Car enthusiasts are typically easy to spot because they often have project cars. It`s the goal of everyone who has a keen interest in automobiles – to buy an old car and restore it to its former glory, or to do all the things to it you can`t do to your everyday vehicle. Buying a project car is typically an investment, with most people looking to make money on the car. If you`re thinking of buying an old car and fixing it up so it`s road worthy again, think again. It`s not quite the simple journey that garages would have you believe. Before you take the plunge and buy your first project car, bear the following four things in mind.
A lot of people assume that a project car is a quick thing – buy the car, book it in at the garage, spend a few weekends under the hood and sell it on within a month – but this isn`t the case. Depending on the car you`re buying and how much work it needs doing, and what your plans are for it, you could find that you`re stuck with it with a lot longer than a few weeks.
For those who work to finance their car hobby, it`s likely that you will need to dedicate a longer period of time to fixing the car up. If you have a family or personal responsibilities, this will also greatly impede on how fast you are able to get the work done.
Time is an essential thing to factor in when buying a project car, especially if you need money from the re-sale quickly and are not in a position to play the long game. Of course, if you plan on keeping the car rather than selling it on, this won`t be an issue and you will have the luxury of unlimited time on your side.
Leading on from time, you need to think about money. Now, if you`ve bought a project car, the likelihood is that you`ll have a steady income or a savings pot to dedicate to the project. This is good, but it might not cover it all. Cars are sometimes like houses – you never truly know what you`re going to get until you get up close and personal. You can do all the scoping out you like at the garage, but until you start digging around and making improvements, you can never be sure of what`s awaiting you.
On top of this, certain cars will naturally cost more to work on. For example, BMW parts are more expensive than Ford parts, and Range Rover parts will set you back a lot more than Honda parts. You likely already know this, but it`s worth keeping in mind if you`re taking on an extensive renovation on a high-end car model.
You might be super keen on buying a project car and have all the time and money to throw into the project, but if you have nowhere to store the car during the modification process, it`s not a viable venture. If you live alone with plenty of space on your driveway or in your garage, no problem! If you live with other people and parking is already tight, it could be considered selfish to get a project car and park it at home.
This doesn`t necessarily mean you absolutely can`t take on the project, it just means you might have to budget to rent out a garage instead.
4. End Goal
It`s so easy to get carried away when you start modifying a car. Plans for some tinted windows, a new grill and LED lights can quickly turn into lowering the vehicle, having to replace all the wheels and tires as a result, and adding modified bumpers/spoilers to complete the look.
Before you get carried away, remember the end goal (and keep modification laws in mind, too). If you don`t want to sell the car on, you can do all the mods you like, but if you intend on selling it as a usable, day-to-day vehicle, you might have to train yourself in the art of self-discipline before you buy the car.
These are just a few of the tips you should consider before buying a project car. Have you been convinced, or will you be waiting until a little later to satisfy your car mod itch?