What Are Restored Vehicles And How To Buy One?

December 1, 2022
Advice, Automotive

When buying a car, there are many options, including original classic cars, sport-utility vehicles, sedans, sports cars, convertibles, station wagons, and crossover utility vehicles, among many others. Your choice primarily depends on the intended use, cost implications, performance, safety, and return on investment. Another vehicle type popular among car enthusiasts is restored vehicles.

This guide defines restored vehicles and the factors to consider when buying one. Read on below:

Meaning Of Restored Vehicles

Restored vehicles are classic cars that have been revamped using new parts manufactured to the original specs or original factory parts. Some older cars manufactured more than 25 years ago bear significant historical interest, and car dealers see it fit to restore them instead of scraping them. An example is the Jaguar E-Type from the 1960s, the most renowned British sports car known for its long nose and sweeping body panels.

The usual aim is to recondition the car to optimal functionality without considerably altering its interior and exterior looks. It’s best to source the original car parts for the restoration project, but that’s not always possible because of prohibitive time and cost implications. For this reason, most vehicle refurbishment firms opt for new parts manufactured to the initial specifications.

How To Buy

Given you’re not buying a new car straight from the factory, it’d help to be a bit more cautious. Restoration implies the vehicle had already been used and is now being revamped to function like it used to. So, use the following tips to buy a restored car:

Choose A Renowned Refurbishment Shop

Buying a restored vehicle from a reliable company is the most guaranteed approach to saving yourself from the typical pitfalls, hassles, and headaches of such a purchase. Remember, the quality of the restored vehicle is as good as the mechanic doing the job. A firm with a verifiable track record of rebuilding cars to premium quality standards will most likely uphold its reputation by doing a good restoration job on every vehicle they handle. For instance, this video shows how ECD Automotive Design restores Jaguar E-Types and why they’re an award-winning restoration company.

So, do in-depth research and shortlist high-potential car restorers you can work with. You may want to check reviews from verified buyers and independent car-buying sites. If you choose a company without thorough due diligence, you may fall prey to imposter mechanics who do a shoddy cosmetic overhaul. Buying such a restored vehicle isn’t prudent because it can quickly deteriorate and become non-functional.

Tag Along A Professional Mechanic

When buying a restored classic car, try as much as possible to tone down the emotions. The excitement that comes with the purchase may dupe you into basing your decision on the vehicle’s looks. Fraudulent restorers know this too well and take advantage of innocent, unsuspecting buyers. That’s especially when you purchase restored cars over the internet. The lovely pictures you see on the listing may not be a true representation of the vehicle’s soundness.

It’d help to conduct an exhaustive assessment of the vehicle’s functionality. And that’s where a professional mechanic comes in. Of course, you may have to pay them for the service, but it’s worth it. An expert can test-drive the restored vehicle and evaluate its roadworthiness. They can also point out potential issues with the repaired car and alert you. You can proceed with the purchase if the concerns are minor. But if the underlying problems are likely to cost you a lot of money in repairs, you’d better drop the purchase mission because it’s not worth it.

Specify Your Desired Customization Options

You may want to have some input on the customization features you’d like included in the restored vehicle. It’s usually not the mechanic ultimately dictating how to modify the car. So, consider the modern features you may want in the classic vehicle to meet your taste. For instance, you may want to upgrade it to comply with current local emission standards for your area of residence. Besides, you may wish to change or include the following:

  • Body color
  • High-performance engine
  • Geographical Positioning Systems (GPS)
  • Airbags
  • Modern Braking Systems
  • Sound system

Sit down with the restoration guru and highlight all your desires. They’ll advise you on what’s possible and what’s not. They’ll also fill you in on cost implications. Typically, the more modern features you add, the higher the costs.


The thought of buying a restored vehicle is excellent and prudent. You’re just about to own one of the revered old-time classics but with modern functionality. However, you must understand that restored vehicles aren’t entirely new. Thus, you must be extra careful to ascertain that the restoration job was carried out to the highest quality standards. Enlisting professional help would be of great help.