, don't forget that there are excellent social media pages and forums dedicated to your car's make and model. Join online car clubs and use them to get the word out on your beauty.