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How to Buy a Classic VW Bug

Follow this guide and cruise the streets of your neighborhood in a vintage VW bug.


  • Step 1: Look for rust Look for rust on the bug. Common places for rust include under the running boards, on the spare tire wheel well, on the bumpers, tail pipes, mufflers, and heater channels, and on the undercarriage.
  • TIP: Bring a jack with you to jack up the bug and check underneath.
  • Step 2: Judge the paint job Judge the paint job. If there are blemishes in the paint and it needs a new paint job, decide if that is in your budget.
  • Step 3: Examine the car thoroughly Get inside the car and lift up the carpet to look at the floorboards. Check the seals on the windows to make sure they are not ripped. Take note of any stains or torn upholstery.
  • TIP: Ask for pictures if you are purchasing the car online so you can get a clear idea of the car's condition.
  • Step 4: Turn it on Turn the car on, and check to make sure the horn, blinkers, dome light, and electrical systems work.
  • Step 5: Start the car Touch the gas pedal once or twice, and then start the car. It should start without your foot on the gas.
  • Step 6: Check the engine Check the engine while the car is running and make sure there is no smoke coming from the engine or exhaust. When the engine is off and cooled down, pull on the rear pulley. There should be a little movement, but not much.
  • Step 7: Budget Decide if the car is within your budget and worth buying. Bugs made before 1956 are the most rare -- and valuable -- because production numbers were low prior to that year. Whether your are planning on restoring the car or just driving it as is, take into account your budget before you buy your classic VW bug.
  • FACT: In 1972, the VW bug passed the world car production record previously held by the Model T, with over 15 million cars built.

You Will Need

  • Access to the car
  • Eye for detail
  • Budget
  • Car jack (optional)
  • Pictures (optional)

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