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Appraisals and why do I need one? Featured Item
If you currently own or are thinking of owning a classic or custom vehicle, an appraisal or pre-purchase inspection is recommended. Need one? No problem, contact me for this service .


Although I had been doing collector car appraisals for several years, I met Jeff Locke with International Vehicle Appraisers Network a few years ago and he convinced me I should attend his certification course and become a member of I-VAN. (See www.i-van.org)  I received my formal vehicle appraisal certification from Jeff and have participated as an I-VAN member. These guys are a great resource for any appraisal.

Protect your investment of Time and Money. There are a great many insurance companies that will cover your collector car with Comprehensive and Collision coverage. However, many will tell you that your vehicle will be covered for actual cash value or book value (ie: they decide what your vehicle is worth at the time of a claim) unless you provide an appraisal. The best way to be sure that your car is protected properly is to have a professional appraisal on file with your insurance company and have an endorsement to your policy indicating the type and/or amount of coverage your vehicle has. Not all companies offer this coverage; however, our appraisals are accepted by all insurance companies that do offer this coverage. Our appraisal will also be of immense help if you're hit by the driver of some other insurance company or if that driver is uninsured. Without an appraisal an unqualified person who is unfamiliar with your vehicle may be determining how much you're going to collect at the time of a loss. Important: did you know that during restoration in your own garage your vehicle is NOT covered for fire/theft under your homeowners policy? (only your automobile policy protects your car) Protect your investment!

Be sure you and your insurance company know how they define Stated Value or Agreed Value. These terms are extremely important if a claim is presented. While your insurance company may really have the best intentions on your behalf, someone other company may give you grief if an accident takes place. Your appraisal will prove to the OTHER INSURANCE COMPANY just what the value of your vehicle is.

Selling a Collector Vehicle:
An appraisal can be a tremendous help when selling a collector vehicle. First, it eliminates a lot of haggling or negotiating because the vehicles market value has been established. Secondly, offering the vehicle for sale at 5-10% below the appraised value makes a prospective buyer think hes getting quite a bargain. Third, a qualified buyer can use the appraisal to get a loan from his bank, and other lending institutions, to assist in buying your vehicle (many financial institutions will loan up to 80% of our appraised value).
The value of your collector vehicle helps to increase your net worth.
The IRS requires an appraisal for any gift to a charity or eligible museum, etc. Further, the appraiser must complete and sign the appropriate IRS forms before you can take a tax deduction for your donation. We have helped many museums and charities receive vehicle donations and helped the donors receive their proper tax deduction with the correct paperwork.
Because your collector vehicle has value it is part of your estate. Our appraisal helps prevent your heirs from being ripped off when they try to sell your vehicles). It will also help your heirs determine how to divide your estate fairly. Larger estates facing estate taxes can protect against overpayment of taxes.
Yes, the D word. Don't ever let a court or an attorney determine what your vehicle is worth.
Buying a Collector Vehicle:
A pre-purchase appraisal could protect you against overpaying for a vehicle. It can also make a seller more reasonable in the asking price. An appraisal establishes the loan value if you are going to finance part of this purchase.
Claim Settlement:
If you are arguing with an insurance company over the value of your vehicle after a loss then my appraisal NOW can be a big help. Its not as easy to appraise a vehicle after an accident, fire, etc but it can be done if not too much time has gone by.
Did you buy a vehicle sight unseen or over the internet and, when you received it, believe that you have been cheated? An appraisal can help build your case. Did you buy a vehicle because the owner said matching numbers and find out later that its not? Was the vehicle advertised as having never been in an accident and you've discovered otherwise. Did you discover flood damage?

Substandard Restoration:

Did you pay for a prize winning restoration only to find out that the only prize you will win is the booby prize? Does the paint come off in the rain? Is the chrome peeling three months later?


Who Should Appraise My Vehicle:


An appraiser must have proper credentials that will be accepted by an attorney, judge or arbitrator. Check out the credentials of your appraiser and ask if they have been through an arbitration. The appraiser must personally inspect your car. If asked in court if he/she actually looked at it and they can not say the were “hands-on” your appraisal will probably be rejected.


What Should the Appraisal Contain:


Ask to see a sample copy of an appraisal. Check it out to see if it includes enough description that can be understood by non-car guys. It must include recent photos as part of the documentation process.

The appraisal should completely document your car as it is at the time of the inspection. It should include a very clear description of modifications, condition of trim, paint, interior, chrome, mechanical condition and any other information that you can provide the appraiser about the vehicle. It should also have some backup to the final appraised amount such as comparable vehicles recently sold or for sale...


How Much Should the Appraisal Cost:


A professional appraiser will take about one to three hours plus some research time for each appraisal. The fee for this service should be between 200.00 and 300.00 depending on how complex the appraisal will be. Recently I had a very unusual one to do that I spent well over six hours to complete.

Decided you need or would like an appraisal?
Contact Us for more information on this service we offer.

Be sure to check out the other services I offer and my gallery for some of the cars I have inspected and/or appraised.


1929 Cadillac Roadster
70's Style 56 Chevy

64 Galaxie 500
1940 Studebaker
65 Mustang
Always Like the Cadillacs

1958 Impala Convertible


1974 CHP Recreation


1964 Corvette Convertible

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