What’s My Classic Car Worth? – How to Choose an Appraiser

This post is an edited excerpt from the book “Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting and Investing in Classic Cars” by Jason Paynter, who is also a certified appraiser of classic cars through G.D. Herring. Contact Jason today at jason@gdherring.com to learn more about he can help you with your classic car appraisal!


How an appraiser can help you

One of the many advantages of using an appraiser is reducing conflict between buyers and sellers when it comes to price. Another is helping to value the car properly for insurance purposes. A third is that a bank might require it if you are taking a loan out to purchase the car. And finally, you may just want an appraisal for yourself as owner of the car. True “classic cars” often appreciate in value over time – something we’ve seen in the market recently – and it can be fun (and sometimes lucrative) to learn one of your classics has gained a bit of value. To that point, it’s a good idea to have cars in worthwhile condition appraised every few years. Not only will you know the market value of the car, you can also make sure you are carrying the right amount of insurance.

How to choose an appraiser

So once you’ve decided to work with an appraiser, how do you choose one? It’s best to go with an appraiser who is certified and practices ethics and standards provided by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). That’s just a starting place. You’ll also want to make sure your appraiser has experience and knowledge of the car(s) you’re looking to value. Obviously you want someone who is honest and does good work.

Where to find an appraiser

If you know other classic car collectors, getting referrals is always a good idea. I’d also recommend talking to appraisers at classic car shows. Meeting someone in person is an excellent way to get a feel for their style and how they do business. In my personal experience, I’ve always been happy with appraisers (and mechanics and other technicians for that matter) who gave a “good feeling” when I met them in person. If someone seems uncredible or I don’t like how they interact, I don’t do business with them, plain and simple.


Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and enthusiast. In addition to being the author of the book, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, he also hosts the Classic Car Corner podcast, on iTunes, Spotify and all your other favorite outlets. He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) of driving age. Jason is also a certified appraiser and would be more than happy to assist in helping valuate your collection or answer any of your questions about cars. Email him at jason@gdherring.com.

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