How can I make money with a classic car? This question comes up quite often in our line of work and is often posed by classic car owners who aren’t immersed in car culture and may not have the advice of car enthusiasts at their disposal. We’d like to note that most car owners can tell you everything about their cars, from the production year to their current value, and most love their cars and appreciate their history. However, many people simply have no idea how or where to connect with others who can help them use their cars to turn a profit.
After some research, we found that there aren’t many online resources available for car owners who want to use their cars to make money, so we put together a list of tangible ways to use your classic car to earn some cold, hard cash. If you own an older model or classic car, read on for a variety of ways to help your dreams of making money with your old car become a reality.
How to Make Money With a Classic Car?
Many current and past car owners have tapped into these money-making methods using their cars with successful results. Depending on your reasons for needing to make cash, the condition of your car, your current use of the car, and more, you may want to opt for using one or more of these methods. We think you’ll find you can generate some substantial income if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
Sell Your Car
We’ll start with the obvious—if you need to downsize your current car collection or make some fast cash, selling your car is the way to go. The sale of a classic car typically means a profit for car owners, especially if you haven’t needed to invest much in restoration or upkeep. If you’re looking to take a more hands-off approach to earn money from your vehicle, selling your car could be the simplest solution.
In addition, if you are experiencing a financial crunch or no longer feel you have the time or money to commit to your car, selling is certainly an option. Some unfortunate circumstances involve owners who must part with their car due to financial troubles or because their car is too expensive to restore or maintain. Parting with your treasured vehicle due to financial hardship is not ideal, but selling your car may be the right choice.
Classic Car Flipping
Other classic car owners choose to restore and sell cars repeatedly, known as flipping. Car owners in this category can make a substantial amount of money finding cars to restore and put up for sale. Lots of people love the look of a classic car, and lots of people love to collect cars, so selling them for a profit is great for anyone with the time and skill to turn old cars into collectibles.
If you need to earn some quick money using your car but don’t wish to part with it, you can look into using your classic car as loan collateral. Collateral loans are a common way to earn money while you maintain ownership of your car. Of course, this option presents some risk, especially if your finances aren’t where you’d like them to be.
If you are struggling to qualify for loans that have low-interest rates or if you are having trouble qualifying for a personal loan, your car is an asset you can use to request the money you need. Using your car as collateral, you can apply for a vehicle equity loan with select lenders. Vehicle equity loans can include benefits such as a less stringent qualification process, lower interest rates, and higher borrowing rates. If you use your car for a collateral loan, be sure to repay your loan so you can keep your car with you where it belongs.
Private Classic Car Rental
Private car rental can be a great way to use your classic car to create profit, and it allows others to enjoy the work you’ve put into your ride. If you are comfortable renting your restored classic to clients for several days at a time, long-term car rentals can be the financial solution you are seeking. You can rent your car to others for a few hours, for weekends, or for entire weeks. Long-term rentals are great for creating a consistent flow of income and can help you build rapport with clients so that you can do business with the same clients multiple times.
Car-sharing is a fairly new option, and it can be appealing to owners of older cars who want to make some passive income. Car sharing is a subtype of car rental where people can use services like Turo and Getaround to circumvent traditional car rental companies and rent from private owners. Customers rent available cars for limited periods (usually several hours or less) for lower prices than rental services.
With these services, you’ll have the benefit of thorough driver screening, remote access service (so you won’t have to meet renters to hand over the keys), and more. Each service differs, so be sure to research the requirements for short-term rentals and find the option that best suits your car and your needs. If you have an older car in good working condition and you feel comfortable renting the car out for short periods, this option might help you bring in a few bucks.
Special Occasion Private Car Rental
Renting your car out for special occasions is another common way to get started. Weddings take place all year long, so if you advertise your vehicle via the right channels, you can stay booked with clients who want to make your car a memorable part of their special day. Birthday celebrations are another occasion when people choose to rent private transportation. Adult parties often include alcohol, meaning partygoers will require safe, reliable transport to and from their locations.
Depending on the make and model of your classic car, you can also look into using your car as a rental for even more special occasions. Prom season is an excellent time to advertise your classic car for rent to juniors and seniors looking to travel to their celebration in style. In addition, many schools throw formal dances throughout the year. If you invest in reaching clients for these events or similar occasions, you can look to local high schools for information on parties and other celebratory events.
You might consider renting your car to film, television, and photoshoot productions that wish to create a nostalgic atmosphere with the use of a cool classic car. Television and movies always need cars for scenes, especially movies set in other periods. If you have a ’90s model car or later in good condition, you could make a healthy profit by creating a relationship with production companies. Your options for renting your car to companies will largely depend on the level of demand for your vehicle. Some film companies pay to rent cars day-to-day. Other companies pay to rent cars on a weekly or monthly time frame based on the scheduling needs of the production.
If you invest in this money-making idea, your classic car can be featured on television shows, in music videos, or on the big screen. The limits of this form of rental are plentiful, especially if you can be reliable. Many film companies like to partner with car owners they can count on for projects over and over again.
