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April 8th, 2019

“Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union. This post was written by Column M Staff. PSECU does not endorse the advice or information provided here.”

We all have our own set of dream cars that we would like to have in our garages. However, explaining this love to most ‘non-car sadly practical’ people mostly ends up being a discussion about an unhealthy obsession over things that are absolute opposite of the term investment. The problem is, these non-car sad people are not that far off from the truth. See, majority of new cars in the market tart depreciating in value the moment you take it out of a dealership. Then, there is a usual 20% a year fall that continues till the full depreciation reaches in around the car’s 15th year anniversary. But all hope is not lost and a few smart minds from team Petrolheads have found a way to not just keep their love for cars alive but also mint some serious money in the process as well. On that note, yours truly decided to do a minor research and bring you a complete guide to investing in cars for profit.

It is interesting to note that in order to figure out which car would give you a higher return on ‘investment’ you need to have an in depth understanding of the current trends of the industry. It is well known fact that classic cars are finding immense returns for their owners and auctioneers. However, it requires some nifty calculations to find out which modern car would be a classic for tomorrow and would appreciate in value over time. At this point we would like to tell you an important fact – No, that Dacia Sandero isn’t a future classic in any of the multiverses. You would need to spend a bit more of your resources to settle for an authentic special for the future.

The collectors who don’t just like to drive their cars but also want to sell them off with some serious appreciation look for a few basic things while investing in a car. They are mostly, rarity, legacy, popularity and the initial value at which the car came out. That said, you can basically take any new Porsche 911 to be a classic for the future (we would buy all of them, all the time, which is why we can’t). Except for the above mentioned points, a car can become significant due to various other reasons as well, ay , the all-electric Aston Martin that will feature in the next James Bond movie, that’s already a collectors wet dream.  Or, it could be a car or a new model that had anything to do with the Kardashians, in which case, let’s get further in our discussion. A friendly reminder, at this point you should humbly avoid that friend of yours who is ‘hard to be seen’ and wants to sell his new Ford GT, at least for now.

Now that we have understood the basic idea of what sort of a car can give returns on investment, the best place to search for one could start from people or garages who own low mileage well-kept cars that are more than 15 years old at least. This is because the maximum depreciation on these cars has already occurred. Now, you can fine tune your search with this criteria added to brands like Porsche, Jaguar, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Bentley among others of suck ilk. Also, you can do well with a two-door sports car form or a coupe more than other body types since sportier cars enjoy a wider desirability over the years.  

The, towards the lower price spectrum cars from brands such as Honda and Toyota known for their biblical reliability and inexpensive maintenance return much better value over years. The market also witnessed a spike in the market for old Honda’s after the first Fat and Furious movie. This movie series continues to help pre-owned market but has now since shifted worlds focus towards used tanks and Russian submarines.

Another way where you can make profit on an old car to get it when it wasn’t is a running state and mend it yourself or with a friend who doesn’t lose that 10mm socket. If you can make it running without much expenses, you can surely find a buyer that would give you eventual profit in sale. This same ‘buy-repair-sell’ strategy can also work if you purchase two mostly similar and dysfunctional cars  with different set of problems and merge the best parts to make one of them running mint, that’s some money making stuff right there.  Keep an eye on that pesky little trouble making 10mm socket though.

Now that you are pretty much sorted with an overview of how to go about finding cars that would return profit after sale, here is a quick recap:

  1. The rarer the car, the higher would be the returns on it – say a McLaren Senna
  2. The car that has some serious legacy – say a Bugatti Divo.
  3. If it’s a Porsche – almost all of them, in fact if you name your couch Porsche 911, chances are it would fetch a $100K (let us know if that works).
  4. Old (15+years) Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, etc, models.
  5. Old two door sportier cars.
  6. Old Land Rover, Land Cruiser vehicles which would be around even after we shift to an adjacent universe.
  7. ‘Buy-Repair-Sell’ strategy.

Now just to give you an overview of what the collector clan consider as cars that will be a great investment for future will be, the ones we call modern classics:

Mitsubishi Evo Lancer VI Tommi Makinen Edition


No matter how hard you try to convince us, that day when you were late to your office and took that shameless bypass through that kid’s park will never be equal to a rally stage. However, get yourself something like a Mitsubishi Evo VI. This one is sure going to see an incredible appreciation in value in the coming years.

Porsche 996 Turbo S


See, it is a Porsche after all, they are the bread and butter of the whole car collector specie. Currently there is a huge boom in the air-cooled Porsche market, but that doesn’t mean 996 won’t fetch pretty penny in coming years. Good thing is, they are set to have incredible boost in collectors market since only 598 coupes were made and if you get your hands on one, it would be worth the effort

Jaguar XJS V12


Forever stately and majestic, the XJS was Jaguar’s foray into the grand touring scheme that would earn lustful glances from petrol heads every time.  The thing is, this stunning car has been away from the limelight for some years now meaning most cars are not in a decent shape. Though finding a low mileage well-kept XJS is tough, but if you can find one, it is surely going to see a rise in value soon enough.

BMW Z4M Coupe


Currently the predecessors of the glorious BMW Z4M Coupe are highly sought after commodity in the collectors market. Thus it is obvious that the BMW Z4M Coupe will be next in line to fetch such interest. Add to it, only 1,052 right-hand drive units were ever produced while the roadster were further less at just 921 in RHD. Expect the Coupe to command a higher premium over the roadster.

Mercedes R129 SL500

Source: Wikimedia

The German automaker built the R129 from 1989-2002, and at present cars ow mileage examples are gathering keen interest from the community. Find yourself something like a 5-litre V8 R129 and you have a solid choice in terms of reliability, great performance and excellent investment potential.

1993 – 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo


The Supra craze is here to stay for some time at least. Currently, well-kept examples of the Supra are selling at as much as $40,000 on the resale market and considering how the world keeps on loving this car, this price will only go up in the coming years.

DeLorean DMC 12

Though it might not be the time machine that can take you to the future, but it can still give you that extra amount for the villa with a pool. At present, the DeLorean DMC 12 is getting around $30,000 and is still a smart investment. The only car its maker ever produced, has etched itself in time with the movie trilogy. Only rise in value in future for this one.

Fiat Spider

Source: Wikimedia

Who doesn’t love the classic lines and desirability of the Fiat Spider? Currently for around $10,000 you can get a Fiat Spider, still cheaper than most other Italian exotics. It is also relatively easy to find in a considerably well-kept form. It is assumed that the car will see a dramatic rise in value in the coming years. Gte your one now, stay cool, till you decide to get rich.

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