October 18, 2023

How to Finance a Classic Car Restoration

While it depends on a lot of different factors, the average classic car restoration is likely to take about 1,000 hours of serious work. Returning a vintage vehicle to pristine condition isn’t cheap either.

Once you’ve bought the car, either from a dealer, private seller or at auction, the next step you need to consider is how to plan the restoration. If it’s a full restore, you could be looking at many thousands of pounds before your pride and joy is ready to hit the road for the first time.

Here the team at White’s Bodyworks look at different ways to finance your classic car restoration project and get it off the ground.

Budgeting Your Classic Car Restoration

Before you start, you’ll need a realistic idea of how much the restoration is going to cost you. Ideally, this should be done before you buy the car. If you’re a novice, it’s a good idea to partner with someone who knows what they are doing and who can advise on what elements require repair and restoration.

You not only need to look at what new parts you’ll have to put in, repairs to bodywork and the like but where you are going to carry out the restoration and if you are going to use specialist classic car garage services for some parts of the work.

Having a clear idea of the cost and the time it’s going to take to complete the restoration is critical and, the more focused you can be, the better you’ll be able to manage the financing in the long term.

If you’ve got plenty of time and you’re not in a hurry, you can spread out your classic car restoration over a longer period and split the work into sections, concentrating on finding financing (either by savings or through loans) for each job as you move through. This can, however, be pretty laborious, particularly if you are thinking of selling it for a profit after you have finished.

Using Your Savings

The simplest option is to use the savings that you have. If you have plenty put by, then this is the best way forward as you don’t have to pay interest on any loans.

This may depend on whether the value of the car is likely to compensate you for the money you have spent in restoration, should you decide to sell it. If it’s a labour of love and passion, this doesn’t matter so much. If you’re trying to make a profit, it’s critical.

Most people will use some of their savings and then part finance their restoration in various ways. Check out these tips from manversusworld.com on restoring a vintage vehicle on a budget.

Personal Bank Loan

The most direct option if you need to finance your project is to apply for a personal loan from the bank. If you have a good credit rating and can afford it, you can get up to £25,000 but a lot will also depend on the age of the car, what condition it is in and the plan you have in place for the restoration.

Pay as You Go and Hire Purchase

Some companies do offer hire purchase arrangements when you buy a classic car that can include financing for restorations. This differs from personal loans in that the company providing the financing retains ownership of the vehicle until the agreement is paid off. You can also opt for a deferred final payment that eases the cost of the loan throughout the early months of repayment.

Specialist companies such as Pegasus Finance and Magnitude Finance offer this type of service.

Classic Car Financing

Equity release can be an option here and this is often a good way to go if you have another high-value car or other property that you can set your financing against. The great news is that there are specialist companies that provide financing for classic cars, including helping to fund restoration projects. Here are just a few:

  • Classic Motor Finance: Based in Kent and backed by Sterling Capital Finance, this company has more than 20 years of experience in the marketplace and a flexible approach for classic car owners.
  • JBR Capital: This company is based in London and provides a range of equity release and refinancing options for vintage car enthusiasts.
  • Ignition Credit: As with many specialist finance companies, this Cornwall-based company offers loans for buying and restoring classic vehicles.

Is Crowd Funding an Option?

Crowdfunding is a nice idea and has been around for some years now, but is it a viable option if you want to raise financing for classic car restoration?

A lot is going to depend on your ability to market your proposal and find the right people to contribute. Most crowdfunding endeavours fail because they are not properly thought out and don’t attract attention.

The big problem is that you could spend an awful lot of your time trying to get your crowdfunding off the ground with little or no results, even if you are an ace at personal marketing. Some classic car geeks do in part fund their operations through having a strong online presence on sites such as YouTube but these are the exception rather than the rule.

Why Partner with White’s Bodyworks

One of the key factors in any successful classic car restoration is the partner that you choose to help you along the way.

At White’s Bodyworks, we have nearly 30 years of experience in helping classic car owners with everything from engine refits and welding to resprays and rust repair. We know that there are some jobs that you want to do yourself but there are also others that require specialist input. That’s where we come in.

Our amazing classic car restoration team are here to work with you and provide the support that you are looking for at a competitive cost. Over the years, we’ve helped with the restoration of a wide range of vintage vehicles from Austin Healeys and MG Midgets to a 1949 Allard M-Type.

Check out our portfolio of work here.


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