The question I get asked the most from customers is “where do you buy your cars?”.

The answer is that we buy our cars from private individuals, classic car dealers and auction houses, both online and in person.

I buy with my heart, rather than my head. In other words, I have to like and want the car as part of our collection, not just because it is a practical wedding car. Whilst most of the time this seems to work, I do have form for sending the rest of the team some ‘interesting’ selections. All I’m saying is, there’s nothing wrong with a multicoloured Rolls Royce to add to the collection.

An example of buying with my heart, rather than head would be the purchase of our beautiful 1970 Morris Minor Convertible. Maybe not the most obvious choice but I turned down the offer of a more glamorous Rolls Royce Silver Shadow because it didn’t have the same appeal.

There is no right or wrong way to buying a classic car at auction but here are my tips to hopefully making the perfect purchase ...

  • Grab a bottle of red wine.
  • Research current prices of the model that you wish to buy.
  • Try and preview the car prior to auction.
  • Open the bottle of red wine.
  • Take a mechanic or someone you trust with you.
  • Pour the mechanic or someone you trust a glass of red wine.
  • Check for obvious flaws, rust spots, damage etc.
  • Ask to hear the engine running.
  • Ask the auctioneers any questions.
  • Then give the auctioneers some wine.
  • Check the auctioneers commission.
  • Check all documentation - every car will have a file.
  • On auction day, put a limit on what you are happy to pay and stick to it (allowing for any auctioneers commissions). If I showed my wife this one, she’d laugh at me. I don’t think I’ve stuck to this one once.
  • Do not get distracted by other bidders or other cars. Unless the other bidders or the other cars look nice.
  • Finish the bottle of wine.
  • Most importantly, do not bid against Oxted Classics!

As I said, we’ve also bought from private individuals. Most of whom absolutely love it when we tell them that their car is going to be used as a wedding car or for people to take on weekends away. It’s quite important to us and a lot of classic car owners that these beauties are actually driven rather than stored away in a garage. The pleasure is not only for the driver driving the classic but also so many people that these cars pass in traffic, along the high street or at a fuel station. There’s always a smile and a story to tell and that’s potentially what we love the most about what we do.

If you’re reading this and you have a classic car to sell or know someone who does, please get in touch. We’d love to take a look and see if it fits in with our fleet. Who knows, there may be a glass of wine in it for you.

Alec

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