How to Make Money Reselling Vehicles

While you hear a lot about making money flipping and rehabbing houses, the reality is that it is far easier and safer to do so with vehicles. Yes, you can buy cars and trucks and resell them at a profit. Here are a few tips on how to make money reselling vehicles.

Know the Market

Understand what vehicles will sell quickly in your market relative to what you are considering buying. Do you live somewhere people are just happy to have a car that’s drivable and street legal? Do you live in or plan on selling in a suburban neighborhood where people are constantly upgrading to SUVs and minivans to accommodate their growing families? Is there constant demand in your area for pickups by locals who idealize them or use them for work? Be careful of buying cars no one in the area can repair or exotic cars few would consider buying from you.

You could also visit a site like Black Smoke Media and check out some modifications that your target customer base could appreciate.

Buy Low, Sell High

Scour for sale ads for cars being sold cheap. Don’t forget to check out estate sales since many families need to sell a vehicle, too, and many of these vehicles are both well-maintained and low-mileage. Look for moving sales, too, since some people will want to sell a car they cannot take with them and are under time pressure to get it sold.

Car auctions get attention because they’re often televised as an exciting, low-cost way to secure a car. In reality, you’re competing against car dealers who know the market and will stop bidding when you drive the price up too high.

Have Every Vehicle Checked Out

While you could check the car for unusual sounds or leaking fluids yourself, you do need to have every vehicle thoroughly inspected. Have a mechanic check the vehicle and make a list of all repairs it needs to make it safe and legal to drive, as well as a list of repairs you’d want to make to keep potential buyers happy with the vehicle.

Understand the Law

In many jurisdictions, you can sell several cars a year before you have to get licenses and business permits. Know the rules for selling vehicles in your area, including whether or not the cars need to be registered and insured.

Have a Plan to Dispose of Vehicles

While your business’ success requires buying low and selling high, you do need to have a plan on how to sell the vehicles. Are you going to sell vehicles online? Do you expect to open a business selling used cars? Are you going to put car sales notices up on local billboards or in the newspaper? Do your research to know where you could quickly sell a clunker for spare parts if a car you bought turns out to need more in repairs than it is worth.


Buying and reselling vehicles can be a great way to make money on the side or could be your full-time income if you’re good at it. So, don’t be afraid to test the waters and see if you can find a great catch.