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Expert Advice


You don't have to know everything about the classic car market. That's our job.

With 25 years at the cutting edge of the classic car world, we are uniquely placed to offer impartial, up-to-the-minute market information and objective advice to our clients. Kidston SA differs from the many reputable brokers, dealers and auction houses around the world in that we act solely and exclusively for one client in any given transaction.

What does this mean in practice? It means that we only take a fee from the client instructing us, and you see the whole picture. Our fee structure aims to be straightforward and transparent, and as free from conflicts of interest as possible.

We are strong believers in the principle that buyers will one day become sellers, and vice versa, and our opinion about the market should not waver depending on which we are advising. Expect frank, informed opinion and the inside track if you seek our assistance.

These are just a few of the areas where we can add value and accompany you in decision-making:

  • Recent market data and sentiment. You've read the headlines, but what was the backstory and how does it affect your car? Should you buy, sell or hold?
  • Auction or private sale? We've been on both sides of the negotiation and are uniquely placed to offer a 360-degree view of the pros and cons.
  • To restore or not to restore? Trends are changing, and values with them. We judge at concours and know what the market likes... and what it doesn't.
  • When you embark upon work, from a service to a 'ground-up' restoration, who should you use, what's a fair price, and who is best to supervise the result?
  • Shipping is a minefield. Who can you trust with your pride and joy? What questions should you ask? What's a fair price? We've learned the hard way so you don't need to.
  • History and originality are the two most important factors determining the value of a top-tier classic car. We help buyers, sellers and owners verify both.
  • Title paperwork varies from country to country, so how do you know what to look for when buying a valuable motor car, especially abroad? Peace of mind is important.
  • You'd like to take part in an historic event, but the choice of eligible cars is baffling. Does 'eligible' actually mean it will be accepted if you buy one? Don't find out afterwards.
  • You want a plain, old-fashioned view on what a car is actually like to drive? We haven't tried them all out, but we're rarely short of an opinion!

Private Treaty Sales


Whether buying or selling, reach the right clientele with Kidston SA as your exclusive agent.

The cornerstone of our business is arranging private treaty sales on behalf of our clients. we offer an efficient and highly targeted route into and out of the classic car market, based on:

WHO WE KNOW...

The very best cars are bought and sold by word of mouth. Our global contacts range from high-profile names in the car-collecting community to up-and-coming enthusiasts building world-class collections for tomorrow. We nurture close relationships with the world’s most authoritative historians and restorers; with renowned museums; and with former designers, salesmen, and racing team personnel. Our connections with these often lesser-known individuals, together with access to original manufacturers’ archives and historic photographic libraries, help us delve deeper into the authenticity of a motor car. When hidden secrets emerge, our work can make or save a small fortune.

...AND WHAT WE KNOW

Kidston maintains a unique database of the world’s most important motor cars, charting their whereabouts and provenance, backed up by the K500 Index that records every notable auction sale since 1994. This allows our clients a proper perspective of wider market price developments. By combining these powerful sources of information – the ‘who we know’ and ‘what we know’ – we’re able to build a clear, detailed picture of every car we handle or contemplate for clients. We want to make sure that no one is better informed than our client. Information, after all, is power.

Buying and Selling

Our clients are collectors. sometimes they buy and sometimes they sell. In both cases, we’re available to advise them.

However, in any given transaction we work for only one party.

Buying

You might already have your eye on a specific car but want our opinion. Is the car what it claims to be? How long has it been on the market. Why is it for sale? What’s it really worth? Is it likely to appreciate? Often, we’re the first to know that an important car will be coming fresh to the market. If we believe it will be of interest to a client, we make them aware of the opportunity – before that knowledge becomes widely available. It might be the case that you know what you want, but not where to find it – in which case we’ll search for exactly the car you’re after. Or perhaps you’re unsure which car will suit you best, and want to discuss the options. Whatever the circumstances, we’ll help you choose a target, and then negotiate on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome.

Selling

If you’re planning to dispose of a car, you’ll probably be asking yourself several questions. What price will it achieve? Is now the right time to sell? Should I seek a private buyer or consign it to auction? There are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ or easy answers. Our insider knowledge gives you an edge on values and timing. We can advise on the advantages and pitfalls of private sales and auctions, and which is more appropriate for you. Our black book of contacts means that we’ll probably already know the most suitable candidates for it – and what they might be willing to pay. We can help you achieve the highest standards of marketing and presentation, showcasing your pride and joy to its finest effect – ensuring it reaches the result it deserves.

Restorations


restorations

From sympathetic recommissioning to a full 'body off' restoration, it pays to work with the best in the business. After many years attending top-tier concours and driving events in our own cars, we should know...

Selecting and supervising an appropriate restoration specialist is as important as purchasing the right car in the first place. Having a close relationship with an almost unrivalled network of craftsmen across the world, Kidston SA can help you chose the right specialist for the job.

Whether it's working with former Ferrari and Lamborghini metalworkers, engine-builders or trimmers in the Modena region, or experts in the heart of the British countryside well-versed in the English tradition of 'wheeling' panelwork for Aston Martin, let us be your guide.

