While we recommend flipping cars in the two to three thousand pounds range. You can make good money moving slightly upmarket. You just need to be aware of the competition form both small used and franchised dealers.
Also depreciation becomes a factor, meaning you need to move cars on faster. But lots of small cars at these price points have some warranty remaining and can be in much better overall condition. But all the same rules apply as when flipping cars at the lower price points so don’t forget the basics.
What are the best cheap cars to buy when you’re looking to make a quick profit? With tons to choose from we pick out our top 11 and offer some general advice on what you should be looking for in car your looking to make a profit on.
When looking for city cars low running and insurance costs are very important to buyers, so this should be your focus too. Look for the sort of car that would appeal to a first time driver, senior buyer or someone just looking for good reliable transport. Typically this type of car is easier to appraise and repair costs are lower.
Things to look for include..
- Low running and insurance costs – Buyers looking for car for town or city use are normally looking for car that aren’t going to cost a fortune to run or maintain so bigger engines are a big no.
- An exterior colour in either Grey, Black, Blue or Silver – We would always advice sticking to traditional colours whether you are an experienced trader or not. With darker colours and silver being among the obvious choices.
- In the appropriate trim level and interior colour – The same advice applies to the interior colour choice. Stick to dark colours and avoid cars with excessive ware and tear.
- An automatic gearbox – Automatic gearboxes have never been so good and are ideally suited to urban environments. So most city drivers will be looking for an automatic at this price point. But be sure to make sure the gearbox is working correctly and walkaway if you aren’t 100% confident the box is issue free.
- It should be Petrol powered – Generally petrol engines suit smaller cars and city driving better and are cheaper to fix and diagnose than a diesel engined car. It’s also worth considering potential environmental charges for city cars in your local area.
- Low mileage – Mileage is always important and in most cases the lower the mileage the better. Lots of city cars are used sparingly, so you need to look for lower mileage cars as most buyer won’t except ”motorway mileage” cars.
- Have full service history – Having a solid service history is important for any car. So make sure the car has a good history. If a car is low mileage make sure the last owner has had the and belt services done to schedule. In some cases owner skip cam belt and gearbox services due to low mileage. But you will find it harder to sell if the works not been carried out to schedule.
- No major bodywork – Bodywork is expensive to rectify and any large panel damage should be avoided, it’s also time consuming and can add time to the flipping process. But city cars often come with bumper and alloy wheel scuffs which are normally easy and inexpensive to repair.
- HPI clear – Always make sure a car is free of outstanding finance. NEVER SKIP THIS STEP!
Now you know what you should be buying check out our best city car flips below:
1. Hyundai i10
The i10 has come a long way and now make an excellent flip. They are now comfortable and drive well. Avoid the base S trim, but every over spec has generous equipment levels. The i10 comes with a long warranty so they are easy to sell to a more cautious buyer, looking for peace of mind.
2. Volkswagen Up
More upmarket and classier version of the Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo. The Up is even easier to sell due to its smarter interior and the VW badge. I have done really really well with these cars. You will normally have to pay a premium over the Seat and Skoda equivalent, but its a premium worth paying. Big money to be made on these little cars.
3. Renault Twingo
Quirky styled and rear engined Twingo is also specious and practical. Expensive new but great value secondhand. I have done well with them under £7995. They seem to also sell well in brighter colours.
4. Suzuki Celerio
Not the most exciting of cars. But as stated in our car buying guide, the boring stuff is often the best. This little Suzuki appeals to people looking for a practical and super reliable little car, and the Suzuki badge offers that at a great price. Spec levels are good and they sell well in blue.
5. Skoda Citigo
Similar to the more upmarket VW Up. All the same virtues but with a slightly less pleasing interior. But still an excellent flip and often slightly easier to buy at trade money.
6. Kia Picanto
The original Picanto was only a good flip if it was bought for peanuts. But today it’s a brilliant little car and very good news in the GT trim. But whatever trim level you can find is still competitive. I have only bought cars in white and it seems to be the best selling colour in my area. Great flip and will only get better as used values fall.
7. Seat Mii
Basically the same car as the Skoda Citigo and VW badged Up. But the Seat is somehow cooler and appeals to a younger crowd. Super easy to see on and again slightly cheaper and easier to buy than the Up.
8. Peugeot 108
Not the most exciting or specious flip. But they are good value and popular. It’s hard to go wrong with these little cars and they sell well whatever the colour. Mega MPG always helps with the sale as does the fabric sunroof available on some models.
9. Citroen C1
Largely the same as the Peugeot above, with all the same plus points. A great flip but I favour the 108’s styling, but I wouldn’t let that put you off.
10. Smart ForFour
Sister car to the Renault Twingo. The Forfour offers all the same benefits with even more cred and some cool paint options. Can colour sensitive but the badge sells.
11. Fiat Panda
Funky looking Fiat is well loved secondhand and it very good value. Base spec to be avoided unless they are cheap, but cheap running costs and appeal mean they always sell.
If you stick to the cars above you won’t go far wrong. But you should consider you location and which cars are popular in your local area and buy accordingly. Price obviously is a factor and you can make money on any car providing you buy it right in the first place, so this should be a paramount consideration and remember all the money is made in the buying.
Sometimes that can mean buying something unpopular which is cheap but has a big potential margin. I do well with the above cars in a semi-urban environment but you may find other cars work better for you. So you may need to think outside of the box sometimes to find good cars with good profits.