Other Short-Term Rentals
Other groups that may consider renting a classic car for a night, weekend, or even a more extended period of time include car enthusiasts and collectors. These individuals love driving classic cars but may not yet own one or may be considering purchasing a car like yours. You also might consider renting your car out for corporate events like theme nights, galas, and more.
Private Event Chauffeuring Services
If you wish to make money with your standout classic car but aren’t comfortable allowing others to drive it, consider a side venture as a private chauffeur. People often rent limousines for special events like proms, galas, birthday parties, and more, and a night out in a classic car is much more unique—and often much more affordable.
Chauffeuring allows you the same benefits of private car rental with the added luxury of keeping your car as safe as possible at all times. Or, you might consider finding a professional driver to operate your vehicle during rental periods. The minimal expense involved allows you to thoroughly vet your driver and still cash in on rental fees.
You can earn a steady income as a driver once you take steps to get the proper paperwork for your business venture. Being a private driver and securing your car for rental requires licensing per your local driving authorities. Every state has different requirements for operating your vehicle to run a small business. Make sure you fully understand your local laws and secure all the necessary certifications you need to qualify to run a chauffeur service.
Marketing Using Your Classic Car
If you own a business and need a unique way to advertise your services, you can place branded magnets or decals on your car and use its visual appeal to attract attention as you drive the car around town. Self-advertising is a creative option for an up-and-coming business that needs a cost-effective way to promote its services.
If you are not a business owner, consider how you could help businesses in your area promote their brand using custom images and slogans temporarily displayed on your car. Classic vehicles are eye-catching on their own, so they make great mobile billboards. Local businesses will often pay a fee to advertise for a set time period.
Larger companies often utilize a process called wrapping, where cars are custom-fit with a whole-body wrap with branded images. Sometimes, third-party marketing companies will find car owners to connect with businesses for wrapping contracts. However, take caution with this money-making strategy because some of these third-party companies are scams. Perform research to make sure the business you are working with is legitimate. Reputable companies will be able to show you legitimate accreditation and set clear payment terms for your services.
Driving for a ride-sharing service like Lyft or Uber can help you generate income with your older car. Many individuals will see your classic vehicle as a unique addition to their evening and may even prefer your services to others. Or, consider adding some of the marketing ideas listed above and pulling double duty as a ride-share driver and rolling billboard.
Make Money with a Classic Car FAQs
Now that you’ve browsed some ways to generate income with your older car, you likely have some questions about the ins and outs of doing so. Here are some of the most common.
Q: Is It Legal to Use My Car to Make Money as a Private Renter?
A: The general answer to this question is yes. However, you must comply with your local authorities. Car owners are required to apply for a Private Vehicle Hire (PVH) license to rent their vehicles to clients. Car owners also need a commercial driving license and must apply for licensing to book riders. With any venture, it is best to research your local laws to ensure you are adhering to all requirements to ensure your business runs smoothly and legally.
Finally, if you choose to rent your classic car out for special occasions, create a rental agreement that is clear, concise, and lists what will happen in the event of property damage.
Q: What Are Some Pros and Cons of Renting Out My Classic Car?
A: Classic cars are valuable, and these cars often require significant funds to maintain. As a result, it’s natural for car owners to be apprehensive about renting out their vehicles for use. Here are the pros and cons of renting your classic car.
Pros of Renting Your Car
- Making money via a passive income stream
- Setting your rates and schedule (if you rent privately)
- Qualifying for small business tax deductions
- Keeping your car in proper working condition by having someone else operate it consistently
Cons of Renting Your Car
- Wear and tear to your car
- Expenses for gas and maintenance
- You will have to manage the use of the car if you choose to rent privately or rent via sharing services.
- Additional insurance and licensure requirements to maintain
- Allowing strangers to use your car, risking the need for repairs
Q: Are Classic Car Values Falling?
A: Since the number of classic cars in existence will remain fairly static, as no more are currently being built, the value of a classic car is less reliant on supply and demand. Previously, experts predicted that the value of the oldest classic cars would decrease slightly while newer models would increase. Presently, however, optimism is high, and both value and car prices have remained steady.
If you’re wondering whether your classic car could decrease in value as you tap into its earning potential, the answer is “maybe.” If your car is damaged during use, it will likely see a loss in value.
Make Money With a Classic Car … So You Can Buy More Cars
You can make money with a classic car consistently using these money-making ideas. Many people choose to use multiple of these money-making strategies to bring in a substantial amount of income without breaking much of a sweat.
However, as with any other business venture, you’ll want to use caution when renting, driving, or modifying your car. Always do thorough research regarding rental laws in your area so you can operate your rental business in a manner that’s compliant with local rules. Taking the time to protect yourself and your property with research beforehand will be invaluable in case of car damage or accidents.
Whichever method you choose to earn money, do so with confidence and display your love for classic cars. Our online shop offers a variety of classic car merch items for those looking to restore classic cars and share that love with others.
I’m a kid at heart disguised as an auto researcher and business owner. I’ve always enjoyed providing insight in the form of reviews (anime, video games, autos, etc.) When I’m not researching, I’m spending time with my family, driving my Dodge Challenger, riding my motorcycle, and finding new entrepreneurial pursuits.