While it might sound like an event at a strongman competition, flipping cars is actually a great way to earn some extra money. All you need to do to flip a car is find a good deal on a car, buy it, and sell it at a higher price. Often, these cars need to be repaired or fixed up in order to get the most money out of them before they’re sold. In this article, we’ll share some tips about which cars are best to flip so you can get the best deal for your time and money.
Best Cars to Flip
While a car listed for $500 on Craigslist might seem like a steal, there may actually be no one who wants to pay anything more for that same car. You could be stuck with a car no one wants to buy. At the same time, you may gawk at a car for $10,000 without knowing it’s actually priced well below fair market value and will easily flip with little work and hustle. Below we outline some of the most popular types of cars to flip, regardless of price.
Japanese Economy Cars
Brands like Honda and Toyota are known for their reliability and hassle-free maintenance. They’re easy to find and make great cars for anyone who needs basic transportation on a budget. If you’re a beginner at flipping cars, one of these may be the best choice since they rarely have major maintenance issues and there’s always a market for them. Try to keep your purchases to cars that are around eight years old or newer, though, since potential buyers of these cars will be more likely to want something relatively modern.
Models like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Sentra and Subaru Legacy can always fetch a high price because they tend to be very reliable. It may be hard to get a great deal on these cars, though, because the demand for them is so high. Flipping them will be easy but the profit margin may be small. Another option in this category is the Toyota Prius. Some of them are being sold only because the hybrid battery is dead, so if you can replace the battery yourself, you stand to make a large profit on the right one.
Vans, SUVs, and Pickup Trucks
Another great option for flipping cars is to flip a minivan or SUV. In places where a lot of the people in the area are starting new families, there’s high demand for quality SUVs and minivans. Similar to flipping an economy car, you’ll want to look for vans or SUVs that are reliable and have minimal mechanical issues. Some model years of the Honda Odyssey, for example, are known to have major transmission problems which will cause most people to stay away, but the Toyota Sienna is a similar option with much less risk.
Additionally, pickup trucks can be a great choice for flipping as long as there’s a local market for them. In areas with a lot of small businesses like landscaping, pressure washing, or dog grooming, the demand for light duty trucks will be high. It’s very important to research your area to understand whether or not it will be profitable to flip these types of cars.
Whether it’s a van, an SUV, or a pickup truck, buyers of these vehicles are likely to look for low mileage since they’ll be driving them a lot. A buyer can get much more use out of a lower mileage car, especially if they plan on driving on a lot of family trips in a minivan or running around town from job to job in a work truck.
If you’re a little more adventurous, flipping classic cars is also an option. Many people have project cars that they’ve never finished or that they have put in long term storage and would like to sell, rather than fix up on their own. Sometimes these cars only need a new battery, a set of tires, or a clean carburetor in order to get them running again. Some classic cars have vibrant communities, like old Volkswagen Beetles and Vans, and it is easier to buy and sell these types of cars than more obscure classic cars like an AMC Javelin. There may not be many buyers for classic cars so while you can get a good deal on one, selling can be difficult. Be sure to consider the cost and hassle of finding new parts for some older cars, too.
Best Places to Flip a Car (Where to Buy and Sell)
Craigslist is a great place to look to find cars to flip and will be a good place to find buyers for your car once you are ready to sell. You can also check out your local buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook. If you’re interested in buying and selling to a wider audience, you can also use tools like Autotrader. If you’re specifically interested in buying and selling classic cars, Autotrader can be a good option because it gives you access to a relatively small market.
There are many other places to find great cars, though, and some of the best places might be right under your nose. Often car owners who wish to sell would rather deal with buyers in person than online and will simply put a “For Sale” sign in the window. If you drive past a car that looks like it would flip easily, take down the number on the sign and try to work out something with the owner. There may also be a lot of cars that are for sale at local car shows, especially classic cars.
There are many great options for flipping cars. From reliable economy cars to minivans to classic cars, there are great deals out there waiting for someone to jump on them. With a little bit of research and a willingness to get your hands a little bit dirty, you can easily be making some extra money flipping cars!
Before getting started, you should note that there are a few catches to flipping cars. Depending on where you live, it may be illegal to buy and sell more than a certain amount of cars per year. It may also be illegal or unwise to “float a title” — this is when the original seller signs the title and you sell the car to a new buyer without first transferring the title to your name. Check out our how-to guide on flipping cars for profit to get more detail about whether or not you can flip cars legally.