Recent car restorations overseen by Kidston SA include:

  • The ex-Shah of Iran 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400, restored in Italy 2017-2018
  • 1997 McLaren F1 GTR #025R Longtail Team Gulf-Davidoff, restored by the factory 2016-2019
  • 1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback, 2nd in class at Pebble Beach in 2015, restored in the UK 2014-2015
  • 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 RS Lightweight, restored in Italy and with Porsche Classic 2018-2019
  • 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 'Daytona' Spider, 1st in class at Villa d'Este 2015, restored in Italy 2013
  • 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 ex-Adrian Conan-Doyle, 1st in class at Villa d'Este 2017, restored in Italy 2015
  • A longstanding professional relationship with Ferrari Classiche, Lamborghini Polo Storico and FIVA means we are able to guide your car through the sometimes intimidating process of certification.

    For significant cars, by calling on marque experts we can discuss with you at exactly which point in time of your car's history you now wish it to represent. Many famous racing cars have led exciting lives, and it's hard to decide without insider knowledge exactly which livery or specification to restore to. And more than one 'resale red' Ferrari repainted in the 1980s actually started life a far more interesting shade of metallic grey, blue, gold or even brown.

    Our team of historical researchers is at your disposal. We established that a client's car was the original Ferrari 365 GTS/4 'Daytona' Spider used in the pilot for 'Miami Vice', for example. We also found period film of husband-and-wife team Gérard and Aghdass Spinedi on the Tour de France Automobile in their stunning gold Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione, a car then in restoration for another client of longstanding. Not only did it help us finish the car as accurately as possible, the footage was included in a short video about the car today, an emotional reunion of the family and its much-loved Ferrari.

    In addition, we can supervise all logistics relating to transportation of the car to and from the restorers, including customs paperwork and insurance.

    So, with years of experience entering (and enjoying, important!) concours and driving events, we are in the best position to suggest how best to proceed with each car, the small details that might separate it from an 'also-ran' to a winner on the concours field, as well as a making it a reliable machine, satisfying to drive on organised tours.

    Insurance


    Kidston SA can assist in arranging bespoke insurance packages for small and large collections.

    If your previous experience of insurance companies is that they are often quicker to collect premiums than to pay out in the event of a legitimate claim, find out if we can get a better deal for you. We have devised tailor-made policies with AA-rated global insurers and specialist syndicates at Lloyd's of London to include:

    • Agreed choice of restorer in the event of accident damage.
    • Coverage for historic racing, including circuit events.
    • Coverage for loss of value through accident damage even after perfect repair (recommended for owners of supercars and ultra-original cars).
    • Coverage for worldwide transport risks (ideal and very cost-effective if your car is frequently being shipped/trucked/flown to events).
    • Offshore cover for owners who prefer the value of their collection to remain private.
    • Flexible cover for classic car dealers.

    Find out if you are getting the most cost-effective cover for your collection by contacting us now without cost or obligation.

    Rates


    We operate a sliding commission scale that is the same for buyers and sellers, but we only act for one side in any deal and our principal pays our fee, which is dependent on our success.

    • Up to €2,000,000, we charge a 10% commission, with a minimum fee of €20,000 per motor car.
    • From €2,000,000 to €10,000,000, we charge a 5% commission.
    • Above €10,000,000, we charge a 2.5% commission.

    Swiss TVA of 7.7% applies on our fees for clients inside Switzerland (10% + TVA therefore equals 10.77%, for example).

    Should sellers prefer, we are open to 'Net Return' mandates where the seller and Kidston SA agree upon a fixed figure to be returned to the seller, and Kidston SA is at liberty to retain any excess amount as its remuneration.

    Should buyers prefer, we are open to representation mandates where our fee is a share of the discount negotiated with the seller. Auction representation fees are agreed on an individual basis. Please ask if you'd like a proposal.

    Written valuation

    €600 - (+ 7.7% TVA) per car

    Send us details and have your collectors' car objectively and professionally valued within five working days, whether buying, selling, insuring or just for a second opinion. These written valuations are based on information and photographs you provide and do not require us to inspect the car.

    If you'd like to have more than five cars valued at once, a collection rate applies.

    Daily retainer

    €5000 - (+ 7.7% TVA)

    This puts us at your complete disposal for a day (normally 9am-6pm) and entitles you to expert advice that includes guidance on buying, pricing, provenance, authenticity, marketing and different options for selling. Travel costs, if applicable, are excluded.

    Restoration supervision

    15% on the amount (net of local taxes) of each restoration invoice.

    We can supervise all logistics relating to transportation of the car to and from the restorers, including customs paperwork and insurance. Our services also include advice on the evaluation, selection and appointment of specialists, and supervising and coordinating their work until final handover.

    With years of experience entering (and enjoying, important!) concours and driving events, we are in the best position to suggest how best to proceed with each car, the small details that might separate it from an 'also-ran' to a winner on the concours field, as well as a making it a reliable machine, satisfying to drive on organised tours.

    Rates correct from June 2019