Expert advice

Expert Advice: Buying a Classic Car on Catawiki

The market for classic cars is stronger than ever, which means that this is the time to buy. But how can you tell what to invest in? Had you bought an Aston Martin DB5 25 years ago, you would have seen its value increase almost tenfold. Making the right investments today can be a fantastic investment for the future. Sander Houdel, one of our in-house classic cars experts, has used his 15+ years of experience in the field to develop a guide to purchasing your very own classic car on Catawiki. Read on to discover our expert's top tips for buying a classic car at Catawiki and try them out for yourself.

What Kind of Cars Can You Find on Catawiki?

At Catawiki we auction special classic cars, modern classics, supercars and modern collectibles. But what do we mean by special? The cars we sell are unique, rare or in an exceptionally good condition. The selection of cars we have in our auctions come in various different price ranges. We offer exclusive classic cars and supercars for higher budgets like Ferraris, Porsches and Jaguar E-types and a diverse selection of classics from nearly all brands in our regular Classic Car auction. For anyone looking for a project, we offer a weekly Barn Finds auction where you'll discover special cars in need of some restoration and love.


Our In-House Experts

We mentioned a team of in-house classic car experts, but who are they and what’s their role in the auctions? We employ a team of in-house experts in every auction category who have the necessary education and experience in the field to evaluate every object offered up for auction and curate the highest-quality, most diverse auctions possible. Our classic car experts review every classic car offered up by sellers to determine if it’s suitable for auction. This means checking the quality, authenticity, and condition. They then hand-select every car to be included in the auctions and curate our weekly Classic Car auctions


Two of our classic car experts: Sander Houdel and André Dekker

Placing Bids

You only need to have an account to start placing bids. You can create one for free to get started.

There are 2 types of bids that can you can place: manual and automatic. A manual bid will raise the bid to whatever amount you enter immediately. An automatic bid will raise the bid by the next minimum increment until the amount you enter is reached. This ensures that you remain the highest bidder until your maximum is reached; we do the work for you!

After the Auction

If your bid is the highest when the auction closes and the reserve price has been met, you’re the winner! We offer a unique payment method which protects both buyers and sellers. Once your payment is submitted, we put you in touch with the seller to arrange the shipment or pickup of your classic car. The seller is only paid out after you receive your classic car in good order. If there are ever any problems, we have a dedicated Customer Support team standing by to assist in 7 languages.


Tips From the Experts

Tip 1: Do your Homework

Although paperwork may be tedious, ask for the maintenance records from recent years and, if you buy a car from another country, always check that all necessary documents for import are provided, and that the car is actually allowed in your country. Remember - on Catawiki you'll find cars from across the globe! And don’t forget the transport costs of the car in your budget. Before placing a bid, research import laws and transport costs or ask for advice about rules and regulations for import and export.

Tip 2: Sourcing

Seen a car in our auctions you're interested in? Don’t go in blind. Contact our experts if you have important questions about the vehicle. And when all your questions are answered, visit the car and take a test drive. Make sure you take someone with you who really knows their cars because two sets of eyes see more than one, and this can prevent wasted time and nasty surprises. At Catawiki, all lots are reviewed by our team of in-house classic car experts before being included in the auctions, so you can browse and bid with confidence.

Tip 3: Background Checks

A classic car requires specific maintenance and often has a long history of owners, so bear this in mind and make sure you get your choice of car properly assessed before a purchase. If you see rust, be alert!

Tip 4: Set a Budget

Remember that a classic car has to fit your budget. Driving and maintaining a classic car will cost you money as well. For the more modest budgets, cult cars such as the Citroen 2CVVolkswagen BeetleFiat 500 and a number of Mercedes models are a very safe option and are offered regularly on our Classic Car auctions. They are very reliable and parts are easy to get for these cars. Additionally, they're not very complicated to maintain yourself.

Tip 5: Buy a Classic Car as an Investment

Each classic car is unique and has its own story. More and more people are investing in classic cars as they know they increase in value over time. In some cases the value of certain classic cars surpasses the price of gold, making the market for classic cars interesting for both buyers and sellers right now. The originality of a classic car is the most important factor for determining value. The current trend shows that modern classics (like the GTI & Turbo 80s) are gaining in value by renewing the market and its audience. Italian and English prestigious classic sporting brands are still popular and continue to be fascinating no matter what, whereas pre-war models (apart from certain exceptional brands) suffer from the demographic decline of their admirers.

Stuck on what to invest in? Air-cooled type 911 Porsches have greatly increased in value recently. The prices of pre-1997 models have stabilised, so these are a good bet. Never underestimate the power of a Ferrari – they do well on all accounts, and will always increase in value. In fact, the top ten most expensive cars sold on Catawiki are all Ferraris. The old Volkswagen T1 vans also do very well. Some models, such as the Samba 3x rollover have gone up in price in the past 10 years. Not surprisingly, classics from the 80s such as the BMW M3 or Audi Ur Quattro also do well in terms of value. 


As long as you maintain a classic car, or even improve it, you can make a profit. Any classic car you can't purchase new in stores is valuable. No room for a car? Then consider a Classic Motorcycle. Their values are booming as well.

The classic car market has outperformed most other forms of alternative investments and now it’s your turn to be the owner of the next up and coming showstopper.

Like what you see? All photos in this article are of lots that have been in Catawiki's weekly Classic Car auctions. Have a look for yourself or register to become a seller and offer up classic from your own collection for auction.

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