7 Tips to Help You Afford to Buy and Repair Your Project Car This Year
Did you grow up working on cars or find yourself taking toys apart and putting them back together? If so, you probably consider yourself an auto enthusiast or mechanic at heart. You probably even have or want to have a project car.
Finding the means to own and work on a car as a hobby can be difficult, especially when you have a family to support or a job that requires a truck. But if you have gears in your heart, it can be almost impossible to avoid the desire to own a car to tinker or rebuild.
If you find having a project car rewarding, but struggle to find the extra nickels and dimes to pay for one, there are ways you can save money. Whether you’re looking into your first hobby car or your seventh, use these tips to help you afford the car and those parts, fillers, and other supplies you need to keep it running and looking great.
Don't Buy Your Project Car Locally
While you can find some great deals in your neighbourhood, city, or state, don’t restrict your search to finding a car locally. Check places like eBay or Carvana to see if you can find the same model in a similar condition elsewhere. Even if you don’t purchase your car from these websites, they can help you decide if the listed price is fair.
If you decide to buy online, don’t hesitate to ask for extra pictures. If you notice an area that may have rust, ask for a closeup so you can accurately assess the extent of the damage.
Hint: Rust is one of the biggest headaches when it comes to project cars.
Don't Buy Someone Else's Failed Project
If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, you’ve probably been told not to buy a bobber, but have you heard that failed project cars have the same issues? Sometimes, the more someone knows the project car they’re selling you, the more risk associated with the vehicle. Watch for signs like their explanation of what they tried and how it failed. It’s likely that if they struggled, so will you.
Rent or Lease Your Primary Vehicle
If you need a minivan or sedan for the family, that’s reasonable. But you may not need to buy a brand new one. In fact, studies show most Americans can’t afford to buy a new car, so don’t feel pressured to buy new. When shopping for your primary vehicle, consider leasing or buying used. If you have mechanical skills, you can spot and address issues that may arise from a used car. And if you lease, you can always take the option to buy.
If you need a work truck, talk to your boss about renting work trucks to save money. Renting a fleet vehicle can save you the cost of insurance and the upfront cost of a truck.
Check Price and Availability of Parts
That 1974 Chevy Caramo may seem like an excellent deal, but can you find affordable parts to help bring it back to life? You will want to research where to find parts and how much they’ll cost. If you have to have them shipped, it can add a lot to your budget over a year.
Find a trustworthy car forum for people that just love the model of car you’re purchasing. Spend a week or so asking well-thought-out valuable questions. This will also provide you with a resource if you hit some hiccups along the road to having a show-worthy restoration.
Find A Buddy to Work Alongside and Share Tools With
While you should always invest in the best tools that will last forever, sometimes you just can’t afford one of those tools you will only use once or twice. Taht’s ok. This is when your engine-brained buddies can come in handy.
Invite your buddy over for some beers and engine work. You can also learn a lot from other hobbyists so you don’t make their same mistakes while having a great time. Nothing beats connecting with another experience car restorer. You can always meet new people at local car shows if you’re lacking those gear-head friends.
Ready To Buy and Repair Your Project Car?
From headlight restoration to sanding off body rust, you will need to spend some money on your project car. But if you plan ahead, you can anticipate and even reduce the cost.
If you’re looking for ways to afford a car you can restore back to its shining glory, you need to set a reasonable budget, be aware of national car values, and do your research. Becoming part of the car restoration club can be rewarding and keep prized vehicles out of the junkyard.