How long does it take to flip a car?

The whole point of flipping a car is to flip it as fast as you can. However, certain cars are in a good position to appreciate over time, and there is no rush to sell these cars immediately. The ability to correctly predict which cars are destined for future greatness and which ones are not is crucial for a successful car flipper.

Some say that flipping a car within a single week is considered successful. However, if you are planning to register the car in your name, then selling it shortly afterward is the best course of action. However, some car flippers can sell the car before even getting one, and this is the case with many high-end cars.

The time necessary to sell a car after buying it depends on many different aspects such as the state the car is in, the logistical aspect, the legal requirements, paying methods, the state the customer is in, and the motivation to sell or to buy a car as soon as possible.

It is beneficial for a seller to sell a car ASAP because keeping a car for longer usually means more costs such as parking and maintenance above all the other necessary costs and taxes associated with trading cars.

Selling the car before even seeing it – the mark of a true car flipper

International commerce is often carried out while the goods are already on their way. For example, if I find a customer who requires 20 bulldozers as soon as possible, and I can also locate a seller who regularly transports bulldozers of that very same type I can buy them from the seller, and sell them to the customer in a little over a couple of hours.

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Of course, this only works if the price is right, and you are able to buy for more because you don’t need to worry about transporting the goods anywhere if you directly connect the person who wants the bulldozers and the person who is willing to buy them.

This can also work with cars, however, it is usually on a much smaller scale. The most profitable cars to flip these days are limited-edition supercars. The Porsche 911 GT3 is an incredibly popular car, and the initial demand for the GT3 is nowhere near the initial supply.

This usually means that the majority of customers have to wait years before they finally get the car. If you can secure an early build slot, you can sell that slot to someone down the line even before the car is physically manufactured, and earn a decent profit in the process.

Cars you ought to keep and sell in the future

As mentioned, car flipping can be a profitable business, but some cars are better off kept under wraps for a little while before the market starts appreciating them a little bit more. For example, a few years ago a mildly used Mercedes SLS AMG was valued at around $100-$120k, nowadays that very same car costs as much as $100k more.

Furthermore, cars like the Porsche Carrera GT and the Ferrari F40, Lamborghini LP-670-4 SV are yet to skyrocket even though they already cost huge sums of money. Knowing which cars are destined for greatness is crucial, but it’s also a risk because nothing can be 100% sure.

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The market is volatile because of the pandemic and many other reasons such as the microchip shortage, so who knows what might happen in 5 or even 10 years. Even though these cars cost a lot of money to maintain, they are still able to earn you a great profit.

Car flipping costs – and how to minimize them

Even though car flipping is profitable, in order to maximize the profits, you need to do everything right. Primarily, you should try to sell the car as fast as possible, if you are not able to, try to find a safe space to keep it at without costing a ton of money.

The most experienced car flippers tend to advertise their cars even before they make a purchasing decision themselves. They do this to test out the interest, but you need to be able to act fast if you decide to take this course of action.

Insurance and registration costs are different across the board, but you can lower them to a more reasonable level if you do your research. Also, try to find service and detail shops that can work with you on a partnership level which should ease your access and lower your overall costs.

Read our MEGA guide on flipping cars.

FAQ Section

What if I can’t sell a car?

If for whatever reason you are unable to sell a car after owning it for an extended amount of time, it usually means that the car is either overpriced or the market does not care about such cars. Either way you look at it, you can either wait or lower the price down.

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Waiting is the biggest risk of them all because it can also show to potential customers that the car is being listed for a while which tends to demotivate people from inquiring about it. Lowering the price down might help you sell the car faster, and you should do this and learn from your mistakes.

Is it legal to sell a car you didn’t even buy yet?

Believe it or not, you can technically sell a car before even buying it, but this only works if the people doing the trade are determined to go through with it. These types of deals are mostly carried out by luxury car dealers even before they allocate a certain amount of build slots of an exclusive model.

Most car dealerships know beforehand how many cars are they are going to get, and they sometimes try to sell those cars even before they arrive. However, some high-end supercar manufacturers sometimes even sell their cars to customers before the car has even been revealed to the public.

How can I start car flipping?

To start, buy a car like the Toyota Corolla or the Honda Civic, or any other popular car which is high in demand. Try to find cars that don’t have any serious mechanical or electrical issues, restore them as best as you can, and list them with loads of information and high-quality pictures.

Always search for cars with complete service history books and other important pieces of information. The key here is that you should be better equipped to sell a car compared to a regular non-car person, and if you do this right, you might step onto something a bit more valuable.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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