Classic Car owners tend to invest in their first classic car for one of two reasons. Many buy the more rare marques and more expensive models as collectors looking to earn a return on their investment at a future date. This is particularly true when the prevailing economic conditions make the price of money cheap, with low interest rates.However, the majority of classic car owners invest in their first vehicle as their only car, which they put to daily use. Owing your first classic car should be more about the pleasure you obtain from driving it than the pain that they can sometimes bring you, due to their age.If you rely on a classic car to do the school run and pick up the weekly shopping, and it breaks down every five minutes, the enjoyment and pleasure obtained from driving a cool car with character will soon be tempered by the hours you may spend in a lay-by, waiting for a breakdown truck to arrive.So investing in your first classic may be a lottery and you may well end up with a ‘lemon’ and regrets if you do not follow certain basic guidelines when buying your first older vehicle. The secret is in choosing the right model for your needs and budget, and then locating a vehicle that has been well cared for and has already been someone else’s ‘pride and joy’.Do not jump in with your heart ruling your head and buy the first model of the make of car you want that you see advertised on your local forecourt or trader magazine. Look for a car that is in keeping with your taste and style and if you do your research and pick wisely there is no reason why a well looked after classic car cannot give you as many years of trouble free motoring as a modern motor.There are many considerations when you take your first steps towards buying a classic car, not least the purchase price but also the ongoing costs of keeping the car roadworthy. Some models of classic car are sold cheap and may at first appear to be a bargain, but a closer look often reveals that these particular models have known faults, prohibitive running costs or very expensive spare parts.Running costs should always be a primary consideration for those who wish to use a classic car on a daily basis. A large 4 litre gas guzzler may be cheaper to buy initially, however it soon becomes clear when you visit a filling station why the 2 litre version of the same model commands a much higher purchase price and is more in demand by classic collectors.In the case of classic cars that have been imported from abroad, the potential buyer should be aware that replacement parts are usually either much more expensive than their domestic counterparts, and in some cases of manufacturers that no longer exist, completely unavailable.Once you have decided on the make and model of your preferred classic, ensure that you thoroughly research all the known problems for the car. Most classic cars have owners clubs online and a quick visit to these and related forums can provide invaluable assistance in helping you determine potential problems you might have and an indication of running and maintenance costs of the model. Furthermore, these enthusiasts are the people you will meet if you intend to show your classic or attend rallies or obtain rare spare parts, so it pays to introduce yourself to the community at an early stage.