Jon can assist you in the choosing and purchase of a suitable classic car

Buying Your Classic

Whether you have a specific model in mind, or whether you like the idea of a classic car but are not sure which marque might suit you best, we can help you through the process of choosing and buying your car.

Jon Radgick the owner of The Old Motor House has owned over fifty different cars and also spent many happy times on classic rallies and events meeting other owners and assimilating their experiences as well as his own. He can help you shortlist a selection of cars which would fit with your lifestyle requirements, his extensive motoring library can provide data and information to aid your decision and his wide ranging contacts can assist in finding a suitable example.

We can either just advise you on what car to buy, or we can source a car for you, or come with you when you have your eye on a particular vehicle.

We can also carry out a pre-purchase inspection to make sure that you do not have any nasty surprises when you get your new acquisition home.

If the car you want to buy is coming up for sale at auction then we can also offer an auction buying service for those who may not be able to get to the sale or who may find the process of bidding in a busy auction rather daunting. Jon Radgick was an auctioneer (though not a car auctioneer) in a previous career, and the saleroom holds no secrets for him.


For some people the thought of sharing their beloved car is an anathema, but for others the idea of sharing the costs of purchase and ownership of a classic car makes a lot of sense.

If three or four friends share the dream of running a classic as an addition to the regular fleet, then sharing the costs can make a lot of sense, Beautiful craftmanship of a classic car dashboard but the downfall can often be differences over the burden of caring for the car. Who will keep the car when not in use? Who will organise servicing and repair? What happens if it is not available when another shareholder wants it?

All these problems can be overcome by basing the car at The Old Motor House. Whichever owner uses the car simply brings it back to Rothbury, and if anything needs to be fixed it can be done before the car is next taken out, so that it is always up to speed. Annual servicing and MOT testing is taken care of automatically, and it is always accessible and no individual member of the syndicate has a greater burden than the others.

Economics of Owning a Classic Car

Often I hear people say that they would like to run a classic, but that fuel costs are so high they could not afford it compared to an economical new car.

It is certainly true that modern cars have better fuel efficiency than old cars, but to look at just one aspect of the cost or running a car is to miss the bigger picture.


The highest element of the cost of owning a modern car is depreciation. A survey of depreciation rates published on showed that in the first three years of ownership the best performers had lost about one third of their value, an average performer lost about half the original cost, and the worst performers lost about three quarters of the purchase price.

The average new car, which in July 2012 cost a tad under 29,000 and would be worth about half that after three years, would have lost on average nearly 5,000 each year.

Contrast this with a well-bought classic which is very unlikely to depreciate at all and in most cases will increase in value and all other costs pale into insignificance. Oils have become much more efficient


A lot of cars which we now deem classics had servicing schedules of only three or five thousand miles, whereas modern cars can go in excess of ten thousand miles between services. In fact the greatest change has not been in engine technology but in oils which have become much more efficient, and there are plenty of very good oils available in specific formulations for classic cars which mean that servicing does not need to be so regular, and interim services may just be needed to grease up lubrication points, maybe just ten or fifteen minutes work. Most classics will be fine with an annual service schedule.


It is well known that the costs of insuring a classic car are much lower than a regular car because insurers experience is that owners drive their classic for fewer miles and with more care than other drivers. Specific quotes will depend on your own circumstances, but we can help guide you towards companies with a high reputation for settling claims promptly and fairly. Buying the cheapest of any product is rarely the best experience.

Company cars

If you run your own company or work for a company with a flexible attitude, you may be able to run a classic as a company car. There are some great financial reasons to do so. For a car more than 15 years old at the end of a given tax year the employee is assessed to tax on the original purchase price of the vehicle. Obviously this is no help if you want a Bentley Turbo where the original price will be many times its current value, but Sandra runs a 1959 Austin Westminster Estate which cost about 1100 when new which means the tax charge for the 2012/13 year is just 352.

Green issues

The other criticism I sometimes hear is that it is not "green" to run an old car which has less efficiency and releases more harmful emissions than a modern engine. Whilst this may be true it is only a part of the whole picture. It has been estimated that the cost in terms of energy and raw materials used in the construction of a new car is five times more harmful to the environment than the likely emissions over the life of the car, so it is much, much greener to keep an old car on the road than to buy a new one.

Not only that, there is a further cost to the environment at the end of the life of the vehicle, when it has to be scrapped and recycled.

Be under no illusion, an older classic car which may over its lifetime provide a valued alternative to several new cars is doing wonders for your carbon footprint.