Private sales

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

The cornerstone of our business is arranging private treaty sales on behalf of our clients. Acting as your exclusive agent, Kidston offers an efficient and highly targeted route into and out of the classic car market.

Whether buying or selling, reach the right clientele with Kidston.

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.

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.


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. Our team of designers, researchers and copywriters sets the standard for the business. Our portfolio of beautifully crafted books and presentational material is regarded as a work of art in its own right.


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.


“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” - Red Adair, world famous oil firefighter

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.

Buying and selling

Up to €2,500,000, we charge a 10% commission, with a minimum fee of €25,000 per motor car.

On the excess above €2,500,000, we charge a 5% commission.

Swiss TVA of 8.1% applies on our fees for clients inside Switzerland (10% + TVA therefore equals 10.81%, for example).

Should sellers prefer, we are open to ‘Net Return’ mandates where the seller and Kidston agree upon a fixed figure to be returned to the seller, and we are 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.

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 February 2024.


Consignment Enquiry