May. 20, 2010 at 1:25pmShow Me The Money: What's My Car Worth?

A classic or collectible car for many of us car collectors is not only like a member of the family, it is also a valuable asset. Looking at Kelly Blue book, NADA classic car pricing or recent auction valuations might give you a good ball-park estimate, but many times for older classics, high performance cars or cars that have been customized, these avenues may not be fully adequate. To protect your assets for “agreed or replacement value” insurance policies, an appraisal by a certified automotive appraiser is the way to go.

I frequently receive calls asking for information on auto appraisers and whom we would recommend for them to contact. Appraising an automobile takes a professional who specializes in your particular era of vehicle. Therefore, it would be difficult for one to recommend an appraiser for all vehicles. I usually recommend contacting verified appraisal organizations, and requesting a list of appraisers in their area.

Always interview potential appraisers before you give one the job. Before you hire an appraiser, ask each of them:

  • About their experience levels. Some appraisers cost more than others, particularly those with expertise in certain types of cars.
  • How long they've been appraising cars.
  • To see examples of their appraisals. You will want to be clear about the level of detail they will give before you hire anyone. I have seen one-sheet appraisals with minimal information and multi-page appraisals with historical research specific to the vehicle included with the appraisal.

Auto Appraisers Group (AAG), headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia is one such source for locating an appraiser qualified to assess the value of your vehicle. They have a very informative website on how to select an appraiser.

International Society of Appraisers (ISA), headquartered in Chicago, Illinois is another source one can explore. The ISA appraiser lists are not limited to just automobiles; appraisers of collectibles, jewelry furniture and more can be found.

International Automotive Appraisers Association (IAAA), headquartered in Montvale, NJ boasts a membership of certified Professional Appraisers from the United States, Australia, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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